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In 1960, Granada Television staff writer and former child actor Tony Warren asked producer Harry Elton in desperation to be taken off his scripting duties for their series of adaptations of the Biggles adventure stories by W. Warren gave two answers: showbusiness and the North of England.

Part of Warren's dislike of the series was that he knew little about the world in which the books were set and Elton enquired what Warren did know enough about which would make a good series.

To accompany the script, Warren wrote a memo for the Granada board, explaining the series: "A fascinating freemasonary, a volume of unwritten rules.

These are the driving forces behind life in a working class street in the north of England.

To gain inspiration for the look of the street, set designer Denis Parkin visited the backstreets of Salford, ending up in Archie Street in Ordsall which was filmed for the programme's title sequence.