Like Moccona coffee, Manchester has more Mmmmmmmmm

Trip Start Apr 13, 2014
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Trip End Sep 03, 2014


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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Thursday, July 17, 2014

Manchester has surprised me, and for that reason it has taken me a while to come to terms with being here. I am staying in the suburb of New Mosston, which is a 15 minute walk and a 20 minute double-decker bus ride into town. I have been into town 3 days in a row now and I first thought that Manchester was a small town, but have had to revise my thoughts on that. 
 From where the bus stops in the centre you can walk in any direction and find another part of the town that you were not aware of and that has a very different look and feel to all the other places you've seen. Even the map, that the information centre hands out, divides the city/town into 10 different colour coded sections  or zones. 
 In the sunshine Manchester has a strange beauty and vibrancy. The Victorian? buildings look like they should be seen looming out of a heavy fog or on a misty moor. It is like seeing a beautiful woman in full Goth makeup and regalia on a hot and bright sunny day at the beach. There is something odd or incongruent about the way Manchester combines the heaviness of it's historical old buildings with the the lightness of the modern. It is that oddness that makes Manchester such a unique and fascinating city to explore.
I am slowly becoming aware of the history of Manchester. It is a rich history which mirrors the growth of Britain during the time of the industrial revolution and the struggles and difficulties that ordinary people had gaining access to all that we nowadays take for granted. 
Yesterday I discovered the Museum of Science and Industry, and spent hours walking around less than a third of the site. I intend going back for more and find it fascinating. I have no doubt that there are enough places and things to see like theatres and Art galleries and Museums to keep me occupied for an interesting few weeks. What I didn't expect was to become aware of the fact that this part of the world holds the history of my ancestors, and how realising this would affect me so quickly and so deeply. 
 The history of Manchester is the history of my tribe, my people, and it is something I didn't even consider when I arrived here. There are times it is a moving and emotional experience, and the feeling that I have come home will no doubt become stronger when I visit the places where I grew up. Meanwhile I have reached the part of my journey where I feel that it's ok to put my feet up and relax more often than I have in the past few weeks. For this reason I might not be doing as many entries as I did in Spain and France. We'll see how it goes...
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Comments

Shirlprins on

It must be great being back in the mother land. Manchester looks and sounds like a very interesting place,who would have thought? You deserve to sit back and soak up your ancestral roots Alan and I'm anticipating some great blogs even if they are fewer. Are you going to visit Strickland castle? X

astrix7
astrix7 on

Thanks Shirley
I'm heading to Clitheroe on Thursday and looking forward to that. Somehow I don't think we are related to the Strickland family who live in the castle in Cumbria. They are the noble Stricklands, and I think we come from the peasant side of the family lol. I might get to visit the pub that my great great grandad once owned, if I can remember what it was called, but at this stage I'm more interested in meeting Uncle Max, and our cousins who were only toddlers when we left. In fact they are probably about the same age as you are and if you decide to come to Europe next year it may be a wonderful opportunity to get to know your long lost cousins. Anyway I'll do my best to keep everyone up to date xx

shirlprins on

Awsome! you can show them a few pics from my blog if they are interested.
I still remember them a little.
I thought that sizeser castle ? Im not sure of spelling is the one that Pat did all the research on and was our anscesters, its in the lake district and open 2 or 3 days a week. Stricklands still part own it.

astrix7
astrix7 on

Yes I definitely will show them your blog.
The history of the Castle and the family that have owned it for hundreds of years is fascinating and is on google, but I honestly do not think that they are relatives of ours. There would have been dozens of families who took the name Strickland, or Ramsbottom,or Smith as their own over the centuries. I think its a bit of wishful thinking to think that one of our relatives lives in a castle. Sorry if that bursts a bubble Shirl. but on a more practical level I can only travel by bus or train, which limits the places I can get to xx

Keith on

Eee our alan..who'd a thought tha would be back ome ..watch out for trouble at mill...

astrix7
astrix7 on

Sawreet ferthee our Keith standin theer layke cheeseat forpunce doin nuthin but bletheron. It's right champion bein ear but ah'm afeart trouble aint intmill, troubled be if nextime I sithee I still be talkin like this.

Keith on

Or as monty python would say..who'd a thought forty year ago we'd be here drinking our chateu de chatolay..when we were growing we had it tuff..aye aye..we used to have to get up in morning and walk twenty mile to school then come home to where we lived in a little corridor..oooo we used to dream of living in a corridor..etc etc

astrix7
astrix7 on

Set, game, match to you....

shirlprins on

hilarious !!

Keith on

If you don't get to meet max and jimmy et al ..dad used to live in a little block of houses that had a pub in it ..imagine going out your door and three houses down popping into pub and then staggering home after a few dozen pints..luxury !
The block stands pretty close to what was an intersection at the bottom of a steep hill and there were a lot of accidents with the big trucks from the cement factory coming down that hill..legend has it that dad's mother was home when a truck crashed into her house..twice!! ..they say this started her many nervous breakdowns..but I think that she also lost some brothers in ww1 and maybe this had something to do with it..I remember dad telling us how he went to see her in the local mental hospital when he was on leave from the navy during the war..he said that she didn't recognise him and by the tears welling up in his eyes you just knew he was really hurt by that..

Keith on

The pub was called the white horse I think and when we visited clitheroe jimmy and his lovely wife used to live in one of the house in the same block.

Keith on

Or was it the black horse?

astrix7
astrix7 on

The pubs names are all about colours and animals, I thought it was the Brown Cow, but you are right it is the Black Horse and I got a photo for the next blog...

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