Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Only in Manchester

Having been invited to join Kris and Bernard and help take "Sunshine" down the Wigan locks I travelled up to Adlington to meet them. The journey involved changing not just trains but also stations in Manchester and I was looking forward to it.

I suppose most people have a soft spot for the city in which they spent their student days - and I certainly do. In fact I made several unsuccessful attempts to leave the Manchester area before finally coming to live in Hereford and even then I had regrets about leaving. I can never walk out of the front doors of Piccadilly station without a feeling of excitement and of being glad to be back and this time was no different. Although there are various ways of travelling between Piccadilly and Victoria stations I opted to walk to enjoy the city at close quarters. Within minutes I was reminded of why I like the place so much. Calling in at a cafe for a tea and a bacon butty and stopping in a couple of shops to buy things I'd forgotten to bring I was immediately reminded of how friendly everyone is. In Hereford its a condition of the job that shop assistants are miserable, but in Manchester - even in large city centre shops - the staff will tell you that they hope you enjoy your day (and then look out of the window at the rain and say - "Oh!...well enjoy it as much as you can". Only in this city will a stranger come up to you looking at a window display in the transport bookshop and say "'t little train's not running today - they usually 'as it goin' back and forth" leading to a conversation about the state of Britain's railways!

I was quite sorry when I finally got to Victoria and it was time, yet again, to leave the city. This time, however, not for very long....

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