Sunday, 24 October 2010


Despite the weather we had a great weekend in Manchester. On Friday night I went round a few of my old favourite city centre pubs - all still thriving I was happy to note. Hilary came up from Hereford on the train on Saturday morning (feeling very pleased that she is at last entitled to an age-related concession: An over-55s special offer on Arriva Trains Wales!
That evening we went to a concert at the Bridgewater Hall, just a few minutes walk from Castlefield moorings. Its quite impressive and certainly better than the Free Trade Hall it replaced, but I have to say I don't think it has the "wow-factor" (or the acoustics) of Symphony Hall in Birmingham.
Today has been warm and sunny and perfect for entertaining a few friends who still live locally (or reasonably locally) to belatedly help me celebrate my 60th birthday.
Happy Birthday, Jim!
Many of those present knew this area of Manchester thirty to forty years ago when it was a decaying post-industrial wilderness with very little public access and those who hadn't been back before were amazed at the changes and how pleasant it now is.
Good view of lock 92 from the Hilton Tower

Every waterfront development must have an iconic footbridge!
Middlewich Narrowboats' Beech" wasn't the only hire boat to visit Castlefield to day. This morning we were approached by the crew of an Alvechurch boat that had navigated to the end of the arm and back and asked to tell them "the way to the Cheshire Ring! (Answer: round the corner and up those locks you've just come straight past!)

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