Back to my roots.
At long last, the weather has done what is is supposed to do at this time of year, and that is sun, sun, and sun!
You might be wondering what on earth the " back to my roots " stuff is all about…..well patience my friends, for I shall explain that statement, albeit in a roundabout way…. possibly.
I don’t know whether you have ever had this feeling, its when you think you remember something from years ago, and talk about it, but you don’t really know if you did it ( I told you this was going to be roundabout! ) ,…well many many years ago, when I was a young pup, my grandparents used to live in Bury , Lancashire, on Parkhills Road, and we used to go up and stay with them quite a bit.
My grandad died in the mid 60’s, and my gran ( not the one that died last year ), moved down here to be closer to her family, my dad being the only child.
BUT… when we were up there, us kids, used to go a play football on Bury Football clubs’ pitch at Gigg Lane, and I remember running down the Parkhills Road, through some small cobbled back streets, through an alley, and then onto said pitch.
I also remember running from my grans house, over a park, into Bury Town Centre,then running back again, just for the hell of it.
I can remember catching a bus to Rochdale ( 3d old money ), then hiding on the top deck of the bus when it reached the terminus, so that the clippie didn’t mark my ticket, and I could get back to Bury on the same ticket and only pay for a single…..
Anyway, i got it into my head, to actually go to Bury, and visit some of the old haunts, and see if
a) I could remember them
b) prove to myself that I had done the things I thought I remembered.
so Saturday , we fuelled up the car, prepared some cookies, and sullied forth northwards, Bury bound.
Approximately 2 hours later, we pulled up at Gigg Lane, Bury F.C. , with all intentions of having a look around , and buying a Bury shirt.. its a bit like gloryhunting, only in reverse!
Unfortunately for me and the old Growler, it was shut… both the ground ( which I sort of expected ) and the fucking club shop ( which I didn’t expect ), so the shirt was RIGHT OUT !
its fucking shut!!
No matter, the ground was an incidental really, as it was my grandparents house that I had come to see, so trusting to dim memories that were almost 40 years old, we set off, down the cobbled streets that I remembered ( wahey… strike 1 ! ) in the direction of the aforementioned domicile.
Cobbled Street.. quaint!
We walked for a short time, until we came across a park.. hmm , could this be the park.. Its got a running track round it now.. no can’t be…( we found out later that this was the park, and was about 200 yds from the house ), so we carried on a bit further, until the old growler made me ask someone where Parkhills Road was… not far away was the answer, but we were at the wrong end, so we walked up Parkhills Road, with my brain lost in nostalgia,working overtime trying to remember stuff.
We followed the round for about 800yards, round the bend, and there on the corner, just like I remembered it, was the house.
Only not quite, the garden seemed a lot smaller than I remembered, but it was so familiar, spooky really,the old lean to out the back where my gran used to do the washing with a single tub and a proper old fashioned mangle, was still there, though the fence where my grandad & I used to play darts together was gone.
It became apparent, that some building work had gone on, which was why the garden seemed smaller..
It’s changed a bit!
I used to play on here.. 40 years ago!
Before we had colour!
It was really strange, 40 years since I had last been here,so familiar,yet so different.
So many memories… I stood and just looked for a few minutes…. then decided to take some photos.
" Why don’t you knock on the door and ask the owners about the house ? " says my Mrs, " Fuck off " says I, " What would you think if some geezer came knocking on your door, with a cock & bull story about his grandparents… you would tell him to fuck off " …and with those words the front door of the house opened, and a large burly bloke said in a terse inquisitive northern accent,
" Can I help you mate? "
So out the story spilled, my granparents house, sold it to a Poilsh couple in the late 60’s… haven’t been here for 40 yers etc…… turns out, that the owner of the house had bought it off his in laws, who were the Polish people that my gran had sold the house to!.
We had a good chat….about Bury then & now, the house, the extension,the back yard, his in laws, then said our goodbyes.
I should thank Mr A here for taking the time to talk to us, and let us take the photos,
We decided to stroll into Bury town Centre to see if there was anywhere else I could remember,but so much of it had changed , I really didn’t recognise anywhere.
The old market had gone now replaced by the " World Famous Bury Market "
It’s bigger than it looks.. honest!
The cinema had been flattened, the bus station moved… it is a different place.
It was a lifetime ago.. things change…..
We had a good look around the town, the Parish church, the Shopping Centre ( co Mrs Dog ), and the market, which to be fair, is quite a size, and probably does live up to its " famous " tag.
Bury Parish Church
Stained Glass windows
If this was Paris, we would be coming in our pants!
THe Corn Market – World Famous Chip Shop
Bury High Street
We made our way back to the car, down the old cobbled roads that I remembered, full of nostalgia…
I wanted to come home, but at the same time I wanted to stay longer, to try to remember my grandad and grandma, my auntie Elsie, the things we used to do up there, my happy times when nothing mattered…
Am I glad I went…
Oh yes, it was good to see the house again, and also to reaiise that the things I thought I remembered, I actually did!
Will we be going back again….
No I dont think so….
Bury has changed so much since the 60’s, and so have I.
My voyage of rediscovery has been completed, the wheel of time has turned full circle….
though perhaps I could research my granparents families….
No…not for a while anyway.
Back to my roots… time to move on