Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Exploring Salford

The only boating we did today was to push across to the other side where we were slightly less under the footbridge. We did do some cycling, however, initially to Salford Docks, sorry, Salford Quays as it's been rebranded.

This is Salford's answer to the Taj Mahal.

The amount of redevelopment around the docks is impressive. I made a point, of course, of searching out the BBC buildings, not an especially difficult task.

We spent some time in the Imperial War Museum (North), but it was too dark to see the exhibits properly. I left Jan doing some shopping at Tesco Express in Trafford Road while I cycled off down Ordsall Lane looking for a pub I went to as a student. I couldn't remember what it was called, but I could remember very clearly the tables being exceptionally heavy, made from old sewing machine stands covered in copper. I stopped at the first pub I came to, the Bricklayer's Arms, bought a half of Holt's Black and asked some locals if they knew what I was talking about. They did. The pub with the copper tables was the Welcome and it had stood next door until it was demolished many years ago.

On I went, cycling through my old university campus (Salford) which is having a lot of building work done. I crossed the Inkwell Irwell to where the Civ Eng building should have been, but it was a pile of rubble. I used to go to the AV unit nearby to play with cameras and boom microphones in their studio; that has also vanished.

My next port of call was Castle Irwell, the student village. That is now barricaded off ready for redevelopment. I helped out with SUR - Salford University Radio - there (and got to shake the Queen's husband's hand when we were presented to him once. The Duke of Edinburgh was the Chancellor.)

Then I cycled to Oaklands Road in Kersal where I lived for three years in the halls of residence. Gone. They are now houses.

Still, I enjoyed my trip back in time, and I didn't expect everything to be preserved as it was 40 years ago.

This evening we had a good meal at a Wetherspoon's in Oxford Road before walking round a lot more of Manchester before returning to the boat.

Tomorrow we move on, probably just to Worsley. Meanwhile my windlass is getting rusty.


Jim said...

John, As you say - big changes in Salford. Do you remember the Chemistry Tower with its Parernoster lifts? - also gone, although the adjacent "Old Tech" Victorian building is still there. I pass the University frequently on the train wihich stops at Salford Crescent station - something that wasn't there 40 years ago!
On your way to Worsley you'll pass under Patricroft Bridge and within a few metres of another of my old Salford residences. I drove double decker buses across that bridge for a while after leaving University. Happy Days!

Jim said...

"P a t e r n o s t e r " he said, spelling it out to defeat his iPad's spellchecker, which I don't know how to switch off!😗

Halfie said...

Yes, I remember Tower and the Paternoster. Also the "four, seven, eleven" lift (it would stop only on those floors going up to save time).