The Past

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

L. P. Hartley   1895-1972 

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Beetham Tower

Beetham Tower built in 2006 is the tallest building in Manchester. The Hilton Hotel is situated in the first 23 floors and the remainder of the 47 floor building is private flats and penthouses .

It was designed by Ian Simpson and is certainly a well known Manchester landmark. Seen here from the banks of the local canal with it's new low rise apartment blocks alongside.


Tuesday, 30 December 2008


This nasty looking face can be found in Manchester's Albert Square - near to the town hall.

Not one of the local politicians I may add ..


Monday, 29 December 2008

China Town

The entrance to China Town, Manchester

The gateway makes it look very mysterious and exotic.


Sunday, 28 December 2008

Monochrome Monday - 29th December

Another old photo - again of my mother - and I would imagine mid/late 1930's.

Rowing on a lake somewhere - possibly Platt Fields or Heaton Park in Manchester.


Saturday, 27 December 2008

Christmas Day

Christmas Day in Deansgate Manchester and no traffic - leaving quite a nice fresh smell to the place.

One or two people about and even a cafe open ...  very reminiscent of weekend life in Manchester forty years ago - the city would be deserted on a Sunday - very few inhabitants and not many restaurants or pubs open in those days ...


Father Christmas

Father Christmas is alive and well and living in front of Manchester Town Hall ...

No sign of the reindeer or little elves !!!!


Monday, 22 December 2008

Manchester United F.C.

The Manchester United football stadium as seen across the water from the Lowry Centre at Salford.

Sunday saw the "REDS" beat Liga de Quito of Ecuador in the FIFA Club World Cup held in Yokohama Japan.

Wayne Rooney scored the only goal of the match in the 73rd minute. 

Some very happy fans here in Manchester this weekend ...


Sunday, 21 December 2008

Do you ???

Do you ever have trouble viewing my Blog ?? Your comments  appreciated ...

It's not always apparent whether people have problems viewing - speed of download and ability to leave comments.

I've recently tried to leave comments on Blogs only to find that the whole system comes to a grinding halt and results in the  old "turn off and on again" ..

I do think too many a gadgets tends to slow response times down.

What do you think ?


Monochrome Monday - 22nd December

Back again on Monochrome Monday after a month away in Spain.

Winter in Spain is not all sunshine - here at Guardamar on the Costa Blanca the sea is whipping up into  a frenzy .. no swimming today !

At all seasons the wind can actually make the sea here quite choppy - luckily in summer the beach is patrolled by life guards..


Friday, 19 December 2008

PhotoHunt - Wide

Today PhotoHunt is wide - so that means wide open spaces ...

If you're looking for something wide and open then you can not get anything wider than the Niagara Falls ( well  actually you can in South America  ! but we'll forget them )

If you go to Canada or the USA  it is a place you must try to visit and a helicopter ride around the Falls is a great experience but not for the faint hearted !


Monday, 15 December 2008


Certain sections of the BBC are being relocated from London to Manchester.

This is the BBC site under construction near the Lowry Centre, Salford, Manchester

I would imagine  that it will take some time before this site is completed.


Wednesday, 10 December 2008

The Bridge

This foot bridge links the Lowry Centre across the old Manchester Docks  to the Imperial War Museum North and further on to Old Trafford home of Manchester United Football Club.

This bridge can be raised to allow ships to pass under.


Friday, 5 December 2008

Which way ??

Which way to go - such a choice ??

Canada Geese captured down in the Lowry Centre.


Monday, 1 December 2008

Odd corner

Here we have an odd corner of a very ornate and Victorian building - Manchester Town Hall.

Very imposing - it was built in the time cotton was king and the city had new wealth.  The building was a symbol of the city's wealth and industry.


Thursday, 20 November 2008

The Metro

The Metro - if you ever come to Manchester you will see these trams crossing the streets of the city centre.

They are a great form of transport - fast and usually efficient.

We are promised extensions to the metro lines  ( in particular to the airport) but we will see what happens ..


Saturday, 15 November 2008

Central Station

Manchester's old Central Station long closed to railways and now an exhibition centre - it was to here that I took the train as a youth from my home in Stretford to the city centre - 6 minutes !! It was great !!!

It was possible to travel to Liverpool and Chester from here - now you use Oxford Road Station.

It seems strange now to visit exhibition stands or watch shows where once trains stood..


Monday, 10 November 2008

A trip to the bank ...

Today I emptied all the pots with saved coins and small useless low denomination currency - popped out to the bank and paid into my account  £102 - a very pleasing feeling ...

I notice in my local store that a machine will turn my change into cash and only charge me a fee of 7.9% !! Feed your change into the machine and it prints out a voucher which then take to the cash desk for cashing ( in notes I assume ).

Sorry but in my book change is cash already .... perhaps it is my family upbringing but I could never pay someone or a machine to count my money for me !!! Just take your change to the local bank. Today I would have spent £8 using that machine to convert the change to notes.

This form of laziness reminds me of the time I was sat in our car outside one of the local shops - children emerged from the shop with their sweets and then proceeded to throw their small change on the floor - I assume because they could not be bothered to put it in their pockets. Once they had gone I went and picked the money up.

Do the words " Waste not - want not "  or " Easy come - easy go " come to mind ?


Sunday, 9 November 2008

Monochrome Monday - 10th November

During WW II the troops had to be fed and this is where the NAAFI came to the fore. They ran the canteens that fed the troops.

NAAFI stands for Navy, Army, Air Force Institute.

Like members of the armed forces the staff also wore a uniform. This is my mother around 1940/41.

She was employed by the NAAFI at their site in Heaton Park, Manchester.

Not only were there British troops here but also members of the Free French Army and a considerable number of Poles who trained for the Parachute Regiment at Ringway Airport, Manchester.


Thursday, 6 November 2008

St. Ann's Church, Manchester

The other day whilst in Manchester I managed to capture one or two more photographs for my Blog and here is one  -

St. Ann's church in St. Ann's Square in the centre of Manchester . Built of local pink  sandstone it dates back from 1712 and is the only remaining church out of 19 that survived from the 18th century.

The church tower is said to mark the exact centre of Manchester.


Heywood - In need of repair !

This lane is certainly in need of repair .. it connects the main road with a near derelict mill and is only used by a few odd lorries and dog walkers.

I doubt very much if Rochdale Council will worry about the state of this lane ..

No doubt this country area will be turned into a rubbish dump or have industrial units built on it in the future .. that seems to be the nature of things in this town ..


Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Manchester - King Street.

Manchester's King Street -an upmarket shopping area near to Deansgate. Full of expensive shops this area was once the haunt of the " well to do  " high earners.

I think people now prefer to do their shopping in " out of town " shopping centres like the Trafford Centre.


Tuesday, 4 November 2008

ABC Wednesday - P for Palm

ABC Wednesday - and we now have P for Palm.

We've all seen palm trees somewhere but who's seen them made of concrete ??

You'll find a collection of giant concrete palms here in this little square in Guardamar - all looking very attractive amongst the trees and bushes .

It was not always so - at one time the square had no trees or bushes and was frequented by " the young " on skateboards - not really an attractive place at all.

Summer 2007 and planting out of the area commenced and within a year the trees and bushes have taken hold and are now a good display .. making the whole area look a lot better .

Derelict Lancashire

Down by the River Roche in Heywood, Lancashire this cotton mill would once have been a centre of hustle and bustle - cotton goods being sent all over the world to our old Empire.

The cotton industry has long gone from this part of Lancashire and the mill which is in a very sad state  just houses one or two small businesses .


Sunday, 2 November 2008

Monochrome Monday - 2nd November

Here we have a really old photo of my grandfather possibly taken any time from 1910 to 1930 - it's so difficult to say when ..

Sorry the quality is so bad.

As you can see he was a printer ..


Sitting on the side of the dock ..

This lot are waiting for something to happen - not sure what ?

Picture taken at the old Manchester Docks - now the Lowry Centre.


Thursday, 30 October 2008

The Lowry

This is the entrance to  The Lowry ( Salford Quays ) where you will find theatres, bars, conference centre, wedding venue and of course art exhibitions including those our local artist L.S.Lowry.

Very modern - the Lowry Centre is based in the old Manchester and Salford Docks which ceased to operate several years ago - in fact part of my job in a Shipping Company ( late 1960's ) was to take documents down to the docks from our office in the centre of Manchester.

How things have changed - this area has a modern shopping outlet and hundreds of apartments plus museums and a boating club.


Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Manchester - The hidden part

For most people the face of Manchester city centre is one of bright lights, shops shops and more shops , bars, cafes and museums but it also has a quieter side to it .

Hidden from most eyes are the canals and rivers  that run behind the shops and bars. Here the Rochdale Canal winds its way through the city centre.

The tow paths can actually provide a quicker route across the city centre than the  roads with all their traffic, hustle and  bustle.

Not somewhere to wonder late at night though ..


ABC Wednesday - O for Oxford

This ABC Wednesday is O for Oxford

Here the punts are lined up waiting for the university students 

If you want to know all about this leisurely pursuit then go to

And good luck ..


Tuesday, 28 October 2008


This is the result of our first attempt of growing mushrooms from a starter pack - 202 grammes .. !!

I expected far more ???

The information on the box tells me I should get between 3 or 4 crops - crop No. 2 is now under way and I am expecting to get far more ..

I'm not very good at this growing veg lark...


Monday, 27 October 2008


This beautiful flower arrangement was a thank you gift to my wife. They are lovely - such vibrant colours

I received Belgian chocolates which were eaten faster than it took the flowers to fade ..


Sunday, 26 October 2008

Monochrome Monday - 27th October

This ornate fountain can be found in the local park in Guardamar on Spain's Costa Blanca.

The finish to the photo is classified as antique ( somewhat like me )


Friday, 24 October 2008

Sugar , Sugar ....

If you go down the the Eden Project in Cornwall you'll find the " Sugar Lorry "

Lots of bright paint work .. 

Interesting place to go is the Eden Project - well worth a visit ..



A reminder of the summer past - blue skies and bright flowers

Picture taken in Guardamar.


Sunday, 19 October 2008

Monochrome Monday - 20th October

Off to the seaside early 1950's complete with bucket and spade and it's me .. places to go and things to do.

Looks like Llandudno in North Wales.

I look like I'm going to cry - and I did hate the curly hair which I spent hours trying to comb straight ..


Friday, 17 October 2008

PhotoHunt - Family

Christmas is a FAMILY time.

Family presents are laid around the Christmas tree and everyone has a wonderful time  !!

A wonderful time in theory - by the end of the day everyone is a little tired and thinking was all the expense worth it. 

Roll on summer holidays ..


Sitting around ..

Sitting around - watching the world go by ...

A good book to read - what more could a man want ..


Thursday, 16 October 2008

The old ruin

This place can be found in the centre of Heaton Park, Manchester 

It looks in a very sorry state - fire and nature seem to have ravaged it over time ..

A great pity really for it would make someone a grand house 

No doubt in some future time it will be demolished whenever the Council have sufficient funds in their coffers.


Tuesday, 14 October 2008

ABC Wednesday - M for Montréal

M is for Montréal which we visited in 2003 for a very wet and windy 2 hours while we waited for our coach to take us to the railway station for an overnight train journey to Halifax.

The 2 hours just allowed a little time to visit the Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Montréal and basically shelter from the rain ..

It's very beautiful inside and I managed to capture these images 

It was very dark inside from what I can remember so I was quite lucky to get these photographs.


Autumn - Red Berries

The sight of red berries on the trees and bushes is a sure sign of autumn and of course the approaching winter.

These were snapped in Heaton Park, Manchester

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Monochrome Monday - 13th October

Another Monochrome Monday and another blast from the past.

This is my aunt Lily in her Girl Guides uniform and I would guess that the picture was taken in Chorlton, Manchester in the early 1950's.

She was a Girl Guide leader and a Sunday School teacher for many years and I would imagine that she's about forty years of age in this photo.

I do think the uniform design has changed quite a bit since those days !!! 

Saturday, 11 October 2008

PhotoHunt - Lazy

This is a lazy sunny Sunday afternoon in St. James Park, London

The spring in the South of England this year was very wet and cold and this was the first weekend of the summer with decent weather. Thousands of people came out to the parks and gardens to enjoy the weather and just to laze around in the sun.

This oasis of calm is only a few feet away from Buckingham Palace and all the heavy traffic of the capital. Just the place for a lazy afternoon.


Thursday, 9 October 2008

Rochdale - Town Hall

These mythical golden creatures are guarding the entrance to Rochdale Town Hall.

Today was one of the few sunny mornings we've had for a while and I managed to shoot some photographs around the town.


Time for a rest ..

A couple of starlings just taking a rest on top of the TV aerial ..

They will need to take care - a sparrow hawk is known to frequent the area ..


Tuesday, 7 October 2008

ABC Wednesday - L for Liverpool

I felt that I was running out of suitable photographs to load to my Rambler Blog. So a few days ago, I travelled from Manchester one sunny morning on the train to Liverpool with the intention of taking quite a few photographs of this city made famous by the Beatles.

First problem was that  it was very dull and not the weather for taking photographs -

Second problem - the batteries in my camera failed and  I could only  take two pictures -

and here they are ..........

Near Lime Street bus station looking across the city to the famous Liver Building.

" Somewhere "  behind  Lime Street  railway station near to the Walker Art Gallery.

I shall have to return some time - on a sunny day - and with fully charged batteries ..


Monday, 6 October 2008


In days of old when you owned a pad like this the last thing you wanted were cows and sheep wondering up to your front door.

You wanted a fine view - minus the blocks of modern flats of course

So you had your staff build a hidden wall to keep out the stock.

And this was called a Ha-Ha.

You'll find this one at Heaton Hall, Heaton Park, Manchester

Penguins - move your cursor and take them for a walk !!

Say it as it is ......

Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land amongst the stars.

Look around !!!

What is this life, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare?

W. H. Davies  1870-1940