Changed views

I’m lucky enough to have, and have had, some very clever friends – friends who were clever and excelled in a variety of fields – those school chums who got top marks in all subjects, sciences, languages, arts; a college friend who seemed to be able to pick up any language and understand it fluently whichever country he visited, and pick up any instrument and play, and build his own boat (in the dining room) and ground the lenses for his own telescope; the amazing teachers I worked with who excelled at their own subject, were good at sport, played in the local brass band… and my husband, a gifted percussionist and drummer,  a cricketer, a great artist, a superb cook, a clever writer – and he would add a first class beer drinker!

One of my oldest and certainly my closest friend (oldest in years I’ve known him, not in terms of his age!) is Andrew Simpson, by profession a history teacher, now a writer and very successful blogger. He writes mainly about the area of Manchester where he lives, but he also writes about the city itself, its surrounding area, history, its people and stories. As well as writing (he’s published several acclaimed local history books) he is a superb photographer – he captures the unusual, the passed-by, light, shade, people, and today he shared a wonderful photo, which I think is just stunning (I’m going to ask him for a copy!)

Here is a link to Andrew’s blog:

and the picture  accompanies a story is here:

Andrew’s picture is of a canal lock in Salford, whereas my featured image which is of the River Irwell.

When we first came to Manchester, many years ago, it was a buzzing city, even then, but there were still many sites of neglect – including bomb sites left over from the war which hadn’t been cleared and rebuilt then. The rivers and canals were similarly neglected, filthy in places, disgusting and clogged with rubbish as well as weeds. Derelict waterways which had once been thriving and busy routes into a thriving and busy industrial areas – mills, factories, wharfs, docks, warehouses – were like the sewers of the city.

Now they have been given new life; not only is the water clean and the fishermen casting their lines along the banks, leisure craft of every shape, size and sort, enjoying the freedom of travelling through the city and out into the countryside and beyond, but for the walker there are  accessible paths and walks alongside with pubs, cafés and hostelries bustling and busy.

Just recently I have come back to writing poetry, and using Andrew’s picture, and maybe my own, I think I have the inklings of a new poem!

Here is a link to more information and pictures:




  1. david lewis

    I was born and raised in Old Trafford Manchester and it seems to me that it rained every day. If my parents didn’t bring me to Canada I could have been one of Hermans hermits. Love Canada but after all the years still miss England a lot. Gonna sing Kind of Hush today at Karaoke.Wish you were there !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lois

      I worked in Old Trafford for a while – Chorlton where Andrew lives, and I used to live is just down the road! Have you looked up your old address on Google Earth to see if it has changed?


  2. david lewis

    I used to live in a terraced house on Duke Street just off Shrewsbury street by St.Brides church. There is nothing left but an open field. It is sad enough to find out about it’s loss on Google maps let alone being there and trying to find it. It’s like some one erased the blackboard of my life as if nothing I wrote on it mattered. Change is inevitable and needed but they could have waited until I died.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lois

      It’s heartbreaking when the past disappears; I know it’s not the same but the junior school I went to, which my dad, aunty and uncle all attended was pulled down and now there’s just a block of rubbishy flats there. xx


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