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Sunday Morning in Rochdale.

Discussion in 'Exhibition Lounge' started by Fishboy, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    I was in the pub on Friday evening (where else?), bemoaning the lack of decent light for photography in Rochdale of late when a friend told me that the weather around here is so changeable that I should carpe that diem and just head out with a camera whenever the weather looked reasonable. I should have known this myself, but I'm pretty much a numbskull, however when the light was a bit interesting this morning I leapt into action, grabbed 'The Beast' and boarded a bus for the bright lights of the teeming metropolis that is Rochdale!

    Alighting the bus, the fist thing I noticed was the remains of an old building that, many years ago, housed a hippy-dippy beardy-weirdy shop (with a Greek restaurant downstairs). The building is in serious disrepair and is probably going to be demolished soon.

    [​IMG]sun001 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    I walked past the long-closed Spread Eagle pub. Whilst I don't like seeing closed pubs, I have to say that the swill they had the effrontery to call beer in this place is possibly the worst I've ever tasted, so in the scheme of things its closure is no great loss.

    [​IMG]sun002 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    I used to go out with a young lady. One evening we had something to eat and then headed down to The Reed Hotel to meet some friends for a drink. We'd been there for half an hour or so when she started to squirm a little, she reached down the front of her top and into her bra and produced a piece of cheese. She held it up to us and said "I dropped this at Jeff's house when I was eating earlier and couldn't find it - now I know where it went!" and promptly popped it into her mouth and ate it. The Reed Hotel, the last time I was in there, featured a shady character who tried to sell me a stolen credit card, so I'm going to say that the place has gone downhill.

    [​IMG]sun003 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    Whilst Oldham cries from the rooftops that it's the 'home of the tubular bandage' (indeed, Mumps Bridge in Oldham had 'Welcome to Oldham - Home of the Tubular Bandage' painted on it for many years), Rochdale has many more claims to fame. Foremost of Rochdale's historical 'firsts' is the creation of the first ever co-operative society in 1844, at a shop in Toad Lane. To this day, co-operative societies throughout the World operate on 'The Rochdale Principles'. That first shop still exists and is now part of the Rochdale Pioneers' Museum.

    [​IMG]sun005 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    Next door to the Pioneers' Museum is The Baum pub, which won CAMRA's award for the best pub in the UK in 2016. The pub's now run by my friend Jon Hudson, so I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that the quality of the beer is even better now.

    [​IMG]sun007 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    Next week Rochdale has a festival on called 'Rochdale Uprising' which will feature well-known artists from all over the country creating murals at various locations around the town. I recall that Hilda Ogden was particularly fond of her 'muriel'. I caught a young lady called Tasha Whittle making an early start on preparing her mural next the the Pioneers' Museum and asked her if I could take a picture. She agreed, as long as I didn;t show her face. I asked whether that was because much of her work was done 'outside the law' and she wanted to retain her anonymity, and she replied "no, it's 'cos I always look like a right gawp in photographs".

    [​IMG]sun010 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    Here's a couple of Tasha and her associate in the shadow of the museum and with the Morris van in Co-Op livery that's used as a flower planer.

    [​IMG]sun011 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    [​IMG]sun012 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    Rochdale's Memorial Gardens commemorate the town's dead from many wars, and have nothing to do with celebrating the town's record for having cooked the largest pancake in the World.

    [​IMG]sun013 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    Finally, since the UK tour of Dippy the Diplodocus from the Natural History Museum will include a four and a half month stop in Rochdale early next year, the council has decided to drag the borough, kicking and screaming, into the Cretacious Period by putting up a T-Rex model in a garden outside the Town Hall.

    [​IMG]sun014 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    If I were to end this mini travelogue by saying that I then popped into The Flying Horse for a couple of pints and a full English breakfast, you wouldn't be overly surprised, would you?

    Cheers, Jeff
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
    El_Sid, Zou and Catriona like this.
  2. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    You almost make Rochdale sound interesting.
    now try that on Oldham:)
    Or perhaps Saddleworth:rolleyes:
  3. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Saddleworth I could understand, it still has a lot of history around and is a lovely area, but Oldham? Last time I was there, they had just about destroyed the town centre to rebuild yet another shopping precinct and one-way roads.

    However, I like the set, Jeff.

  4. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Carpe that diem is exactly what we should be doing.

    I spent 90 minutes today stuck in the worst place in the world, my own head, before managing to crawl out of it and take some pictures.

    Thanks for sharing these, I enjoyed them.
    Catriona likes this.
  5. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    I could discourse at length on the subject of Oldham as it was thirty years ago. The Bath Hotel with a Thomas Crapper water closet in a case on the wall, The Greaves, The Royal Oak, where every flat surface inside the place had a model of a dragon on it, various goings-on in the Hark to Topper and down in t' Coal Hole. I could talk about the icy, Arctic wind that blew through St Johns Precinct on even the warmest of days. of Mr Pierrepoint's pub, The Help the Poor Struggler, of rock nights in the Black Horse and of rugby nights in the Shepherd's Boy and the Gardeners Arms at Watersheddings. The less said about The Greenacres the better. As Steve correctly points out, the centre of Oldham is now a completely different place, having had all of its character forcibly removed by town planners.

    I once married a Saddleworth lass, so I have a fair working knowledge of that area as well, although most of my time was spent in the Woolpack in Dobcross (which I believe is no longer a pub), at the Top House (The Swan) in Dobcross, The Cross Keys and The Church and the Navigation in Uppermill and the Cross Keys in Delph which was a Chinese restaurant the last time I saw it.

    Cheers, Jeff
  6. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Remember a St Pete's precinct [what did they think these things were, American police wossnames?] which replaced some marvellous old roads - carriage width, ancient things straight out of Dickens - and shops, one of which was where I learned to love real coffee, but St Johnies?

    Last I heard, the Top House had shut as well.

    The Broadcar [can't remember the proper name] at the base of Harsthead Pike has shut as well. Was a wonderful place. Went up there a good few years back with aged p. and wife of the time and was told "We've had some great times here, we had a bunch of barmy morris dancers here a couple of years back." "It was him." said the aged p. and wife in one voice.

    God, I'm glad I was able to leave the place.

  7. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    You're absolutely correct about the name of the precinct - in my defense I plead an excess of alcohol.

    If the one near Hartshead Pike that you're talking about was the one in the farmhouse, where the bar was in the front room, you sometimes had to shift some washing out of the way to sit down and one of the walls was made of wood with cows in a shed on the other side of it, then I was always told that it was called The Colliers Arms.

    Cheers, Jeff
  8. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    That's the one!

  9. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    EVERYWHERE has interesting bits. Sometimes they just need a bit of finding...
    Catriona and Zou like this.
  10. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    I remember learning about the founding of the Co-op as part of my O-level History course way back when. Sadly all I can remember is that I learnt about it, what I learned has long been erased by time and beer...:rolleyes::D

    As it happens when I went to college in Preston the Co-op near my digs was a Pioneers branch. Do they still call them Pioneers round Rochdale? Down my way the Co-op is just the Co-op, they've long since dropped the 'Portsea Island Mutual Co-operative Society' title...
  11. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    Nope, the ones around Rochdale are just called 'Co-Op' nowadays. There used to be a big Co-Op on the corner of Church Street and Oldham Road in Newton Heath when I was a lad, and my gran would always make sure she collected her "divi" stamps and stick them in a book until it was filled and she could reclaim the money. The tills in the big Co-Op all had special stamp dispenser machines with dials on them - like a rotary telephone dial, which the staff would use to dial-in the value of the sale and the machine would then spool-out the correct number and value of divi stamps.

    Cheers, Jeff
  12. PeteE

    PeteE Well-Known Member

    I was evacuated to Rochdale in 1940 DELEMERE ROAD I remember -- when the Germans got Norway their Bombers could reach Northern Towns so my Mum said we should go back to Manor Park, East London and be bombed there !
  13. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    Delemere Road just off Stiups Lane - I bet you had some fun trying to pronounce that!

    Cheers, Jeff

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