12 February 2024

Stockport Stories

It's all about Stockport this month as I'm currently researching the Town Of Culture for a new commission called Stockport Stories and I'm also reading there this coming Saturday, at the first-ever event at the brand-new Underbanks branch of Greenhouse Books – the showcase of Confingo writers, including myself, Elizabeth Baines, David Gaffney and Adrian Slatcher has now sold out!

Not to worry if you missed out on tickets to that, though – tickets have just gone "on sale" (they're free!) for our first Stockport Stories performance. You can get your mitts on them here. The premiere takes place on Thursday 11 April at the awesome Rare Mags in Underbanks; the second airing will be at the wonderful Mura Ma Art Gallery in Marple on Saturday 20 April. See the lovely poster by creative Stopfordian David Bailey for all the details – I can’t wait to meander among you with my watery words exploring the rivers swirling beneath your feet as you wander the Merseyway mall munching your Greggs pasty!

A week or so back, I took advantage of a day swap with Jobshare Matt and jumped aboard a No42, heading off on a day trip to sunny Stockport (actually, it made an attempt to mizzle as we got off the bus). ‘Twas a writing project research trip to check out the rivers and find the confluence of the Tame and Goyt and the resulting source of the Mersey, as seen from a cobbledy road that crosses the nice old double span sandstone bridge shown here in various guises, including as a painting by the rather ovelooked artist Alan Lowndes (below), who was born in Heaton Norris. The confluence is right next to the M60 ringroad motorway, and the Mersey promptly turns a corner and disappears into a culvert beneath the shopping precinct, only to be spotted via a peculiar hole in the pavement near the British Heart Foundation, before disappearing again out of sight and mind.

Once the Mersey re-emerges, down the bottom end towards the Pyramid and near the Weir Mill warehouses being developed under the viaduct, next to the bus depot, opposite Kwik-Fit, there's a weir and a beach I located from good old Google Earth, but no way of getting down to them. The trip also saw us locate a blue plaque giving a nod to Lowry having painted it on occasion (as in in paintings, not as in the Forth Bridge), pop in the Plaza and chat to a nice old gent in a red bowtie about afternoon tea, scoff a Greggs pasty (told you), procure some secondhand patent peeptoes for a dream, swing by the “new Berlin” Underbanks and Marketplace, and quaff a bev or two in the Cracked Actor. Good day out!