Thursday, 29 October 2015

Oldham: Twenty years on.

In the mid ‘80’s Frank and Carol would lend me their home on the edge of Saddleworth, right border with Yorkshire whilst they went to Yugoslavia for their annual holiday. Their daughter Jane’s wedding was the last time I was up there; with the girls; Megan and Bronnie, Sian. We had all changed in the car park outside the small chapel - just in time for the service.

We exchange Christmas Cards every year. Each card one plotting changes in our lives. Frank went from international company CEO to become sub-postmaster serving on multi-cultural frontline of Oldham.

A rush of blood to the head made me reach out and invite myself back! Arms were opened wide as I ended the 210-mile journey a Friday or so ago. We rolled back the years. Friendship is not seeing someone for twenty years and then talking as if you only saw them less than twenty minutes ago.

We drove up to Dove Stone Reservoir and looked up to Indian Head


Perhaps this was where I had become re-infected by the bug to draw? On their front room wall was a drawing of Upppermill I made in 1984. Several more small drawings were dotted around the same home that was also mine for several summers.

As I had hoped we went out for a drive around Saddleworth. The district is a jewellery box of villages all set in the west side of the Pennine hills.  We visited Delph, Dobcross, Friezland, and Greenfield (driving up to Dove Stone reservoir).


Dobcross Village - old stones and new bones


In Grotton, the Grotton Arms (where Carol used to work) is now a Co-Op. 

We stopped at Uppermill (for an excellent coffee) at Java No 73 before going back home to Springhead.