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Posts Tagged ‘Worsley Village’

‘Well, at least the canal is nice.’

‘What?’

‘I said, the canal is nice.’

‘The what is nice?’

‘Oh for God’s sake, this is stupid.’

Half an hour ago, this seemed like a good idea. I’d picked up a guidebook courtesy of Salford City Council and its walk – a heritage trail around Worsley Village – seemed like a nice enough way to spend a sunny afternoon. Fresh air, a canal, somewhere for Milo to totter about, maybe even a café selling like-mum-made-them cakes: what could there be not to like?

But right now we’re standing next to a queue of honking, sputtering cars. I imagine clouds of fumes puffing from their exhausts, their toxic emissions clinging to the back of my throat.

I hold the guidebook in one hand; the other is clamped across my mouth. That, and the fact that we appear to be standing in the middle of a motorway, makes holding a conversation a little challenging.

‘Right, I’ll read what it says.’

I raise my voice so that Simon can hear me. Glancing down at the pram, I notice that Milo is stuffing Monkey’s paw into his mouth, presumably to filter out the fumes.

‘OK, here goes: “Where the motorway slip road now runs stood the 18th century Bridgewater Hotel… the inn was eventually demolished to make way for the construction of a new gatehouse and the present day Bridgewater Hotel opened the very next night. The gatehouse was demolished to make way for the M62 motorway…”’

‘Say that again, the last bit.’

‘”The gatehouse was demolished to make way for the M62…”’

‘Sorry, you mean we’re standing underneath the motorway looking at a concrete bridge, surrounded on all sides by traffic, just because this was were a pub once stood?’

I scan the text, eyes flicking left then right like Action Man. I nod, slowly.

‘And there’s definitely no pub here?’

I look over my shoulder in the vain hope that there might be something historic lodged in the resolutely contemporary concrete struts of the motorway bridge. There is nothing. Simon and I look at each other and then Milo looks up, with what appears to be a pleading look.

‘Home?’ I venture.

We cross several roads, about a dozen lanes of traffic, wait forever at an almost redundant pedestrian crossing (because, really, who would want to walk round here?) and, at last, settle into the haven of our own little fume belcher.

The irony of fleeing Worsley’s dire traffic by firing up the Mini doesn’t escape me.

Ratings. Babychanging facilities: No. Cafe: No. Buggy-friendly? No, lots of steps. Cost: Free Worth it? No.

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