John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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The adventure begins (9.00pm)

1965, the year that changed my life
6.40–8.00pm

Chris wrote in 1967: "We bought tickets for Bolton,
and from there we got a bus into Manchester,
after we had written letters home assuring our
parents that we were alright."


video

Wednesday 13th January 1965



Perhaps 9.00pm
 19A. I imagine that as the journey proceeded to Bolton, our elation at our escape began to wane, and we sat in silence, beginning to wonder what we would actually do once we arrived in Manchester. However, I remember that as I looked upwards at the curved seams of the cream-coloured ceiling and the little light bulbs like bright studs between the seams, the rhythm of the train wheels on the rail joints seemed to be saying:
Chris will be cured…
Chris will be cured…
Chris will be cured…”
 20. What struck me most about the approach to Bolton was the number of bridges that the train passed under. The train comes past the gasworks, and then there is a series of several bridges before it comes out over a junction, “Bolton West”. Then it passes under the bridge carrying Trinity Street and immediately arrives at the station.
 We alighted from the train, mounted the steps up to the level of the street, and emerged from the gloomily gas-lit station building.

"The train… comes out over a junction, Bolton West…" — photo from 1977


“…Then it passes under the bridge carrying Trinity Street and immediately arrives at the station. We alighted from the train, mounted the steps up to the level of the street, and emerged from the gloomily gas-lit station building” — photo from 1977, with me in it!
 21. As one came out of the station building and turned left,[1] just ahead was Crook Street with a factory on the corner, and a little triangular island in the road where there was a bus stand from where we eventually caught the bus — either a No. 12 or a No. 8 — to Manchester.
[1] As one came out of the station building and turned left: The station building in the photo has been demolished, and replaced by another one on the other side of the road. So nowadays, one would come out of the station building and turn right. I think the other landmarks in this paragraph have disappeared now, as well.




“As one came out of the station building and turned left [into Trinity Street], just ahead was Crook Street with a factory on the corner [Hick, Hargreaves & Company, Engineers], and a little triangular island in the road where there was a bus stand from where we eventually caught the bus — either a No. 12 or a No. 8 — to Manchester” — photo from 1977, with Chris in it this time


"…Either a No.12 or a No.8…" — a No.12 bus, in 1977
 When we came out of the station we probably did first turn left into Trinity Street, turning right just before the bus stop and going down Newport Street, for at some point during our visit to Bolton we found ourselves walking past the town hall and fountains which are in that direction. We must have walked about a bit first, wandering around.

"We found ourselves walking past the town hall…" — 1977 photo
 22. While in Bolton we decided that we had better write home to our parents to reassure them that we were not just on some escapade. But we didn’t have any paper, so we went round knocking on doors asking people for paper. Where exactly we went to do this is not remembered, but I have a mental picture of terraced houses with short front gardens as I think about this.
 I remember that at one house, a woman came to the door in her cardigan, curlers and slippers, and told us, “No, love, me ’usband locks it away.”
 And then we knocked at another door, and an elderly Polish, or eastern European, gentleman came; and we asked him if he had any paper. He said, “You vant money?”
 “No, paper, paper,” we replied, making writing gestures.
 “Oh, paper money!”
 It took us quite some time to get that paper; we went down a couple of rows of terraced houses — though I don’t suppose we knocked at every door.
 After we managed to get some paper, we went back to the centre of town; we had a cup of coffee in a coffee bar in one of the main streets of the city centre, where we wrote letters; then we walked around trying to find a post office — somewhere with a stamp machine and post box — to post the letters; and finally we made our way back to find where the Manchester bus stop was.

 23. It was on this visit to Bolton that we called it “Trev-town”; for a fourth friend of ours, Trevor, we knew, came from there.

"A fourth friend of ours": Trevor Davies, in 1975
10.30pm–2.30am


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