Bradford? Preston? Wigan?

Aug 2nd, 2007, 10:33 PM
  #21  
 
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You might get the number 10 bus from Lverpool to St Helens, rather than the train.

It takes you along the Somalified stretch of Kensington (look out for the studio where the Beatles made their first record), through miles of rundownery no-one's ever going to put a call centre in, followed by Knotty Ash (google Ken Dodd if you're not familiar), then Prescot (once the world's cable manufacturing capital and now my own nomination for Britain's crappest town) before offering a little tour of suburban St Helens.
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Aug 2nd, 2007, 10:50 PM
  #22  
 
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Actually, I kind of ment it. I do the same but with birdwatching locations. You can, however, see that there's a difference?

This is not part of the world I know, well, but I do recall being diverted off the M6 on one occastion and having to go through places that I previously thought only had rugby league teams. Like St Helens. And maybe Warrington (is thet possible). I thought it looked like one of Dante's circles of hell......
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Aug 2nd, 2007, 11:50 PM
  #23  
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Well, for all his whining, I think old Dante actually had a pretty good time down there. I wouldn't want to give the impression I'm looking for a "cheap holiday in other people's misery", but yeah, you could call it a form of birdwatching. But I certainly don't take offense, and freely offer up the admission that I'm a bit of a nutter. Bing bong! I'll probably have my camera taken by the police.

From what I know about birdwatching, some of the best places are sewage works and the like, so I'm not sure your hobby is THAT advanced above mine. I'd like to be a birdwatcher, but I just don't have what it takes. My wife is pretty handy with the bird book but I'm like "er, it had a, uh, beak I think. Yes, I'm sure of it".

I've encountered the, mm, artistry of Ken Dodd before, and unlike abandoned mill sites some cultural expressions just don't travel, I'm afraid. What IS it with English comedians and buck teeth?

Ken Dodd (OBE!) made me think of Les Dennis for some reason, and lo and behold I find he's from Liverpool too.

That bus ride sounds terrific.
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 01:13 AM
  #24  
 
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Warrington's only Dante-esque if you share my dislike for the Legoland new building in its New Town area centred on Birchwood. Its traditional centre has bits of mild, market town-esque, near-elegance. It's based on a Roman settlement, and other bits of its suburbia have extensive Alice in Wonderland connections. Loadsa new money in the town, and never really Went Down in the way most of Merseyside did.

I think Sheila's confusing it with Widnes, an early pioneer in the alkali industry (with a museum of alkalis to prove it). So grotty I'd purged it, and (especially viewed from Runcorn) well down to fnarf's standards.
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 01:17 AM
  #25  
 
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*Reads thread* *Faints*
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 01:28 AM
  #26  
 
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This from a man who voluntarily goes to White Hart Lane every fortnight.

And was educated near Waterlooville.
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 02:01 AM
  #27  
 
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I avert my eyes from White Hart Lane. It's grim up north london.

I've never been to waterlooville. I think I will die being able to make that statement.

*boggles at the idea of an alkalis museum*
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 02:10 AM
  #28  
 
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Ken Dodd leaves me cold, I can't stand the man!! Maybe its the old North/South divide in 'culture' kicking in.... and you actually KNOW Les Dennis over there too?!!!!
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 04:37 AM
  #29  
 
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Saltaire is world heritage site and pretty good. Also if you want the big city life Leeds is just down the valley. The others are pretty naff
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 04:42 AM
  #30  
 
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vhs100

'Sheffield's history is based on the steel industry - most of which has now sadly disappeared.'

You will be interested to note that actualy more steel is made in Sheffield now than at any time in its history.

Jim
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 09:31 AM
  #31  
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I only know Les Dennis from his bitter, lovely appearance on Ricky Gervais's "Extras".

Widnes I will be enjoying on the Manchester Ship Canal cruise. Alkali plants, that sounds vile. I can't wait. I think I'll pass on the alkalis museum though.

One of my favorite things about Britain is the strong feelings of regional distaste among people who live practically next door by our standards. Warrington is about as far from London Portland is from Seattle -- and we think of them as close friendly neighbors (and mild rivals) and think nothing of dashing down there on a whim, even for a day trip sometimes. Anything less than about 500 miles isn't "far".

Audere, I'd love to come see the Police Museum in London instead but they won't let me in. And frankly, I'm still a little miffed about them tearing down the Euston Arch in 1964.
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 09:45 AM
  #32  
 
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I'm sure you have walked the tow paths along London's canals - especially gritty is the area west of Little Venice.
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 09:48 AM
  #33  
 
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I would suggest Wigan only because George Orwell's writing fascinates me and his "Road to Wigan Pier" is an interesting read.
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 09:53 AM
  #34  
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No, I never have, though I've taken a canal cruise from Camden Lock to Little Venice, and walked around the area a bit. I have fond memories of being followed by a gang of small boys with sticks, who each in turn would ask me a question, and then fall about laughing at my answer.

It was eerily similar to an episode just a year earlier walking around in a really nasty part of East Oakland, and being followed by a gang of small children with baseball bats. As with the sticks in London, I was sure I was about to receive the full Lord of the Flies treatment, and bleed out my last drop in the gutter there. But all they wanted to do was laugh at my shoes, which (being a fashion plate) were patent leather, and to them looked like cop shoes, so I had the bizarre experience of being followed by a dozen small boys making siren noises with their mouths.

I assume that in Widnes or Warrington the charming small boys WILL in fact bash out my brains.
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 01:05 PM
  #35  
 
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JimSteel

Yes I am surprised in some ways but I guess with efficiencies gained from progressive technology/equipment perhaps I shouldn't be. I'd be more surprised however if the industry employs as many people today as it once did. As a child it seemed to me that everyone either worked down the pit, in a foundry, steel factory, cutlery factory.

fnarf999 - apologies for hijacking your post. VHS.
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Aug 3rd, 2007, 03:17 PM
  #36  
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VHS -- you are correct, modern steel plants require almost no employees compared to the old days. Similarly, the amount of cargo that moves through Liverpool is vast, but modern containers require but a tiny fraction of the workers in the old longshoremen-toting-sacks world.
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Aug 4th, 2007, 02:10 AM
  #37  
 
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If you want to see the Euston Arch, it's in pieces shoring up a bank on the River Lea. If you want horrible, grimy, industrial wasteland then you could do a lot worse than the Lea.

From the site of the Enfield factory (guns and damn fine motorbikes), now housing, down to the new olympic park area there is run-down grottiness in abundance.

When I were a lad the River Lea was so polluted it used to catch fire. Now it's got fish in it again.
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Aug 4th, 2007, 02:29 AM
  #38  
 
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I'd vote for Sheffield as well (I'm a biased resident of God's Own County) You'd definitely find the chip shop turned into an Indian take away that you crave. Lots of them and all lovely.
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Aug 4th, 2007, 11:10 AM
  #39  
 
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libuse - 'ere, 'ere!
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Aug 6th, 2007, 06:32 AM
  #40  
 
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In Feb did a day trip to Chatham to see the newly rehabbed Maritime Museum there in the old docks area.

and even if you don't care to pay the 10 quid or so to go into the museum there are several immense old boat sheds that are open and yet rehabbed.

Chatham is a rather gritty town as well.
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