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Welcome to Salford and Oldham

"Welcome to Manchester" say the big banners on the side of a steel fence that looks (and is designed) to keep people out. And from the tram behind the conference centre, we can see police road block, and groups of police in high-vis yellow vests walking along from their car park, chatting in groups, to the centre. It's a funny sort of welcome.

"Welcome to Manchester" say the hotels around Salford Quays where I'm working... and indeed they do provide a warm welcome as their coffers kerching to the money rolling in - their prices for one day last week (the Liverpool / Man U match) and this week (the conference) are three times the rate I usually pay, and as a matter of principle I'm not going to stay there and encourage their greed.

The real northerner - and in that I include the new northerner who's roots are a continent away is, truely, welcoming. And that's in spite of there being some of the most run down areas I have come across around here. Last week's B&B (the place in the distance), the mixed up suburban street on my 2.5 mile walk to where I was training, and the environment in that area.


 

 


I actually feel very comfortable in any of these areas. A smile and an appreciation of people, and you get that smile and appreciation back. I've been offered a seat on a tram (!), space was willingly given to me when I had a heavy bag in the rush hour, I was asked for a light (by a couple of schoolgirls who must have been in their early teens!), greeted with "Hi, Graham" at the big block I'm training in (goodness - the receptionist knows me), and helped when I walked into a pub to ask for directions to the hotel I've booked for this week. Make no mistake - behind the exteriors that put off some are hearts of gold.

Last week, I stayed in the North of Salford. Not back there again this week simply because it was too long a walk - 2.5 miles each way - to those digs; this week I'm booked into a hotel that's shown to be 200 yards from Oldham Werneth station. I remember Werneth and this area - Shaw and Crompton, and Werneth, are back to family roots. I remember getting off a train at Werneth, walking up to the old Victorian terrace that Aunt Gladys lived in - 96 Victoria Street - as I recall, with a back alley and mill opposite - and that warm, warm welcome. Tomorrow - if I get a chance - I'll take a walk that way.

Alas, much of the infrastructure has changed / gone derelict and been replaced. Werneth Station, said to be close to my hotel, WAS close to my hotel - but there's no station there now. The trams just thunder by on their way from Freehold to Mumps, and I've got a half-mile, up-hill walk. But again, I've got a good value place that's got what I need, and gruff but friendly staff and management who have hoiked their prices to take advantage.

Let me share a few more pictures.


 

 

 

 
Manchester tram in Oldham. Old route - trams now go over the hill

 

 

 

 


I want to get an early night so that I can take a longer walk to Freehold station via Victoria Street in the crisp light of dawn.
(written 2013-09-30, updated 2013-10-05)

 
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Reaching a hotel standard where 99% of guests would return - and maintaining that standard
Some other Articles
Melksham to Bath and Zigzag buses - at a turning point?
TransWilts Trains - running a successful campaign talk
Reaching a hotel standard where 99% of guests would return - and maintaining that standard
Welcome to Salford and Oldham
Grumbling about trains? Buses can be far worse!
Exceptionally, I sign a petition - on a life and death issue for Irish dogs
Changing transport and destinations - looking forward to a good future
Where are you? How to write a geosensitive application
Setting and publishing your hours to suit your customer base
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