Madchester pavement sculpture, Northern Quarter
I met up with tour guide Chris Norwood the next morning. He’d put together a “Manchester Off the Beaten Track” walking tour for me. We explored Ancoats, a former industrial area which is currently being regenerated, then it was onto the Northern Quarter where we admired some pavement scupltures, had a quick look at the Arts and Crafts Centre and then had lunch at the Odd Bar.
In the afternoon, the Urbis Centre arranged for me to have a Combination Tour – as they offer so many interesting tours, it was impossible for me to choose just one! My tour included Corporation Street Post Box, Royal Exchange Theatre, St. Ann’s Square, No 1. Deansgate, Triangle, Lincoln Square and Chetham’s Library.
Carolyn Hughes, author of Manchester is Ace, met up with me on the evening of Monday 27 July. We went to Chinatown and ate at Fu’s Restaurant in Faulkener Street. I had noddles with prawns and whilst the prawns were large and juicy, the noddles were rather hard as if they had dried out from sitting around for too long after cooking. Carolyn’s pork curry was very tasty.
On the morning of 28 July I was back in the Northern Quarter at the Pop Boutique and Mod Pop Cafe, where you can indulge your retro passions in clothes and be transported back to the Swinging Sixties in the vegan cafe.
My final appointment in Manchester was for lunch of local/eco sandwiches and cake with Susie Stubbs of Travels with my baby at the Cup in the Northern Quarter. While I was waiting for Susie I bumped into local poet Carol Batton, who composed a short poem for the Summer 09 UK Blogging Tour, followed by a video interview. After lunch Susie also did a video interview with me. Then it was time to head to the airport for my flight to Belfast.
I found Manchester fascinating and could have easily spent another few days there. I didn’t even have the opportunity to try a rice and three (curries) in the Northern Quarter or visit any museums or galleries.