All materials of value have been removed

I found the sad little row of houses, in the shadow of the being-demolished Pear Tree Court, on the way back from the pool yesterday, but didn’t have a camera with me. So I went back today to get a few photos.

There’s something about the phrase “All materials of value have been removed” that just screams book title to me. Something angry about privatisation, the erosion of British values by the sort of people who call for children to be taught them, a disaffected population and, probably, a riot. It’s a story I’ve been trying to find my way into since 2011, but I just can’t work out how to do it. If/when I do, I have the cover for it right here.

After taking a load of pictures of the houses and the tower block, I went off for a ride and found a few more interesting places to photograph. Use the arrows on the embed to navigate through the set.

If you want to own Palace Bingo, formerly the Victoria Theatre, then it could be yours for a mere £175,000. I suspect you’ll need a lot more than that to get it into a fit state to use it for anything again, though.

Shameless star Maxine Peake attacks Tory ‘untruths’ over leftwing library | Culture | The Observer

Shameless star Maxine Peake attacks Tory 'untruths' over leftwing library | Culture | The Observer.

I walk past the Working Class Movement Library on the way to and from work. I really should drop in and have a look around.

The surprising thing about this report isn’t that Tories would make such dumb statements about it, but that Salford actually has any Conservative councillors in the first place.

A Wander along the Irwell valley

Yesterday, I resurrected an old fair weather tradition. I got on the bike and headed off in a (fairly) random direction until I was a bit lost. This was a lot easier back in the days when the only guidance I had was a copy of the A-to-Z, but it can still be done. As I was following, roughly, the Irwell upstream, coming back by a different route was as simple as crossing over and finding out what was on the other bank. You can scroll through the images above to follow my journey. The Rails to Nowhere image is available on prints from Deviantart and posters and postcards from Redbubble.

I actually started out in the shadow of the railway line, until I hit the Manchester and Bolton Canal. I’ve spotted it a few times on the train up to Cumbria and been meaning to ride along it for a while. This is one of the canals that is never going to be resurrected, as it’s been broken at various points along the route. A small part has become the Salford Lads’ fishing pond. Another bit is a breeding ground for truck tyres, it seems.

Further on, the canal has filled in and become overgrown. Bits have been burned. It was hard to tell whether this was a controlled fire to clear away brush, but there were some signs suggesting it was deliberate. Just beyond the burnt out section a small bridge (does it count as an aqueduct if it’s only a single, small span?) had been demolished. Another reason the canal’s never seeing a boat again.

Eventually, the trail I was on reached the Irwell. By this point, the canal was just some rough low walls that vaguely recalled having water between them once upon a time. I crossed over and carried on upstream until I reached Giant’s Seat Wood and then Ringley Bridge, where I crossed over and came back. My return route took me along the Irwell Sculpture Trail, but I only saw the one sculpture.

Finally, I was back in Salford, landing on tarmac in Kersal. If you’re interested in mildly gothic/half-timbered pubs, the Racecourse Hotel is up for sale. Should dark green faience be more your style, the Pendleton Co-operative Industrial Society building which once housed Houston’s Butchering is also on the market.

RIP (sort of) The Mark Addy

I never got to enjoy The Mark Addy in its more recent foodie guise, but I have fond memories of the cheese platters it used to do. It was an option as a food stop on my upcoming birthday pub-crawl, but may now be by-passed (if it’s even open to sell beer) as it’s off the route a little.

THE well-known and much loved Mark Addy pub is to close as a restaurant with immediate effect. This means it will not re-open after the Christmas/New Year break which was due to finish on Monday 6 January.

Costs associated with upgrading the kitchens and restaurant areas have led to the decision. The physical upkeep of the site has been an issue for some time.

via The Mark Addy To Close | Food Drink | Manchester Confidential.

Soldier arrested in Germany following discovery of nail bomb in Salford

Terrorism news from a little too close to home. I can’t really see Patricroft from my flat, but it’s this side of the horizon when I look out of my kitchen window.

(Please also note “extreme rightwing” leaflets were found along with the bomb. We seem a touch too eager to forget that white folks can be terrorists too.)

Mellor Street

via Soldier arrested in Germany following discovery of nail bomb in Salford | UK news |

An architectural wander around Pendleton


At noon and six pm (and around 10 am on Sundays) church bells play a tune over Pendleton. I think this church, St. Thomas, is the culprit.

Heading east from St. Thomas, I found the first evidence of what would become a recurring theme.


The Pendleton Cooperative Industrial Society put their name to a lot of buildings in the area.

Post-industrial Pendleton seems to have mostly gone over to recycling based businesses. In its run-down, faded way, it reminded me of Ancoats and canal-side Manchester in the nineties and early noughties, though I’m not sure it will ever be rehabilitated and gentrified in the same way.


Laundry Street is just as sad and abandoned as the sign suggests.


This spire standing by itself in the middle of a housing estate intrigued me. Why was it left when the rest of the church was knocked down?


The rest of this building has been demolished, so all you get is the end of its name.


….and two different dates.

There are more images in the Pendleton Architectural Wander set, and more to explore. I’ll get on the bike some day and have a longer wander around the area.

RIP All Souls church/Bogle checkpoint 11

RIP All Saints church/Bogle checkpoint 11, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

The hall attached to the church used to be a checkpoint on the Bogle sponsored walk, the last one before the hard final slog along Liverpool Street to the end. More recently the checkpoint moved to the car park.

They started knocking down the hall a while ago, but I expected the church to be left standing. So I was surprised to find this pile of rubble. No doubt it’s going to be replaced by bland apartments. I’m no expert on church architecture, so I couldn’t say whether it was a good example, but it’s a fair assumption that whatever replaces it won’t be as nice.

(Plus, I can’t imagine where the local scallies are going to go to smoke dope?)

Update Ooops. I called the church All Saints in the original version of the post. It’s actually called All Souls. My bad.

The debate is now officially closed 1

Salford based political genius Richard Carvath is a gift that just keeps on giving. He’s supposedly on a self imposed blogging embargo until the end of October, but he keeps breaking it. Most recently he popped up to give us “a rare glimpse of the sort of efforts I do make with the media in my work, and also to show the sort of well-written, heavyweight letter which rarely sees the light of day in newsprint“.

The well written letter goes Godwin in the first sentence by comparing someone with a view different to Carvath’s to the Nazis (and slave traders). It ends with the heavyweight suggestion that human rights abuses in China somehow are the same thing as women in Salford choosing whether or not to have an abortion.

It’s almost too easy to pick on Carvath, but whilst he maintains his ill informed and often offensive opinions he’s going to keep providing material for my amusement.

An architectural wander near the Irwell

Architecture near the Irwell

Whilst wandering around looking for places to leave G.I.s this afternoon I decided to explore around a short stretch of the Irwell. I even did a little bit of timid urban exploration, nosing around open doors and going into places I probably wasn’t allowed. All good clean fun.

I need to explore more of Salford. The bit just across the river that I explored today was an interesting mix of glass and steel new builds and faded and crumbling old red brick, often pushed right up against one another.

On a side note, my camera has some issue with red in RAW format (or .CR2, as this is a Canon). Does anyone know anything about this? Is there a flaw/eccentricity in the sensor of the Canon G11? The onboard JPEG processing deals with it, putting the red back when it’s needed, but I’m not always so good at that when I “develop” it in Photoshop Elements.

The Irwell wander photos can be found here.

Some things, it seems, you can’t find online

Or they’re so deeply buried that you give up before you get to them.  One of the subjects discussed in the pub on Friday was the paintings of L S Lowry and where exactly they depicted.  There’s a book- Lowry’s City: A Painter and His Locale
which tries to track down a few of them but, after a bit of searching, I can’t find much online.  The wiki entry for Lowry names some locations (I didn’t know he’d done paintings of Cleator Moor, for instance), but no-one’s tagged them all on Google Maps.

Consider this a Lazyweb request- someone put Lowry’s paintings on a map for me please.

Everyday People- Spencer Tunick’s naked installations are coming to Manchester, get involved

Spencer Tunick is known for creating art installations involving hundreds of naked people and photographing them. He’s done them all over the world, and now he’s coming to Manchester and Salford. Sign up through the Lowry to take part in the two day event, Tunick’s first multi location shoot, which has been inspired by the art of L S Lowry himself.

The 12 days of 2007 – January

I published a few pieces of fiction in January-

A Sort of HomecomingVenn (which is now the title of Spinneyhead Presents’ current project.) – How Deep is Your Love

Celebrated my birthday in typical style.

Memory started filming, with footage shot in the Green Building and Salford Quays.

And I ended the month by proposing a cycling petition.

David Bentley Ltd

David Bentley Ltd, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

I’ve been spotting this mascot (a lion?) from cars for years as I’ve gone past, but I think this is the first time I’ve stopped to take a picture.

There are a few other photos from a wander around Strangeways and the Salford border on Monday on Flickr.