12, Bowker Avenue.
I visited 12, Bowker Avenue, Haughton Green last night.
It’s the house I was born into in 1968.
And lived in until I was 15.
Craig Pyatt lived next door when I was growing up.
He, when he was in his teens and I was 7, taught me my first rude word.
It was ‘pillock’.
My mum’s car used to park outside.
The car that her dad Harry left her when he died.
It was a black Ford Anglia, the ashtrays stunk and it had the registration 9166 LG.
It’s funny what you remember isn’t it?
She tried to sell that registration plate to Larry Grayson once.
He didn’t want it.
4 Bowker Avenue.
And Mark Woodcock lived at number 4 Bowker Avenue.
I went to his house last night, too on Bowker Avenue.
His dad Keith is dead now and I am not sure about his mum.
He was my first best friend and his dad, my Uncle Keith, made us bacon sandwiches.
4, Bowland Avenue
I went to 4 Bowland Avenue, Gorton last night too.
To visit my grandma.
She died about 20 years ago.
The front garden looked pretty much the same.
12, Elford Grove
Then I went to 12, Elford Road, Gorton.
That’s just about 200 yards away from Bowland Avenue and it’s where my grandma lived with her second husband, Frank Cherry.
From Harry… to Frank.
She cried for years when her first husband Harry died.
I was 3 then, I think.
My grandma, Anne, moved from Bowland to Elford to be with Frank.
One of the reasons Anne fell for Frank after Harry died was because Frank tapped the barometer in the hall when he first visited 4 Bowland Avenue.
Harry had done that every day of his life.
Grandad Frank’s shed.
I looked at Frank’s Elford Grove house from the outside last night.
I spent many days and nights over about 6 years there, being looked after by my grandma and Frank as my mum worked.
I made planes in Frank’s shed as he patiently watched on.
Then Frank died.
Then my grandma died.
So I didn’t go there any more.
The Old Dog Pub
I wandered past the first pub I ever went into last night too.
‘The Old Dog’ in Haughton Green in Denton.
The Village Chippy
The ‘Village Chippy’ is still there too.
I looked at it from the outside.
I felt very grown up when I was allowed to get pudding and chips and gravy from there when I was 10 years old.
I am happy it is still there.
And finally last night, I also found time to gaze across the fields that Darren McLellan lived the other side of.
The fields I used to walk past to go to school.
My mum didn’t like me mixing with Darren McLellan.
Two Trees School.
Darren McLellan went to Two Trees school.
It was a bit rough.
The Dead Man.
These fields are also the fields where my sister Debbie found a dead man.
She thought he was sunbathing.
But he’d died of a heart attack.
Shirley Frost’s Bottom.
I felt Shirley Frost’s bottom on these fields too.
She was 10 I think.
But so was I so I think that’s legal.
You can try visits like this too if you like.
Google’s Streetview really is a Time Machine.