Moving walk on historic trail
AT this year’s Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival Literary Walk local writers skilfully and often movingly gave their impressions of the most famous (and infamous) buildings and places in Middleton.
Middleton Library - Ann Robinson Poem. The Queen’s Free Library was officially opened in 1889.
Long Street Methodist Church - Freda Robinson Poem. Designed by Middleton born Edgar Wood – opened in 1901 as a church and school.
The Olde Boars Head - Katie Haigh Poem. Believed to date back to 1587. Sam Bamford used to pop in for a pint and to recite his poetry.
Jubilee Park - Louise Bezyk Poem. Opened in 1889 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. A former private garden bought by Middleton Borough Council to provide a recreation ground and free library for the town.
Flood Memorial - Ashleigh Haigh Poem. Erected in memory of those that died in the 1927 flood when Rochdale canal burst its banks at Mills Hill and merged with the River Irk sending a wall of water heading towards the town.
Edgar Wood Exedra - Carol Keys Poem. Designed by Edgar Wood in 1906 to link the Parish Church to the Park. An Exedra is a semi-circular recess which in Greek and Roman times was a place where people could converse. St Leon- ard’s Church - Freda Robinson Poem. Believed to be the oldest church in the Manchester Diocese, from a simple wooden church it has been rebuilt several times, the wooden steeple was added in 1627 and is believed to be one of only three in the whole country.
Middleton Old Cemetery - Robin Parker Poem. Split into three sites around St Leonard’s, the resting place of the town’s great and good including political radical Samuel Bamford.
Samuel Bamford Monument - Robin Parker – Oldham Tinkers Song. Standing in Middleton Old Cemetery a memorial to radical and reformist Sam Bamford. During his time at sea Sam began to write poetry and soon turned his pen against the government and its corn laws to demand better rights and working conditions. Sam led the Middleton contingent to Peterloo in 1819.
Middleton Library – Anchor - Ann Robinson Poem. A coal dealer and scrap metal merchant John Hulbert donated the anchor to the library in 1893. He had the contract to salvage the Sirene which had collided with the North Pier, Blackpool.
A short walk across Middleton changed our perspective of a very familiar town. OCTOBER at Rochdale’s weekly music at lunchtime concerts at St Mary’s in the Baum was particularly varied and memorable with instruments and voices galore.
Greek flautist, Anna Rosa Mari, was joined by Welsh harpist, Eira Lynn Jones, in a perfect pairing. Their introductions were charming and engaging and their wonderful playing of works including Mozart, Schubert and Debussy.
Voci voices performed at St Mary’s in the Baum