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"End to End via the Margins"
-the diary of a walk.

- Hadfield to Manchester


Leftovers... I should have mentioned yesterday the peewits and curlew(s) over the top on the Transpennine trail. The peewits I'd known before, but I've never noticed a curlew up there before. Wonderful sounds, and a great feeling, striding down towards Longdendale. And the highland cattle, docile but worrying to someone of a nervous disposition, were elsewhere on their range.

Today's journey was mostly gloomy, with some showers towards the end. It's not being Manchester that makes it wet ... Manchester was enjoying the same dry weather as the rest of the country up to a couple of days ago, and now it was enjoying the same rains.

I walked past the pickle factory which had so recently changed hands with so many promises from the purchasers and was now due to close. I walked down the hill from Mottram, where I could see Fiddler's Ferry power station near Widnes in the distance. This was to be a day for seeing further than I could walk. Yesterday I had walked hundreds of time further than I could see. I walked down past Hattersley's bright new Sure Start notice, and remembered that Tameside, east Manchester and the surrounding moors have been the scenes of horrific murders. What drives people to do such things? My fear is that, despite what the popular press would say, the people who do these things are not so different from us as we'd like to think. Somewhere, we all have it in us. And the seeds of such horrors are there in our family and communal life, in exploitative images and parental cruelty and all the things we hardly even notice. There is no mystery to the propagation of sin - it is a fact of nature. May God forgive us.

You may be old enough to remember "the blue lamp" - in which a kindly policeman ISTR is killed by someone. The blue lamp today is in the toilets in Hyde, and prevents people shooting up in there, by rendering their veins invisible.

Further on is the scene of the Hyde Colliery explosion. 23 people died on the 18th January 1889, and five were seriously injured. I note that this Monday, 28th April, is international Workers' Memorial Day. It is good to remember the people who have died in industrial accidents and from occupational diseases, to show respect as we do for the victims of war. It's also an opportunity to encourage everyone to do everything they can to prevent such things happening any more.

A little further on the road, and there are the hand car washes. I wondered what the pay is like. I suppose I could have asked, but I was already tired.

When I lived in Manchester decades ago, there used to be a slogan "kill the Kingston stink". As I passed Kingston it became clear that the stink was indeed dead. So was the source of the stink dead too, with the loss of jobs, or was it just cleaner now? I didn't know. Maybe you do.

Approaching Manchester, I came to the scene of the "Fenian Ambush" of 1867, in which two Fenian prisoners were rescued and a policeman shot. The rescuers were captured and hanged within two months. In Ardwick, there is an Irish bar. As in Birmingham, Manchester's Irish pubs are often in a less welcoming part of town. Historically, poverty and wealth have also played a part in differences between the Irish and English. Look at any question of violence and often there is also a question of justice. In Manchester by the railway, I discover the new location of Harry Hall's bicycle shop. This used to be near the Cathedral and must have got bombed by the IRA. And there are rumours of major concessions possibly leading to a peace in Northern Ireland. The troubles have a long history. May Ireland's peace live even longer.

At the end of the day, the setting sun triggered off a magnificent, intenese, almost semicircular rainbow in a departing shower.

Pictures from today... none
God of justice, we pray for the peace of Northern Ireland.
We give thanks for all the tireless work,
in open and in secret,
for people's willingness to lose face, to make concessions,
all for the sake of peace.
May it happen, may peace and justice come.
Let it be so, Amen.

We remember those who have died in accidents at work,
or been killed by mesothelioma and other work related diseases.
We express our grief at their deaths
and pray that their memory may help us
to make work safer for succeeding generations.
We pray for those who have been injured
or who are worn down by disease.
God give them hope, we pray.

God of life,
we pray for those who have a family member, friend or lover
who has been murdered.
Help them through their horror and shock,
through griefs still urgent after years.
We pray for the police,
that they may survive the daily contact with horror,
that they may investigate successfully and accurately.
We dare to pray for those
who have done something terrible,
that they might find ways to give life to the world.
And we pray for ourselves,
for we are sinners and in another life,
or even tomorrow,
could put someone to death.
God forgive us all.
© Bob Warwicker. The words here may be reproduced freely, but not for gain, or without attribution. All alterations must have the permission of the author.