I really love walking with Matt. He’s fast, chatty and unlike Stafford Paul sometimes stops when the red man shows at the crossing.
But I sometimes forget he’s only nnnnnn19, and doesn’t remember the 2 events that define modern Manchester. By which I mean the closure of Tommy Ducks and the 1996 bomb which forced two ancient pubs to be relocated brick-by-brick from the back of the Arndale, where we’d headed on our quest for lunch after admiring the Abel and the Unicorn.
You’re not allowed to eat inside at the moment because, y’now, Covid.
“Meet you outside the Shambles” I said, decisively.
“What’s the Shambles ?“
“You must know the Shambles. OK, Cathedral Gardens then“
“The football museum !”
Why can’t young people protest about the lack of real ale in Sinclairs like they did in the ’70s ?
Have you ever seen the Shambles so empty ?
But it all looked rather beautiful, and hearteningly spotless.
We pressed on towards Salford, clearly finding a rare hill near the Irwell.
I tried to do justice to “Proper Salford”, taking in the Egerton Arms and the New Oxford, but I fear my efforts were wasted. Back across the river for a last hurrah then.