Manchester & Area
From Fort William we took the train south into England and through the Lake District – but we didn’t see any lakes. We stayed for a week in Bolton, just outside Manchester.
On our first night in Bolton the hotel fire alarm went off at 1 am. Such a startling awakening. We had to go out into the cold dark night until we had the ok to go back in and back to sleep. There didn’t appear to be a fire though. After our night time excitement, we managed to get up in the morning at a decent time and took the train into Manchester. We covered a lot in one day – we went into the Manchester Cathedral, saw the “Hanging Bridge” by the Cathedral, toured the Jewish Museum, saw the famous Manchester City Hall, and toured around John Ryland’s Library. The lives of featured Jewish immigrants to Manchester were quite interesting. It was worth the search and nice walk to the museum.
We heard about the interesting town of Chester near the northern Welsh border so the next day we took a train ride to visit it. As soon as we walked into the town from the train station, I thought it was amazing and beautiful. We walked around the town and, of course, went into Chester Cathedral. We also walked around the perimeter of the town on the old wall.
The “Death or Glory” photo is in a pub we ate in. A little bit weird we thought. Get a look at the strange uniforms. Anyone have any insight to the team and their uniforms?
We had terrible luck getting back to our hotel that evening. We had just missed the connecting train to Bolton and had to wait for 1/2 hour until the next scheduled one. However, this next one was late by another 30 minutes or so which meant we waited an hour. Then, once off the train, we had to run to the bus depot to catch the bus that would take us to the hotel. However, we missed that, too. Apparently, in the evenings the bus leaves from a different bus stall. So even though we made it to the bus depot in time, we watched it drive away down the street from another bus stall. Another wait of an hour for the next bus. So we got to our hotel room after 11 p.m. that night.
We stationed ourselves in Bolton for a few days because we have a few relatives there and that is where our grandfather was from. Donna had seen our second cousin, Susan, recently, but I hadn’t seen her since 1967. It was nice to see her again after so long. So we explored Bolton by seeing the Town Hall and checked out the historical display in Bolton’s library.
Susan guided us by bus to the town of Farnworth (where we believe our family was originally from and where we got our family name). The town of Farnworth is still there but officially it is part of Bolton. I was getting a bit carried away snapping photos of signs that say “Farnworth”. Rather unusual for me to see as I usually need to spell my last name for people most times. Susan also took us to the Tonge cemetery where we eventually found our great grandfather’s and great, great grandfather’s graves.
We also went to a very picturesque town of Ringley Bridge. It was such a beautiful day, many of the town pub’s customers were sitting and socializing along the Church’s stone fence next door to the pub. A good atmosphere in this town.
Susan then guided us by bus to Smithills Hall – an historic house. Donna and I toured through it and then met for the first time a first cousin, once removed, and her friend, both in their eighties, who live in the area. They were both so charming.
We had one day left to explore before returning home to Canada so we went back into Manchester for a tour of the Chetham Library. It was most impressive. It was very old and dark but it has one of the few remaining church “chained” libraries. Next we walked to the Salford Quays area – an emerging new neighbourhood. Here we toured through Ordsall Hall – another historic house that is 500 years old.
Alas, our wonderful trip was over. Back to Canada and our normal lives.