Category Archives: vintage

Toilets Of Manchester Tour.

toilet tour 003
The bridge next to The Lass O Gowrie was the site of the Oldest ‘Pissotiere’

Can you think of a more unusual way to spend a few pennies ( Tee Hee )  than booking a walking tour round the old toilets of Manchester??  My friend Fi decided to do just that for her Birthday recently…..and it proved to be a very interesting way to while away a couple of hours. ๐Ÿ™‚  Billed as the cities ‘ most convenient tour’  this guided walk explores the history of Manchester’s use of toilets, from the Industrial Revolution onwards.

We met up with our tour guide and  the rest of the group ( which included a band of  poo enthusiasts !  )  at The Lass O Gowrie  Public House on Charles street , just off Oxford Road.  This old tiled Real Ales pub is situated on the site of  the oldest ‘Pissotiere’ in Manchester. A pissotiere is a much pleasanter sounding word for public urinal. It was a public toilet ( with no privacy ) , where gents could relieve themselves into the river below. As you can imagine the river Medlock soon became a very smelly cesspit.

toilet tour 005

The Lass O Gowrie and nearby The Sailisbury are situated in a part of Manchester known as Little Ireland, a former slum area in the city. Anne ( our guide )  told us  that Irish immigrants moved here in the 1820s to work in the factories and mills.  Conditions were dyre with inhabitants living in crowded squaller in back to back terraces with  

whole streets sharing  just one toilet.  And that toilet was little more than a  big  bucket that was emptied once a week.  ๐Ÿ˜ฆ  With the smog and pollution and insanitary filth , it must have been one hell of a miserable life here. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

toilet tour 006
Temple  Of Convenience !

On a more cheery note our next stop on The Toilets of Manchester Tour, was  a former public toilet which is now a subterranean bar !  The Temple Of Convenience  on Bridgewater Street was one of the Victorian-era lavatories  originally built for businessmen and gentlemen visitors to the city. I don’t think ladies went to the toilet in those days, not public ones anyway!  It would have been fun to bob inside the Temple for a quick half, but alas a drink in a former loo was not part of the  tour. ; (

 Anne regaled us with more tales and information about Manchester’s toilet history as we walked round the city in the wind and rain. It was therefore a nice surprise when she led us into an impressive  Neo Gothic building that looked like a church, but is actually John Rylands Library. 

John Rylands Library was completed in 1900 and was founded by Enriquita Rylands in tribute to  her late husband, a Manchester textile mill owner and millionaire. Enriquita wanted the best of everything in the library , including the latest in modern flushing lavatories. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

toilet tour 018
Inside the magnificent  John Rylands  Library.

 The original  Victorian  toilets ( the oldest working loos in Manchester! ) can be found in the library basement.  Fortunately by 1900 Ladies could use public conveniences too, so Fi , Jo and I trundled off to spend a penny. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

toilet tour 032
The imposing ‘ King Of King Street’.

Our last stop on the tour was  ‘ The jamie Oliver’ Restaurant !   It resides in an imposing  1930’s  Art Decor building , formerly the Midland Bank at 100 King Street , known as The King Of King Street.  

 Whilst the top floors house  a swish boutique hotel called  Hotel Gotham , the former bank vault ( which can be hired out for parties)  is adjacent to the rest rooms, which contain reproduction Thomas Crapper lavatories .  

toilet tour 029
Flushed Away!

Thomas Crapper was a renowned Victorian plumber and inventor whose flush toilets had the Royal Seal of Approval!  His name lives on in potty mouths everywhere. ๐Ÿ™‚

We found this walking tour at manchesterguidedtours.com

ยฃ8 per person.

Can you recommend any unusual walking tours? 

Searching for Panopticons in East Lancashire.

Despite being a Lancashire lass born and bred, the East Lancashire Panopticons have totally passed me by. Until very recently that is, when Richard’s post  ‘ Its Grim Up North’ ( honestly it’s not that bad ! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) , brought Burnley’s iconic Singing Ringing Tree to my attention. Ever since I have been very keen to visit this amazing structure and its fellow Panopticons. Panopticons. Panopticons. I love that word! ๐Ÿ™‚

On the Mid Pennine Arts  Website  I found this description of a  Panopticon.

Panopticon  ( noun) Structure, Space or Device providing a comprehensive or panoramic view.

East Lancashire is home to 4 such sculptures and on Saturday Wil, Hugo and I managed to hunt down two of them. Thankfully it wasn’t a bad day weather wise ( unlike Richard’s experience) and my home county was bathed in sunshine. ๐Ÿ™‚

First we drove to the town of  Rawtenstall in Rossendale and parked at The Whitaker Museum & Art Gallery  on Haslingden rd. The museum is set in a pretty park and car parking is free. There is a cafe and a bar in The Whitaker and a children’s playground in the park. Therefore  it is  a great place to start and finish a walk up to The Halo Panopticon on Top O Slate , in the hills above Haslingden.

panopticons 037
We followed a footpath from Haslingden Old Road up Cribden Hill.
panopticons 005
And found ourselves on ‘The Shoe Trail’ that celebrates Rossendales Shoe Industry.
panopticons 004
Saw some friendly sheep.

 

panopticons 035
And these guys had been rolling in the mud. ๐Ÿ™‚
panopticons 013
The Halo !

It didn’t take to long to find  The Halo an 18 metre diameter  steel structure , supported on a tripod. It definitely resembles a Flying Saucer don’t you think ??

panopticons 015
Hugo and  The Halo.
panopticons 011
Yes Hugo it’s a Panopticon..

In daylight this Panopticon is the perfect vantage point for admiring the panoramic views over  Rossendale.  But it is when darkness falls that The Halo really stands out. The structure lights up at night and it’s blue glow gives the impression that it’s hovering over the valley. Maybe it does get mistaken for a UFO. ๐Ÿ™‚  Check out haslingdenhalo.co.uk  for more images.

After our spaceship discovery we walked into Rawtenstall , had a nosy around the shops and enjoyed some refreshments at  Fitzpatrick’s Temperance Bar &  Emporium.  Fitzpatricks Temperance Bar on Bank Street has been serving Lancashire folks alcohol free tipples since 1890.  In fact it is England’s only remaining original temperance bar !  Having recently been refurbished, Fitzpatricks now sells delicious cakes, icecreams, floats, coffee & tea , as well as  its famed vintage  cordials.

panopticons 045
Fitzpatricks.

We sat outside with a couple of hot cordials. Wil had a Blood Tonic and Orange and I had a Lemon & Ginger cordial. Of course we had to sample some cakes as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

These  lovely  Temperance Bar goodies set us up for our next Panopticon.  The Singing Ringing Tree  is situated about 15 minutes drive from Rawtenstall at Crown Point above the town of Burnley. Taking the form of a tree bending in the wind, this unusual musical sculpture is made from  galvanised metal tubes.  The wind whistleing through them creates a humming sound, as though the tree is singing. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Singing Ringing Tree.
Play those pipes. ๐Ÿ™‚

We were treated to a harmonious wailing up there in the Pennine landcape,which I find hard to describe. Think a cross between angels singing in old black & white movies…and a pack of howling dogs. Hugo was most intrigued..

Hugo being serenaded.

With far reaching views over the urban sprawl of Burnley and to the hills beyond ,this Panopticon  gives the town dwellers and visitors a new appreciation of the surrounding countryside……as well as its own personal backing track. ๐Ÿ™‚

So thats two East Lancashire  Panopticons bagged and two more to go, the others being  Colourfields in Blackburn  and  The Atom in Wycollar Country Park. My Panopticon Quest continues….. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you visited any ? 

Which is your favourite Panopticon? 

Sunday Sevens 29th January 2017.ย 

Hi this is my first Sunday Sevens of 2017! ย Here is what I have been up to in the last week.

Books Read in January.

I have been on a roll reading this month. Three of the above were Christmas presents and all four books I have given solid 4 โ˜†โ˜†โ˜†โ˜† on Good Reads. A whimsical romance with books, a quirky story about a young adventuress who doesn’t recall her adventures, a laugh out loud romp with our favourite singleton Bridget and and an interesting novel about the reintroduction of wolves into Northern England. All good.

Derwent Water Morning light.
Castlerigg Stone Circle.

Last weekend was spent enjoying a mini break in The Lake District. We stopped in a cosy cottage in Keswick with our dog Hugo.Keswick has been voted ‘Most Dog-friendly town’ several years on the run. More about that coming soon. The above pictures show reflections in beautiful Derwentwater and the nearby ancient Castlerigg Stone Circle with its mountainous backdrop.

keswick-jan-188
Stella the Tabby.

On the way home from Cumbria we dropped by a Yorkshire village called Clapham and I met the proprietor of a local vintage shop, who was actually a tabby cat called Stella. ๐Ÿ™‚

New Mugs!

 

Whilst I was away I bought two new mugs from a shop in Keswick called ย Love The Lakes. Mine is the one with the sheep on. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

ย 

Stairway to heaven. Erm not yet!

This weekends job is lots of sanding and getting the stairs and landing ready for decorating and a new carpet. I can’t claim that I have done much to help as Wil does not trust me with a paint brush! To speed up proceedings Mr Hugo has decamped to a boarding kennels for the weekend. It is really wierd without him. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Happy Chinese New year. ๐Ÿ™‚

After lots of decorating prep we stayed in with a Chinese ( do you like my dragon puppet? ) and watched anti-superhero film ‘Deadpool’. Quite amusing!

How was your week?

Snowdrops and Tabby Cats in Clapham.

On the way  home from a recent weekend away in the Lake District we decided to stop for lunch in the pretty village of Clapham. This lovely Yorkshire village deserves a whole day out to appreciate it’s babbling beck, it’s little stone bridges and it’s wonderful walks and nature trails. We will return!  For now, here are a few snaps I took on a brisk walk round. ๐Ÿ™‚

keswick-jan-190
A  Cafe, sadly not open on a chilly afternoon in January.
keswick-jan-173
Clapham Beck.
keswick-jan-174
Market Cross.
keswick-jan-175
Got warmed up in the Local Pub. ๐Ÿ™‚
keswick-jan-177
Village Shop.
keswick-jan-183
Always happy to see Snowdrops. ๐Ÿ™‚
keswick-jan-185
Let Me In That Brook!
keswick-jan-179
Fancy a seat.
keswick-jan-180
Hedge Dwellers.
keswick-jan-186
Where to next….
keswick-jan-187
St James Church.
keswick-jan-170
A Vintage Shop. ๐Ÿ™‚
keswick-jan-172
Treasures !
keswick-jan-188
I went into the shop and was greeted by….
keswick-jan-189
Miss Stella. She sold me a dvd of the film ‘Rebecca’.  ๐Ÿ™‚
keswick-jan-192
The Millennium Stone in the Car Park.

Thanks for stopping by. More posts about my Lake District trip coming soon. X

Ten Fun things to do in December.

I thought I would reblog this Christmassy post from a couple of years ago. Just reading it made me feel so festive. ๐Ÿ™‚

sunshine and celandines

Winter is nearly here ! And festive thoughts abound as December is almost upon us. I thought I would compile a Top Ten post ~ so wrap up snug and warm and take a look. ๐Ÿ˜€

image

Get your Skates On. Lots of large towns and cities open up temporary open air ice skating rinks at this time of year.ย  Time to twirl as snowflakes fall. Or at least cling to the side with a hot chocolate and watch the experts glide by.

Christmas Cocktails. Expand your Christmas cocktail repertoire ( Maybe I should experiment more ~ than just Baileys & Ice. ๐Ÿ™‚ ) , here are some festive fizz and merry mulled wine recipes to indulge in.

Manchester Xmas Market CHEESE! Manchester Xmas Market CHEESE!

Christmas Markets. Continental Christmas Markets spring up all over the UK every winter these days so there is no excuse not to browse the Bavarian style wooden chaletโ€ฆ

View original post 537 more words

Hoof and Rooster.

Clitheroe has yet another New Kid On The Block when it comes to dining out. The ‘Hoof and Rooster’ on York Street is an American Style BBQ and Smokehouse serving everything from Burgers to Brisket in a cool but cosy retro setting. I’ve actually been twice so I thought I had better do the blogger thing and post about it !

wp-image-2081001886jpg.jpg

 

The first time was a Saturday morning at about 11.30am, Wil and I  thought we would bob in for a coffee and a nosy…and ended up staying for lunch. And why not! We had bagged a comfy leather sofa, which was so hard to move from. ๐Ÿ™‚ There was ample  opportunity to take quite a few photos with my phone before the lunchtime crowds arrived.

wp-image-214270644jpg.jpg

wp-image-1934172412jpg.jpg

wp-image-1753305588jpg.jpg

wp-image-1868018163jpg.jpg

The vibe was very chilled with A Fine Frenzy and Ray Lamontagne playing in the background. I didn’t see a jukebox though! Looking around us there was however enough going on to keep our peepers busy. Every wall is adorned with colourful American memorabilia. Retro advertising ( the Lucky strike cigarettes board reminded me of Mad Men), Eye popping wall art, and Neon Signage.

wp-image-1163654515jpg.jpg

wp-image-1518125280jpg.jpg

20161001_214550.jpg

wp-image-1212178088jpg.jpg

wp-image-1209266888jpg.jpg

wp-image-1691506156jpg.jpg

But what about the important bit! The food!!  The menu is very meaty, which you would definitely expect from a Smokehouse. It’s mostly burgers,hotdogs, hot wings, pulled pork, brisket and steaks. On this occasion I opted for the Foot Long American Hot Dog ( Ok, I was hungry!) and Wil chose the Classic Steak Patty.

Our food was tasty and we had a friendly and attentive waitress so lunch was definitely a big thumbs up. And after all that I was still tempted to try dessert. What’s more Stateside than this yummy zesty Key lime pie. ๐Ÿ™‚

wp-image-529051236jpg.jpg

Our second visit was on Saturday evening and as you imagine, it was a hell of a lot busier, with a real buzzing night out vibe. I didn’t take many pics this time. Service was slower, but I will put that down to how busy it was. By the way you don’t have to eat at the Hoof and Rooster. There’s a well stocked bar ( specialising in American Craft beers) and I love the cute booths at the back of the restaurant, with tables made from old cable drums.

This time we were seated upstairs and as we were dining out with some veggie friends, I was a bit concerned about what they would think of the menu. I needn’t have worried. Vegetarian options include Spicy Bean Burger, Macaroni Cheese and Jack Fruit Burger. There’s seafood on the menu too. I really enjoyed my Soft Shell Crab Burger. ๐Ÿ™‚

Great Music, Good food , Good beer , Quirky colourful surroundings. What more could you want in Clitheroe !

Check out their Facebook page.

I might be tempted to bob in again soon…..for coffee and a slice of pumpkin pie. ๐Ÿ™‚