Saturday, 12 July 2014

Road Trip

I have been up to Manchester for a few days to help The Boy move house. It is bit of a trek, but traffic was good and the drive not unpleasant. After my failed attempt to visit IWM in London, I was determined to make it to IWM North at Salford Quays, and my visit was not a disappointment. It is a fantastic building, with a vertigo-inducing 'Air Shaft' viewing platform - which I braved, holding onto The Boy the whiles. The nice guide at the top coaxed me to the edge so that I could see Old Trafford and "into Coronation Street", and then started telling me about the zip wire that they run across to the Lowry. He was so excited about "opening this wall here" and "running this gantry out over there" that he failed to notice my green tinge. He suggested that I come back and try it, but I pointed out to him that my screams would break all the windows in a mile radius at least so he agreed that it might not be such a good idea. The other member of our party of two is, however, rather keen. It remains to be seen whether I could watch.

The main exhibition space contains a piece of wreckage from 9/11. Monumental and profoundly moving.

Inside one of the 'silos' is an archway made of suitcases, backpacks etc to represent migration and refugees. It stopped me in my tracks

Another highlight for me were two handwritten drafts by Wilfred Owen; one for 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' and the other for 'Dulce et Decorum', the latter including a couplet which did not make it to the final draft:-

"And think how once his face was like a bud
Fresh as a country rose, and keen, and young"


On Wednesday I visited Dunham Massey, where the National Trust have re-instated the Stamford Military Hospital within the house. Too many people to really get the full impact of it, but rather well done. I shall visit again for a more thoughtful progress and read of the personal stories.

All in all, a good research trip, with many ideas now brewing / reinforced for September.

Airports passed:- Southampton, Birmingham, Manchester, East Midlands, Luton, Heathrow.

Counties crossed:- West Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Middlesex, Surrey, West Sussex

And my back held up throughout, TBTG.

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