I’ve been doing a bit of walking around the backside of Manchester recently for my final project at college. Following the Bridgewater Way gives you a new perspective on areas that you thought you knew well. Distances change, for example – a long-ish journey by road is actually quite short along the towpath; five minutes by tram becomes half an hour on foot.
What you also see from these alternative paths are some stunning examples of the graffitist’s art. The illiterate scrawlings that pepper the well-travelled areas bear no relation to some of the stuff you can find in these out-of the-way places. Who would have thought that this sits underneath the A56 in Stretford:
Lovely, vibrant colours and sense of joie-de-vivre. It has no point other than to exist, and maybe bring a smile to someone’s face and the secret knowledge that you’ve seen it, but all those thousands passing a few feet above have no idea.
If this project’s done nothing else for me, it’s persuaded me to explore the back ways and byways much more than I have before. You never know what little gems might be out there.