Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs

Last night I was still up late and Shane had gone to bed. I could hear noises like something was banging on the side of the boat. This often happens when a boat passes and especially if the ropes have slackened a bit, but there aren’t passing boats at night and I didn’t hear an engine. I was worried when it happened repeatedly. I looked out the window and we were well away from the bank at the back. Someone must have thought it a fine jape to detach the rope from the bollard. Shane dressed and we managed to get Bartimaeus back to the bank and tied tightly. No harm done but disconcerting all the same.

We discussed in the morning whether we should move to the other side where is less footfall, but decided to leave it during the day and just get on with going to The Lowry. It was a very good day for a walk.

When we got there (perhaps clocked by school children with clipboards who seemed to be taking a tally of people passing). I was surprised to have my handbag checked. Shane has been keen to go, but when we arrived we went straight to the cafe for a drink. No rush, the paintings aren’t going anywhere.

His smokey mill chimneys and crowd scenes are famous  but he did many different themes through his life, a lot of the sea in later life. There was a 20 minute video with Lowry speaking much of the time in it. Quite sad and it seems his rather melancholy paintings also are how he found his own life. It was quite poignant and interesting to see the range of painting and drawing of which he was capable.

After lunch we walked back along the wharf and over this bouncy footbridge.

Swing Footbridge

We caught another view of the football stadium from Trafford Wharf and watched a lone boat go under the bridge. We were amused to see it was named the L S Lowry. We admired other artists work along the wharf.  We don’t know the significance of Gnome Island.


Gnome Island, of course.

Like Lowry’s painting, much of the other art reflected the industrial history of the wharf. This one was disconcerting at first sight – a detached chain, apparentlydefying gravity.


One of two giant lifting hooks with a chain rising into the sky.

Shane recognised a familiar sight as we were going back. I was very pleased to get to cross the Throstle Nest Bridge myself.

Clare on Throstle Nest Bridge
On Throstle Nest Bridge

This took us back to the towpath of the canal we went along yesterday and this would lead us straight back to Bartimaeus. We caught sight again of LS Lowry and we walked with  it most of the way. We recognised that it was the same company that ran the Emmeline Pankhurst we had seen yesterday. Once back we were surprised to find it there beside us. The party aboard spilled out as I was heading off to the nearby park.


Bartimaeus and LS Lowry. Some matchstalk men departing.

I wanted to capture some pictures from that nearby park we had chanced upon yesterday. This area is called Castlefield, but it doesn’t look like there is a castle from any distance. The name goes very far back. The Romans had  fortification here. 


Roman remains near the park

I had also particularly liked the statue I had seen in the Roman park. Well they are fields after all!



Roamin’ in the Roman remains
Sheep – that wool looks scratchy though.

We only saw one moving boat all day. We spoke to our nearby  boater telling him we had been tampered with in the night and he said that the other side, as we thought, was less likely to attract attention and invited us to rope on the same bollard as him. We have now moved Baritimaeus, using ropes  and gentle nudging, to the other side.


Bartimaeus, more safely esconced.

We may have a more peaceful night. I think the pneumatic drill may accompany us at breakfast again. I have already heard the geese.