But Ailz was going out yesterday and I arranged for her to drop me at the library. I picked up some books, did a little shopping then walked home toting a couple of bags. Once upon a time I used to do this two or three times a week.
It was a bright sunny day and I took a detour through the park. On my way I passed this building.
It's a Victorian railway warehouse-Grade II Listed. There have been plans to turn it into appartments, shops, a railway museum, but none of them have come to anything and now it's on the market again.
I've got a poem about it. Written just after the Oldham riots of May 2001
My sister’s a photographer
And loves the doomy wombiness
Of derelict buildings and the rustle
Of falling plaster. So we ploughed
Through the elder wood and let ourselves in
To the warehouse.
In its curved nave
Of iron pillars her flashgun struck
At obscurity the way the Pope does,
Judging between conflicting tales,
At the climax of the Ring and the Book-
Blow upon blow. We could read graffiti
Scrawled on the walls by sad youths
Who are fathers now. It stank of mortality-
More precisely of dead pigeons.
Afterwards as we strolled outside
In the evening sunlight a guard came up
From his lodge beside the retail park
And told us how- just weeks before-
There’d been three fires on the Glodwick skyline
And four youths had come running through,
One of them with a wounded hand
Who’d asked for a rag to stop the blood.
“Well, our kid, and how did that happen?”
“I was jumping over a barb wire fence.”
But the cut was far too clean for that;
He’d been slashed across the palm with a knife.