||[Oct. 22nd, 2008|10:36 am]
Rochdale's only five miles up the road but we hardly ever go there. Maybe that'll change. We had a walk round yesterday afternoon and bought boots for Ailz, lace-up shoes for me, a pair of slippers for the mother-in-law and various other bits and pieces- all for under £50.|
It's a valley-bottom town, built along the banks of the now invisible river Roch. I wouldn't call it good-looking- it's not a tourist destination- but it has its points. The Victorian town hall, with tower by Waterhouse, is the prettiest in the North West. The big blocky tower blocks- which dominate the town centre- are known, with inappropriate romance, as "the Seven Sisters".
It's an old town. The church went up in the 11th century. Lord Byron- I don't know if he ever bothered to visit- took his title from here; he was Lord Byron of Rochdale in the County of Lancashire. In the 19th century the town gave birth to the Co-operative movement- and in the 20th century, Gracie Fields- the singer and film star- who forfeited some of her pre-war popularity by snuggling up to Mussolini- was a Rochdale lass.