Stockport Town Centre, 1978

By Joanne Green

Location: Stockport shopping precinct

Today is Saturday, a rainy winter’s day, though not dreary. I spend Saturdays with my Aunty Gaynor who has long, black, wavy hair. I live with her and my extended family. Finally Gaynor, or Aunty Granny as I affectionately call her, is ready to leave. I call her Aunty Granny to irritate her as she is only six years older than me. Gaynor isn’t fazed by her pet name.

We walk for twenty minutes into Stockport. It’s an interesting route passing the River Mersey and its red sandstone rocks that line the road. The travel money we’ve saved will be spent at Silvio’s Cafe. We like Silvio’s, a raised cafe bridging the precinct, having windows on both sides from which to peer down on shoppers. We buy cakes and a pot of tea.

Today Stockport looks like a gigantic puddle. The underground toilets have flooded again. The toilets are tiled from floor to ceiling; the stairs are steep and too narrow for two-way traffic. Each time the toilets flood there are rumours that women shoppers see rats in them. Stopfordian rats reside along the river bank the shopping arcade was built upon.

At home rats enter our kitchen late in the evening. They make me jump and scream when I open a cupboard and one runs into the kitchen. When this happens I have to be brave and calmly open the back door and usher the rat out of the house.

When Gaynor and I walk around the shops it feels great and we laugh and joke the entire time. We return home on the bus, whose journey takes us through Edgeley and its heavily congested road.

Joanne Green is a mature BSc Environmental Management student reading at the University of Salford. She attended Rainy City Stories’ recent Writing About Place workshop in Stockport, with Nicholas Royle.



One Response to “Stockport Town Centre, 1978”

  1. June 10, 2010 at 10:06 am, Ian D. Smith said:

    My grandfather used to say there were rats as big as cats in the Mersey at Stockport. In 78, I remember the Mersey being smelly but not any more. Have you been in the lovingly restored Plaza?


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