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Manchester bound...

Updated: Jan 1 more ways than one. When people (or, more frequently, forms) ask the name of my hometown, I’m never sure what to say. Is it London, home for the last 28 years? Hebden Bridge, where I grew up? Or the town where I was born? For today, I’ll make it the latter: Manchester, where I’m heading to attend a series of events at the university.

Although I was born in Withington, living briefly in Burnage and Longsight, we left when I was five. I went back a few times, staying in Fallowfield, and my childhood memories include being stung by wasps at the age of ten; watching my hero, Lou Macari, at Old Trafford; watching the blues train at Platt Fields.  They were still shite, then.

In the eighties I went back quite a few times, and the crescents of Hulme had such an impact I wrote about them in my first novel, “Fire Horses”. I completed that novel as part of an MA in novel writing at Manchester, which helped get me published; so in many ways this will be a happy, if brief, return.

Although Manchester doesn’t feel like “home” I do feel proud I was born there, if only to explain why I support the reds; does that also explain why my favourite bands include Joy Division/New Order, The Smiths, Stone Roses and the Mondays? Would they have the same appeal if I was born in, say, Dorset?

I dunno. But it’s good to be back on the train North. “North”: still in caps.

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