Saturday, 5 May 2018

Adventures in Clayton ........ and a conversation about the Manchester Bee Bike

As adventures go it was a sedate one, but none the less an adventure even though it didn’t really conform to one.

Clayton Hall, 2018
For that you have to be ten, have no real idea where you are going but sustained by lemonade, meat paste sandwiches and a Mars Bar, you go anyway.

By contrast Peter and I knew where we were going, how we were getting there and knowing that there was a cafe at the Hall we dispensed with the provisions.

But still we had to take the tram, change at Cornbrook and alight at the metro stop, before crossing the Ashton New Road and entering Clayton Hall via the bridge over the moat.

We had decided to visit the exhibition on Bradford Pit, take some pictures and think up a story to accompany the chapter on the metro line east to Ashton-Under-Lyne for the new book on the History of Greater Manchester by Tram.

Looking out towards the bridge over the moat, 2018
I had a vague idea of what the story would be, but then while we were there and talking to the Friends of Clayton Hall we discovered that one of the group had known nothing about the place until she saw it on the tram, was  so intrigued that she stopped her journey and went over to the building and the rest you can read in the new book.

The hall was full of visitors, some of whom were retired miners, who had come to see the exhibition and wanted also to offer their memories, which the team are collecting.  The finished project will be held in the Hall which is close to the site of the colliery, and a copy of everything will also be lodged with the Archive and Local History Library in Central Ref.

I suppose we were there for an hour had an excellent light meal at the cafe and then headed back through a very busy city.

And it was while we were passing Holt Town that we got talking about the Manchester Bee Bike which is a custom built, one off bike built by Ashley Stimpson at Ken Foster’s Cycle Shop.

Ashley is the creator of the Frankenbike range of single speed bikes which have become popular with customers.

The Manchester Bee Bike, 2018
This one is unique, in that it was designed, painted and built in Manchester, with custom made transfers and a Manchester Bee Steering head cap.

It is being auctioned on Ebay to raise money for We Love Manchester Emergency Fund which was set up after the Manchester Arena Bombing.

The auction ends in five days time and what I didn’t know was that the bidding is currently standing at £495 which I am sure will be eclipsed by new bids in the next couple of days.

So, there you are, from an adventure on a tram to a bike being sold for a good cause.

At which point I have to say that my old English teacher would tut, and say “Simpson there is no connection here, and you don’t leave the reader where they began”  which is true, but then he isn’t writing the story.

Pictures; Clayton Hall on a sunny May Saturday in 2018, from the collection of Andrew Simpson, and the Manchester Bee Bike courtesy of Ken Foster’s Cycle Shop

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