Loughborough – Saturday 9th December 2017

Loughborough is possibly best known for its university, but it is also the location of the first ever package holiday by Thomas Cook who arranged a trip for his Temperance Group to the town in 1841!   The town had a lively market when we visited (lots of wonderful fruit and veg stalls!) and it was therefore quite hard to photograph the Waterstones from the front as there were market stalls right in front of it!

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Loughborough is also home to the world’s largest Bell Foundry, John Taylor & Co, who have made some very famous bells, included bells located in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and York Minster – and the bell that features in AC/DC’s track Hells Bells from their number 1 album, Back in Black!  They also made the bells in the Loughborough Carillon Tower – a war memorial located in Queen’s Park.

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My friend Debi (who features in the entry for Islington) has suggested that I record my progress too – which is a good idea!   This branch was number 54/281 – so 19.22% completed – so some way to go yet!  

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Doncaster – Friday 8th December 2017

We stopped for a late lunch in Doncaster on our way to our  next hotel – it’s not a town I had been to before.  The Waterstones is in a large shopping centre on two levels (I forgot to take a photo of the outside upstairs!).  Doncaster is famous for hosting the St Leger horse race and being the location of the invention of butterscotch!

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I’m pretty certain the Doncaster artwork behind the tills in this shop is done by the same artist who did the one in the Newport branch. 

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After lunch I stopped to take a photograph of the Mansion House, a Doncaster Council building, which sadly was not open to the public on the day we visited  – we would have liked to have looked round inside.

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Wakefield – Friday 8th December 2017

Wakefield is the fourth largest town (it’s a city, actually) in West Yorkshire with a population of around 100,000 – the 14th Century Cathedral has the tallest spire in Yorkshire, standing at 75m (247 feet) tall.  It’s a really attractive building – light and airy inside, with a modern extension used as a shop and ‘not for profit’ coffee shop.

The Waterstones is near to the cathedral, and like the cathedral has a bright and spacious feel.  

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I would like to return to visit the Hepworth Gallery some time.

Harrogate – Thursday 7th December 2017

Harrogate is a beautiful Spa town in North Yorkshire – famous for its Spa Waters, Betty’s Tearooms and as being the destination that Agatha Christie chose when she did her famous disappearing act in 1926!  The Waterstones is in an attractive building and set over two floors with a very nice café.

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There are (at least?) two theatre venues in Harrogate, the gorgeous, if unimaginatively titled Harrogate Theatre, and also the Royal Hall, in which we were lucky enough to get the last two tickets for the The Nutcracker, performed by the Russian State Ballet, which was simply magical. 

Harrogate Theatre Entrance Lobby

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Royal Hall

We were in Harrogate for three nights, but could happily have spent longer in this lovely, vibrant town – I’m sure we’ll return some day.  

York – Wednesday 6th December 2017

We love York – it’s a fab city.  There is so much to do here – the Train Museum, the Castle Museum (our favourite), the Jorvik Centre and of course The Minster to name but a few.  The Waterstones here is in a lovely building and has a really cosy feel about it.  The coffee shop here was very nice – I can recommend the teacakes!

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York Minster

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The Shambles

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Oldham – Tuesday 5th December 2017

Another flying visit on our way to Harrogate – I just had time to pop into the shopping centre, leaving Peter in the car.  Apparently in 2016 Oldham was named the most deprived town in England – however, I believe there is quite a lot of investment in the area, so hopefully that will turns thing round.  The area I saw – a modern shopping centre called The Spindles which houses the Waterstones, certainly seemed quite bright and didn’t feel ‘deprived’.

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Bury – Tuesday 5th December 2017

We stopped briefly in Bury just so I could visit and photograph the Waterstones, so I don’t really have much to say about this town.  The Waterstones is in the Mill Gate shopping centre. Apparently Bury is famous for its Black Pudding!  Famous former residents include Richmal Crompton, author of the Just William books, and Sir Robert Peel who founded the first police force in the UK and singer-songwriter Peter Skellern.

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