The next stop on our trip to Harrogate was Bolton – again, another town we had never been to before. There are some pretty buildings here, including the Town Hall and Le Mans Crescent – I should have liked a bit more time to visit some of the museums. The Waterstones here is in a building that used to house a cinema, although there is not much evidence of its past inside.
Fred Dibnah, the famous steeplejack, hails from Bolton
The Town Hall
We had a few days in Harrogate at the start of December. Originally we had planned to go to Edinburgh, so I booked a hotel off the M6 in Merseyside, but the plans changed! We decided to utilise the trip from west to east by visiting a couple of branches that were en route.
Neither of us had been to Wigan before and weren’t really sure what to expect. In fact, the only thing I really knew is that it features in George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier (well worth a read). There are some nice buildings in the town, including a pretty Arcade called the Makinson Arcade. The Waterstones is in the Grand Arcade shopping centre.
The Wigan Pier area. Probably considerably different from when Orwell visited!
So if you are told that there’s a pier in Wigan town somewhere Don’t laugh it off like others do, look round, you’ll see it there
I keep forgetting to record what I was reading at the time of my visit! In this case it was Winter Magic, a collection of wintery stories selected by Abi Elphinstone and featuring authors such as Emma Carroll and Katherine Woodfine. Perfect seasonal reading!
After leaving my friends in Kent I went to stay with my friend Debi in London. She’s one of those friends whom I don’t see very often, but we just pick up where we left off. Here we are aged about 7/8!
Debi took me to lots of different parts of London that I had not been to before, including The Barbican Complex, built in the architectural style known as ‘Brutalist’ and also to Islington, where I, of course, made a visit to Waterstones. This branch is situated on the site of an old Music Hall, Collins’. It’s a lovely building, although only the façade is original, the building having been destroyed by fire in 1935.
I thought Islington was a lovely part of London. I will definitely go back with Peter at some stage to explore further.
I stayed in the South East for a few days with friends and decided to visit Rochester one day whilst they were at work, as it’s a city I really love. Actually, I don’t think it’s a city any longer due to the forgetting to renew their city status, but either way it holds fond memories for me – it’s the place I had my first ever job! As there is a Waterstone’s in Chatham, which is the next town on, I decided to get off the bus there and then walk back into Rochester once I’d taken my photographs.
Chatham Waterstones is in a modern building over two floors.
They have a sign for the children’s section with a missing apostrophe! That’s not very good for a book shop!
I enjoyed my trip to Rochester. It’s such a lovely city with a cathedral and a castle, and many links to Dickens who lived there as a boy. Happy memories.
Weston-super-Mare is a traditional seaside town located in the Bristol Channel in Somerset. It is a popular holiday destination. The Waterstones is located in the Sovereign Shopping Centre which was built in the early 90s.
Weston is best known for its Grand Pier which opened in 1904 and has burnt down twice – most recently in 2008 – and for the fact that the tide goes out for miles – giving rise to the local nickname Weston-super-Mud!
We had been to Hampshire to visit ‘Uncle John’ and on our way home we stopped in Ringwood.
Ringwood is a market town that has held a market for over 750 years – today the market takes place on a Wednesday. The Waterstones here is in a small, fairly modern open-air shopping complex. The shop has a contemporary feel.
The shopping centre contains a bronze horse sculpture by Priscilla Hann which signifies Ringwood’s links to the New Forest.
After leaving Hereford we decided to head home via Wales, specifically Abergavenny, which is somewhere else we have never visited (this challenge is making us go to many, many towns we haven’t been to before!). It’s a market town and considered a “Gateway to Wales”. The Waterstones is a small, bright store in the High Street in the centre of the town. As you would expect, the shelves are labeled in Welsh as well as English.
The Market Hall hosts several different types of market throughout the week. On a Saturday it is what is known as the ‘Retail’ market, which was a mixed market containing second-hand stalls, food stalls and clothing and textiles.
We didn’t have long in Abergavenny as we had to head back home for an evening out, but from what we saw it seemed a nice town.