Public Libraries: As Good Today As They Have Ever Been

For National Libraries Week, East of the M60 looks at why public libraries have an important role in the 21st century

Dukinfield Library, Concord Way, Dukinfield
The first love for many bibliophiles: your local library, such as Dukinfield Library on Concord Way, which opened in November 1984.

Thank goodness for public libraries. With a parent or primary school teacher, they have helped ten of millions of Britons (or billions around the world) to get hooked on reading. Some, like this gentleman, have chosen the TV Times or the Manchester Evening News as their gateway drug (prior to borrowing their first book). Each day, many people call in for their literary fix. They come back for more every three weeks, sometimes carrying up to twelve items with them.

Whether Jackie Collins, Lewis Carroll or O.S. Nock, they can get sucked into a world of uncharted lands, plot lines, or travel back in time. Its mind altering substances, in hardback, paperback, or large print forms, are the written word. A psychosomatic substance for the theatre of the mind, dependent on one’s chosen interests.
Continue reading “Public Libraries: As Good Today As They Have Ever Been”

My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 31, 2016

It’s in the air 

So far, 2016 has been an impressive year for me on a personal level. I have settled in my present position and am enjoying the new, more central surroundings. With a move from its previous HQ near Piccadilly station, my employer is closer to Salford Central and Manchester Victoria stations. Not least some sublime eateries and (inevitably), branches of Starbucks Coffee, Subway, Greggs, and a McDonalds on St. Ann’s Square.

Continue reading “My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 31, 2016”

My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 30, 2015

In the eye of the storm 

Sadly, my stint in Bredbury only lasted till the 30 January. In one way, it meant being free from the worst excesses of the A560. Then I existed on bits of work to avoid the DWP’s weaponised regime on unemployed people. This meant a brief return to Oldham (for odd copywriting and coding jobs), and the possibility of S.V. going it alone as a freelancer.

Continue reading “My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 30, 2015”

My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 29, 2014

The storm after the lull 

By 2014, I was working elsewhere in Greater Manchester. This time in Stockport (well, Bredbury to be precise), so most of my observations of the bus scene were biased towards the 330 route. The Young Auties’ pass proved to be a godsend for peak hour journeys and the odd journey to West Yorkshire.

Continue reading “My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 29, 2014”

My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 28, 2013

An uneasy peace 

One of the fringe benefits of working in Oldham was getting in touch with the Rochdale and Oldham bus scene. Compared with the uneasy peace of the Dukinfield scene, 2013 was an interesting year. Professionally for me, it was a mixed year with an appalling second half.

Continue reading “My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 28, 2013”

My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 27, 2012

Throw those displays wide, one year like this would…

In 2011, East of the M60‘s 26 part series, My Life in the Company of Buses finished at (quelle surprise) 2011. The original series of posts were written to document the first 25 years of bus deregulation. Both on a personal level and in relation to the bus scene in Dukinfield.

With 2016 marking the 30th anniversary of bus deregulation, East of the M60 thought it was the done thing to bring the saga to 2016. A lot has happened in the five years since October 2011. Not always for the better.

A week after I completed the original saga, I was on one of these Workfare type jobbies. In 2011, getting more than two weeks free labour out of you was (and remains) unethical. Being on the same placement six months later with no job at the end, unforgivable. Had East of the M60 met its maker in 2012, this fellow may have followed suit and become a ‘success’ in the eyes of the then Home Secretary.

Instead, I am here to start the next parts of My Life in the Company of Buses. Sit back, relax, and take the next bus to 2012. Continue reading “My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 27, 2012”

The 2018 Boundary Changes: How Will They Affect the Tameside Area?

An It’s Up The Poll Special Report

Locks in HDR Black and White
The Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Stalybridge. Image by Ian Roberts, 2008 (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

So to quote Ashton-under-Lyne’s (and possibly, Dukinfield’s future MP in 2020) “the cat has been let out of the bag”. Setting the news agenda lately has been the Boundary Commission’s proposed changes to our constituencies. Part of the plans will see fifty job losses by 2020.
Continue reading “The 2018 Boundary Changes: How Will They Affect the Tameside Area?”

Cuts Scene Investigation: Changes to Tameside’s Libraries

Cuts Scene Investigation: Tameside’s Libraries (Part Three)

Longer hours, less staff, but all eight libraries saved by technological developments

Dukinfield Library, Concord Way, Dukinfield
Dukinfield Library, Concord Way, Dukinfield, as photographed in 2012 with a Zenit TTL 35mm SLR camera.

Almost four years have passed since we did our previous Cuts Scene Investigation on the future of Tameside’s libraries. A lot has happened since then with libraries moving to smaller premises in more convenient locations. It has meant reduced opening hours and the retention of West End and Haughton Green libraries – as community-run facilities.
Continue reading “Cuts Scene Investigation: Changes to Tameside’s Libraries”

A Fracking Good Move: Lancashire Tells Shale Gas Extractors To…

Preston New Road and Roseacre drilling operations kyboshed

  • Traffic and health concerns key to rejection;
  • But Government still sees potential for fracking elsewhere in the UK.

Lancashire County Council voted 9 to 3 against the hydraulic fracturing of a proposed site of Preston New Road. Having already voted against fracking in Roseacre, today’s news was a relief for anti-fracking protestors and local residents. Continue reading “A Fracking Good Move: Lancashire Tells Shale Gas Extractors To…”

Central Road Site Approved for New Didsbury School

New free school set to open in September 2015

Ewing School sign
Back to my old school: St. James’ and Emmanuel’s new school, from September 2015. This is a picture of the school from November 2013, whilst in temporary use for Birches School.

 

Ewing School is back!

I wouldn’t have thought in 2012 I would have said this. I would have thought the site of my old school from 1987 to 1990 would have been houses by now with cul-de-sacs. With streets like Ewing Drive, Goldsack Crescent and Petrie Place. Continue reading “Central Road Site Approved for New Didsbury School”