Now is the time for your social club, U3A group, Probus outfit, student body to book a coach tour with our effortlessly entertaining guides. There are so many to choose from: the Great Treasures of Manchester, Wild and Wuthering West Yorkshire, L. S. Lowry’s sights and settings of Salford, The Beatles’ Liverpool, Chi-Chi Cheshire, the History of Manchester United…
On Valentine’s Day New Manchester Walks’s Ed Glinert is taking a group of Norwegian students on the Wild and Wuthering West Yorkshire tour, but because it starts in Manchester there are a few twist and turns.
We will head east along the Ashton New Road to catch a glimpse of Man City and the huge Sportcity complex. In Ashton we will brush past Tameside General Hospital for a reminder about how the kindly local doctor Harold Shipman killed scores of his patients, some of whom ended up here. Near the hospital is a residential block, until recently the Odd Whim pub, which the early 19th century the false Messiah John Wroe built as one of his gateposts of what would be the New Jerusalem. (Yeah, Ashton. Really.)
You think that’s all a bit unnerving? On the A635 we will stop next to the spot where the police found the bodies of John Kilbride and Lesley Anne Downey, victims of the Moors Murders. That’s on our way to Halifax for nicer stories and locations: the grandiose Piece Hall, where cloth was displayed in over a hundred rooms, and Shibden Hall, the model for Thrushcross Grange in Wuthering Heights.
We’re having lunch in chic bohemian Hebden Bridge. A mile north is antiquated Heptonstall, setting for Sylvia Plath’s grave and a wildly atmospheric deserted church, so groovy in the winter, especially if it’s sleeting.
The last stop is the most dramatic: Haworth with its wind and wuthering wonders.
That is the kind of route and the type of stories that could make for a remarkable day out for your group.