JERSEY STREET, ANCOATS 6.41AM
The top of Jersey Street is separated from the creators and new residents of the regenerated Ancoats by a small, humped bridge. In front of the estate, that looked towards the flourishing city centre skyline, had been placed a Free School. The grey, fenced in Portakabins caused it to look more like a holding centre for refugees than a place of learning for young children. A man in a hi-vis jacket was patrolling the gate as the early staff arrived and slid in through the gate. Caretakers, when I was at school, simply cleaned and repaired and shouted at us when a ball went near a window.
People were on their way to work and they walked that little bit faster when they saw me perched on low bank of grass, slightly above them. To my left was a canal and behind me an Autumn sky, flushed with pink and melancholy. A man was walking his dog on the parkland between me and the water, dressed like he was ready for a games lesson, in trainers and a scruffy tracksuit.
“It’s like the countryside here” I said. He nodded, but only out of politeness, and shouted at his dog.
I turned towards the old Manchester, and the raised ground I was stood on reminded me of an ancient burial mound.
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