Northern Grit

There is no doubt that one of the things that always inspires me and catches my eye is the toughness and grit of the north, especially in my home town of Wigan.

I love the industrial heritage and grit that surrounds the nicer more modern parts of the town. The reminders of the past and the rough edges make the place even more attractive to me.

Recently I took a short walk from the centre of town out towards the stadium, along the canal which goes round the back of the industrial estates and this is where I captured these images, familiar to anyone who has walked along here on match day.

The railway bridge which is just a short walk down from the Seven Stars road bridge and Wigan Pier is a prime example of the character of this area, painted in some kind of strange brown, rust colour with the odd dabs of graffiti here and there.

The towpath is all a bit sad, overgrown and full of grass and moss, the fencing falling to pieces and the brickwork looking tired and in need of pointing.

Turning your back on this you have a straight road ahead.

The towpath here is narrow and has pieces missing along its route, the grass overgrows in places and is completely bare in others, the trees and fences on the left are all falling to pieces and there is a sense that Autumn took hold here a long time ago.

Reaching into the far distance the industrial factories and workshops beckon you forward, in a "come and have a go if you think you're hard enough" manner.

Then we reach the bridge, yes THE bridge, the one crammed full of people on matchdays all shuffling their way over the canal and back to the pub or to the car to drive home.

But not today, the bridge was empty and quiet and you could actually stop and take stock of where you are and what you can see. More industrial work on the left as cranes and machines start to transform the banking and remove some of the overgrown bushes and trees.

It's a short walk but still a walk full of character and interest, it reminds you that Wigan is still very much a northern town with plenty of grit and determination. The new developments may arrive in the town centre, but the old working areas will still bring the world to life!

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