Urmston. I mean, seriously. Just say it out loud a few times. Uuuurrrrmston. Apart from the general directon (Trafford-ish – which doesn’t mean that I have an idea where Trafford really is), sort of bottom left on my map of Manchester, I didn’t know much about Urmston. Having accidentally stumbled upon Beards of Manchester, Peter and Frances* asked us to deliver some calendars to their bookshop in Urmston – the perfect occasion for a little day trip!
The 23 Stagecoach took us from Chorlton to Stretford, down the seemingly never ending Urmston Lane which is lined with houses, houses, and some more houses. We passed the “Welcome to Urmston” sign which told us that it was not just a part of Manchester but an actual town, and when the bus dropped us off outside the library I said, to my own surprise, “it’s actually not as horrible as I thought it was!”
We didn’t have much time to explore the place, but came across a particularly classy furniture shop (see “shoe chair” photo above), “Isinglass” – voted one of Manchester’s best restaurants, Peter’s and Frances’ lovely little bookshop on Flixton Road, the Tim Bobbin – a very art deco-ish Wetherspoons, and the Green Room, a sports bar that also functions as the local meeting place for people with skinheads.
The tracksuits and shaved head-combo seems to be the latest fashion trend amongst the youth of Urmston – walking down Flixton Road, we saw dozens of teens in said attire, some of them suddenly running off in all directions. The police van and high-vis jacket wearing officers on the next junction who were talking to a similar looking group of kids and the proximity to a shopping centre didn’t leave too many questions unanswered.
The Steamhouse, a pub on the platform of Urmston rail station with the possibly weirdest table layout I’ve ever seen, was our last stop before boarding the train back into Manchester. Since it’s only a 10 minute train ride to Urmston, we’ll hopefully be back soon, with more time to explore the town (and by “town” I mean “the menu at Isinglass”).
* That is, Frances. She seemed genuinely excited by the Beards of Manchester calendar, while Peter only gave it, then us, a quick look that said something like ‘Ooookay. You two are clearly kray-zeeeh.’