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Jog, jog…

Submitted by on April 21, 2011 – 11:12 amNo Comment

By Navajo
Victoria looks down on you glumly; well she was a big fat colonialist pig. Not the most likely place to start a jog. Although why shouldn’t the old parasitic witch sit presiding over the centre of Manchester when it was the blood, sweat and tears of the working class of Manchester that gave her empire the economic strength to conquer the world?

Leaving her majesty behind, the sole member of FC Supporters Jogging Club jogs. In the 1970s they called it running, now it’s called jogging or in my case walking a bit faster than I do normally.

I run past the Police Museum, sadly we do not live in a society where we have a Museum of Police. Skipping by the Post Office where I sent off a CD that contained what can only be described as noise, to myself, to have proof of copyright. The likelihood of anyone copying ‘my stuff’ is as remote as holding dark matter.

Turning left into Great Ancoats Street always reminds me of when I first came to Manchester because then the Express Building still published and it was great to see the paper being printed by those huge machines, while men clad in blue overalls (not the Frickley subs) pushed and prodded things.

Up in front I see an illuminated open sign, an open door and stairs, a massage parlour, allegedly. I once saw a old man emerge from said door with his dog. The dog seemed quite happy, he looked pissed off.

Then the Frog and Bucket, where while watching a so-called comedian my mate said ‘my dad’s funnier than him’, which was the funniest thing said all night. He was the person who came up with the name ‘Rage against the Machine’ for the band ‘Rage against the Machine’.

I went around his house and sitting there was a ball of hair: ‘Listen to this demo tape’, he handed me a “cassette”, that’s how old this story is. I listened: it was a strange rhythmic noise which I like. ‘What do you think of the name ‘Rage against the Machine?’. ‘It’s great’, feeling very jealous that I had not thought of it. ‘What do you think of the demo tape?’ We played it, ‘It’s playing backwards’.

Next comes Starbucks, formerly known as Band on the Wall. The real Band on the Wall was re-wired by my then girlfriend and her mate. Who were two women electricians. No they’re not a band. She dumped me because she became a Political Lesbian and said she couldn’t sleep with the enemy.

You jog along the side of the majestic CIS building and past the totally inappropriately-named Green Quarter. Obviously designed to be a slum of the future.

Up Cheetham Hill Road caressing the Jewish Museum. For me the most poignant display is the exhibit of the Cheetham Hill Communist Party which was dominated by Jewish people, many of whom went off to fight and lost their lives in the Spanish Civil War.

The ‘Fort’, what is that all about? The Mordor of North Manchester. The crass, insipid, plastic blandness of modern capitalist shopping. Although I did go to the B & Q to get a knob.

It’s Queens Road and The Irish World Heritage Centre. It used to be the Irish Centre but it absorbed the whole world of Irish heritage. I can’t imagine how they fit it in. My ex-sister in-law had her wedding reception there and it seemed quite roomy.

Running down into Collyhurst Road reminds me of deliverance. The ever surreal submarine, now painted with the English Flag. Does this signify that English nationalism is a sinking ship or is it just a simplistic display of jingoism?

Looking up the embankment and you see the ex-council flats clad in a fancy frontage and sold for an extortionate amount. They used to be three slummy looking blocks of flats that no working class families wanted to live in. Now named after the Pankhurst sisters and with a rocket launcher attached to the roof, you have luxury apartments.

Only halfway around and I still have Smithfield Market to do, The Smithfield, Tib Street, The Crown and Kettle, oh my the list is endless, join me on my next jog through working class history.

At the foot of the grumpy witch, leaving at 7.30pm sharp, every Thursday, unless Margy needs us. Jogging in the FC tradition, we run at the pace of the slowest person.

Unity is Strength.

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