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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

No Left Turn..


Once upon a time there used to be a railway station in Manchester called Central Station. Then one day just like many other railway stations in the same city it closed down. Eventually, men came along and dug up the tracks and demolished a bridge that took some of the tracks across Deansgate (over a major road). There was now no way of turning Central Station back into a railway terminus. For another decade or so the beautiful building stood empty and decaying. Until some bright spark had the idea to restore the huge building and to turn it into a conference centre. Which he/they did and then renamed the premises GMEX which stood for Greater Manchester Exhibition Centre, I think. Anyway, after many years of exhibitions, conferences and concerts (I went to see Manchester Band James there in the early 1990's) another bright spark came along and re-branded the building yet again. It is now called Manchester Central. Yes, the very place where the Labour Party Conference is taking place right now, this week!
Five hundred miles south of Manchester another disused and empty railway station of similar age and proportions to Central Station was eventually turned into a beautiful art gallery and museum of sorts. The place I'm blogging on about of course is the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. I have had the good fortune to go there on a number of occasions. We, Nic and I, love going to Paris and Nic has written about it much in some of her novels. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I have a print of a picture by Gustave Caillebotte Les Raboteurs de parquets in our house. The original of course being in the Musee d'Orsay. I had it on a chimney breast in a position where you needed to look up to it and it just didn't feel right to me there. So, I swapped it today to another wall in a lower position where you have to look slightly down on it. And BINGO! it works for me again. Not only that, the pic I swapped it with, Portrait of Mario by Modiglianni (who spent the latter half of his life in spitting distance of the old railway station) which I now have to slightly look up to, also works better for me. So there!


Don't forget to clink-my-links and talking of Modigliani and the Portrait of Mario HERE is a link to a poem I wrote about them. Many thanks for visiting Proper Joe's and please leave a comment. Finally you can read my latest poems on the home page of my pub-poetry blog SweetTalkingGuy..


  1. I went to school with a kid who's dad used to work at Central Station years ago.

  2. Thanks Stan,
    Did you know that the original 'cobble stones' in front of the station were made of wood?
    To deaden the noise made by the horses hooves for the residents of the Midland Hotel opposite!