Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Open Day and Other Excitements.

Our red High Mass set and the St Benedict cope.

One of Sheila and Josie's flower displays.

Maryrose prepares the cake table.

The (much tidied) noticeboard. Everything in date and relevant, just like Father Jones's trend setting table.

Jams and books and dolls.

Today we had one of our periodic open days. Time was when Whittaker Lane had a Post Office, bank, butcher, greengrocer, hardware shop and an Italian restaurant before the school and Church gave way to the Rectory and almshouses built after the Great War. The branch line station at the end belched smoke from Bury to Manchester and Heaton Park over the road was full of daytrippers. Today there is a mini supermarket of interesting quality standards, two hairdressers and a barbers, an Indian takeaway (the Prachee, very well recommended, they also give us a meal voucher for two to raffle each year), one good Indian takeaway and one bad one, a Chinese takeaway, two sandwich shops, a brothel, a ladies clothes shop and a dog shampooing emporium. The train station is now a tram station and drug shop and the Royal Oak still hangs on, oddly a good pub but selling Hydes bitter which does not endear itself to your scribe.

So it is on this road that we are. The almshouses now small flats, the rectory now two townhouses and the presbytery in need of double glazing. We have a daily Mass and many community events but from time to time open our doors for the day for nothing more than the dispensing of hot drinks and cakes, the selling of old books, the lighting of votive candles and the guarantee of a listening ear. The torrential rain did for us a bit this time, but it was well attended enough and those who came had a good day. We began with Mass which attracted a good twenty or so people and displayed some vestments, a red High Mass set bought from Belgium a couple of years back and the red cope from St Benedicts in Ardwick which we inherited. A simple, local day, infused with warmth and cakes.