06 February 2008

Stanway Rd

Stanway Rd, in Whitefield (or is it Besses O'Th'Barn?) is a special place in my getting-back-home routine. It marks the start of the 'home run' - I've left all main roads behind, there are no more traffic lights and I know that, all being well, I'm 7' away from my house.

It is also a bit of an unusual road. Most of it belongs squarely to the architectural school of standard 20th century red-brick British Conformism, mostly in the shape of semi-detached, 2 and 1/2 bedroom houses - and very nice some of them are too. But there is a whole row of unusual homes, perhaps built in the late 80s or early 90s, which I'd describe as postmodern - they play with some elements of the traditional home, and so there is brick and roof tiles - trendy and almost green, but tiles nonetheless. And yet they try so hard to be innovative - the sleeping quarters apparently are on the ground floor, the living quarters apparently upstairs. The end of the row is a house where they've extended the ground floor and built a conservatory on top, in effect extending the (1st floor) living room and creating a sort of mini-mansion. Whether this kind of design works is another matter. Would I want to have to lug all food shopping up a flight of stairs just so as to feel 'different'? Perhaps not - so, conformism has its good side too?

The road is shaped like a banana, curved gently. I tend to coast on fifth gear until I reach the bend, then it flattens and I have to start pedalling again. When I reach the end I have to be careful - Hazel Rd does get busy some evenings, and it can be difficult to stop properly to avoid it!.

Stanway Rd has something civilised and genteel about it - that's just as well, for as I turn onto Hazel Rd and Ribble Drive the landscape changes a bit - welcome to the 'estate' and chav territory, complete with 1960s pub-cum-'tapas bar' (Enrique's).

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