Friday, April 30, 2004

Warrington Old Town

Very occasionally people enquire why I work in W@rrington, but don’t live there, preferring instead the hellish motorway commute. My stock response is “you’ve never been to W@rrington, have you?”.

Maybe that’s harsh, but I need to live in a place that has some form of culture that I can relate to. I’ve been working in and around the W@rrington area for more than ten years now and in that time I can only list the following two events that have enthused me to any significant degree:

  1. The original Virgin Festival, V96, in Victoria Park – a fabulous day that included Gorkys Zygotic Mynci, Lamb, Gary Numan (hilarious!) and culminated with Pulp at the height of their powers.

  2. Radiohead - again in Victoria Park, this time in a tent in 2000.

So much of W@rrington is “New Town” that it can be easy to forget that beneath and alongside the acres upon acres of anonymous housing estates, employment parks and road networks devoid of pavements, lies a very old town with it’s own history and heritage.

I was reminded of this last night however on a trip to The Cottage on Church Street. This ancient building dates back to the 17th century and it’s claimed that Oliver Cromwell stayed here in 1648, after defeating the Royalists.

Nowadays it functions as an Indian eaterie, with a modern twist. The interior is unexpectedly spacey due to a clever conversion and the food comes with the swirls of jus and garnishes that one might expect in a more nouvelle establishment.

I have to say though that the food wasn’t bad at all. I wouldn’t quite rave about it like some of my W@rringtonian colleagues, but then I’m probably spoilt in this arena by having Rusholme on my doorstep. Compared to other eating experiences I’ve had in Warrington however, this was streets ahead.