I love the drive to it from Ramsbottom/Bury (see right) - up some twisty roads and undulating country and then down, down into Rochdale and its terraced houses, neighbourhood pubs and on into the city centre. The photo below shows that descent into the outskirts.
Here are some images of the town - some sundry views, the town hall, an aerial view of the city centre with some horrible high rise apartments blocks that I don't love, and some of those terraces:
I love the personal history associated with Rochdale - it's where my grandfather (Harry Purdy) was born, where my great grandfather (William Nugent Purdy) was born, where he married his first wife (Emma) and had three children (James died in infancy, my grandfather and Edward who is Suzanne's grandfather). It's the place they left for a new life in the southern hemisphere (William married his second wife in NSW, Australia and even she was from Rochdale!).
I love the mystery of Rochdale. I have no idea why William and Emma decided to leave Rochdale and travel to the other side of the world. He left all of his family behind to do this - generations of Purdys had lived and worked in Rochdale as master plasterers/labourers:
His father - James Purdy
and his father - Joseph Purdy
and his father - Jacob Purdy - and no one knows why they left.
The picture on the right is of some Rochdale pioneers . It's an image from the Rochdale museum that has stayed with me after I saw it in 2003 and I often wonder about the people behind the image and how they figure in the branches of their own family trees. Similar photos I have of my Rochdale family look very similar in appearance.
The Rochdale football team is obviously close to my heart as well. As soon as I was old enough to learn about how Rochdale fitted into my DNA I began to follow the fortunes of Rochdale AFC. For what seems like the last 300 years the team has been at the bottom of the football league. In the old days there were four divisions. Rochdale AFC were always anchored a few places about bottom of the 4th Division. These days we have the premier league/the championship and Division 1 and Division 2. And we've been largely in the same location. Until....about two years ago when somehow we made the playoffs last year at Wembley. Inconceivable! We lost at Wembley...but then this year we finished high enough to try for the playoffs - those are the Gillingham games I mentioned a few posts ago. Sadly we didn't quite make it but there is always next season. These photos come from Spotland during the first leg. Many thanks to Christine who was there!! This is the view Christine has, from her possie in the stand, looking to her left,
and then looking up the pitch to the right.
Back to the mystery of Rochdale - this is a picture of assistant Manager Dave Flitcroft. He was brought on as substitute, and as Christine tells me "came on as sub in last match of season - no one knows why - never has before".
And finally - here is the aforementioned Christine.
Love and peace - W