As I walked out one morning, in search of an industrial access cover or two or more, I found more, much more, dug deeper, unearthed a can of worms, a murky past cast in cast iron.
This is the cover closest to my home on Didsbury Road Stockport, manufactured by Glynwed of Corporation Road Audenshaw, the closest foundry to my former school.
Glynwed formerly Allied Ironfounders, the manufacturer of gas appliances, the humble Rayburn and the infamous stuff of sagas the Aga.
And the Meridian Grate – great! The foundry was also known as the Planet Works, the adjoining rough ground Planet Fields, where on wet winter days we would form a mud spattered procession of ragged schoolboys engaged in the joys of cross country running, over a factory’s spoil tip.
We never got to see the firm’s Mayfair showrooms, we never got to pass go – I guess it was just too far to run, cross country or otherwise.
The sleek Modernist lines of the Allied Ironfounders’ showpiece contrasts with the conditions of the work force manufacturing the grates and Agas.
So some fifty years and several miles separates me from my schooldays and my local gas inspection cover. Guess I’l just gas up the Thames Trader and head for the hills folks.
Yippie-aye-ay, yippie-aye-oh, ghost riders in the sky.