A new exhibition launches at Arc’s gallery on Saturday 25th July, 12-4pm, showcasing images and creative writing inspired by Stockport by participants on Arc’s Challenge Programme. It’s free and there will be lots of activities, from giant magnetic poetry to the chance to make your own self-portrait
More details in the flyer below, and below that, a sneak preview of some of the writing…
They call it ‘Stockport.’ They pronounce it ST–O–K- port with the emphasis on the “O”. Not as in “ow” or “oh” but a flat, low “O”. Very strange. From below, it is difficult to pinpoint its precise location due to the cloud-cover which is constantly moving.
Central Stockport, made up of steps and hills, is my Olympic diving board to a far away land. But, like an aged Aunt that I should visit more often, she sets out her board game of snakes and ladders.
The players, their tops sparkling with anticipation like bottle tops waiting to be opened, negotiate the boxed buildings piled high. The spine of this oversized town is its thoracic ribbed arches standing tall and proud in their timeless grandeur, as if escorting soldiers down the main Wellington Road.
Stockport is just down the A6 from Manchester, nestling snugly between the Pennines, Derbyshire, Lancashire and Cheshire. One almost senses that as a town it cannot decide where it belongs, or indeed if it does.
Stockport promotes its independence by being aware of its boundaries. Grown from where rivers meet roads, there is pride in the place of which we like to complain.
Stockport sits and is welded tight shut to the south of Manchester. It is padlocked to the earth’s core by darkness and its fire. A nosey snake-like motorway curls around it, as if for protection of its prettier lands.