Saturday, February 16, 2013

Hulme Foot Bridge

Pilgrimages are strange things; they often involve a trip to where there is currently nothing out of the ordinary going on. The magic of these places comes from a nostalgic feeling in the heads of those making the pilgrimage.

Today was one of those pilgrimage days for me. A short trip to an unassuming foot bridge that's only purpose is to allow safe crossing of the A5103. It's a bridge which features all the usual aesthetics and structural design that one would expect of an aerial walkway; in fact, there are probably bridges in the same neighborhood that deserve more admirable attention than that which I am currently bestowing on this bridge.

But on a wintery day in January of 1979, Kevin Cummins took a band called Joy Division to this ordinary bridge in Hulme, took a photo of them on it, and that photo went on to become iconic. It's the sort of thing that can only be appreciated through nostalgia. There are no traces of this event on the bridge, and only those who know of the band could ever possibly feel a sense of magic when standing there. As I said, pilgrimages are strange things, but why should we deny ourselves these experiences which provide a sense of fulfillment? Pip and I went to this bridge today and although it felt just like a normal bridge (Which it was), I'm glad we went.

So I'd encourage anybody to visit places that mean something to them because of music, books, films, or whatever. It may feel a bit silly, but it does give you a feeling which brings you closer to that very thing you love and that cannot be a bad thing.

Oh and go ahead and take the touristy photo of it too. Here's mine.