Saturday, May 07, 2011


I never thought I'd make it as a Londoner. When I had to move here to start a job with ITN in the 90's I actually wept at having to leave Manchester. I was completely attached to all those things which make that city so excellent, the cricket at Old Trafford, the football at Maine Road, Granada TV, Chinatown...the list seemed to be endless.

And added to that was a kind of professional resentment about the Londonisation of the media's priorities. Journalists in Manchester were under the bitter impresson that London's priorities didn't include making the most of stories from the provinces, but this would turn into resentment when for example the Manchester Air Disaster happened and a cadre of London hacks arrived to cover it.

And for years I was miserable in London and went 'home' virtually every weekend. To me, for ages, it seemed to be imploding under the stress of simply being Britain's capital city. Smelly and chaotic, to me it just didn't seem to function properly as a place to live.

But gradually I grew into it, or adjusted to it, and now it seems absurd to go back to Manchester at every opportunity. And these days it seems mad to me that Manchester doesn't have a really swift public transport system that links virtually everywhere with everywhere else with a minimum of hassle. Or a proper river in the middle of it. Or a parliament and a selection of really top rate art galleries, etc etc.

So against the grain, I've become Londonised. But did I have to be? Ultimately I've lived or worked almost everywhere in Britain at some point or another. Shouldn't I just be a citizen of the UK and feel comfy wherever I land up? Well, I think I draw the line at Warrington.
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Wade said...

Have any coal mines there?

Hendo said...

Don't get me started on the North South divide. I may have adapted down here but I know where my sympathies lie.