Visiting Knutsford, Part 3

Manchester/Bath UK Journal Day 4

Knutsford Rail Station, Knutsford, UK

I had quite the experience today, all because I got lost.

I allowed myself to get lost.  I went wandering around and couldn’t really follow the map I had picked up.  To be fair, it wasn’t a very good map, just a brochure map with details of shops and such.  I saw signs for an information centre, and began to follow them, and pass it up, apparently, and turn around and found it.  Except the tourist centre is now apparently closed, and in its place is an overworked desk at the Knutsford Library.

Enter the librarians.

One of the librarians, a wonderful woman named Victoria, came over to help me.  She brought a town map and we began talking about Gaskell.  Lo and behold, the Knutsford Library houses an AMAZING collection of Gaskell first editions, in multiple languages.  It is the Whitmore (? Check name) collection, and Gentle Reader, I got to look and to hold and to touch.  All because I stopped and asked for directions.  Victoria very kindly printed me up a map of Gaskell-specific places, pointed me on my way towards Gaskell Street, and I was off.

It was quite a ways down to Gaskell Street, but well worth it, because I saw 17 Gaskell Street, which is where Gaskell herself lived.  I didn’t walk up to the door because, you know, trespassing, but I took some pictures from the street.  There is a plaque on the wall detailing that the house is where Gaskell lived.  And with that, my pilgrimage was almost complete.

I wandered through the rest of Knutsford Town, up and down the streets, before I decided to head to the Rail Station to await my 16:47 train.  On the way there, I decided to visit Gaskell’s grave one last time.  I should have brought her flowers.  I wish I had brought her flowers.  I was glad there were already flowers on her grave, even if they weren’t from me.

What a beautiful day in Knutsford.  And now, I await my train, amid the loud sounds of teenagers on the platform opposite, and the small child and his mother on the bench next to me.  When I get back to Sale, I will pop in somewhere, get a bite, and then rest and charge up for my trip to Bath tomorrow.  Now, to move from Gaskell to Austen.  Now, my literary pilgrimage continues.


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