Oranges and Lemons

Oranges and Lemons

We lived in quite a little ecclesiastical hot-spot in Chorlton. St Clement’s Church was directly across the road and I got a good view of it from my bedroom window. Behind it was a school and scout hall and attached to that, a gravel playing surface upon which we nursed our hangovers on every Sunday afternoon – Albany Road against St Clement’s Road with a liberal sprinkling of softlads making an appearance. It was on this unforgiving surface that the nucleus of Teenage Kicks was formed and many a youthful apprentice learned how to handle the grazes and burns which would come their way in future astroturf battles. Red Rog used to worship there occasionally when he lived with us but Paul went to St John’s Catholic Church which was opposite and next door to our house. A lot of balls went over the wall but the Priest was very good about kicking them back. It was quite an important centre, so much so that when the Pope visited Manchester in June 1982, they parked his Popemobile here overnight. I’m sure I’ve got a photo somewhere of a couple of irreverent softlads on the roof, pretending to wave to the faithful. There was even a little brick Evangelical Church a wee bit further down the road on the way to The Bowling Green. Limited edition prints of this drypoint etching are available for £24.99 including post and packing.

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