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Manchester’s ‘Urban Poet’ returns to Handforth to lead guided history walk

Ged Austin

The Friends of Handforth Station (FoHS) are set to welcome Ged Austin, Manchester’s ‘Urban Poet’, back to the town for one of his popular guided walks.

‘Handforth Past and Present’ is one of a series of educational walks that Ged runs each year. FoHS have featured some of Ged’s poems at the station, and are delighted to sponsor this community activity for local residents.

The ‘Urban Walks’ are typically gentle strolls over a five-mile distance with plenty of stops, and they can take up to three to four hours. The Handforth walk that Ged is preparing for the FoHS will be from Styal train station to Handforth train station, and will be a timeline walk exploring the history of the area. It will feature Ged’s poems and some stories about the area, to which all are welcome to contribute.

Ged says: “If you want to join us, to get your muscles and your memory flowing, then just turn up. Bring a snack pack, plenty of liquid, and wear sturdy footwear and clothing appropriate for what the weather provides.”

The walk will start from Styal train station at 10.30am on Monday, 23 May, the first day of this year’s Community Rail Week.

FoHS have also been busy recently celebrating the 180th anniversary of the Manchester to Sandbach line, which saw its first reported public service on 14 May, 1842.

Thanks to funding from Handforth Town Council and the South Manchester Community Rail Partnership, FoHS created a series of banners and posters for display at the station, and also designed and built special commemorative headboards for trains running on the actual anniversary date. Other station friends’ groups along the line at Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, and Holmes Chapel, also joined in the celebrations, highlighting the historical importance of rail to the area.

For more information on FoHS, visit their website here.