Sheep’s Arse

Approaching Peel Tower from Holcombe

My dad once told me that his Bury Grammar friends nicknamed him Sheep’s Arse, on account of the fact that he lived in Ramsbottom. Kids are cruel. I was called Nutty at my school, on account of a lack of imagination on the most part (most people were nicknamed the first syllable of their surname, with an appended Y), and I endured Ballet Dancer for a few months, after I leapt very high in the air during a games lesson.

So, I spent quite a lot of time in Ramsbottom as a child, visiting grandparents on Bolton Street, at the top of Nuttall Park. Their house was a child’s dream come true—all funny angles, mysterious rooms, passageways, outbuildings, pond and a spinney. I’d be absolutely knackered after a day at Nanna and Grandad’s, and would eat my triangular ham sandwiches in front of Doctor Who with a warm glow in my cheeks.

Peel Tower from Above

So, it’s quite weird going back to Ramsbottom, decades later. The house is still there—albeit extended, modernised, missing the wildness, and enclosed by a high brick wall. I visited Peel Tower on top of Holcombe Hill, for the first time! The town itself seems to have gone upmarket. Almost posh, I might say.

I wonder if the Ramsbottom kids still get called Sheep’s Arse at school, or if school kids are nicer these days.

Wind Turbines, Across Ramsbottom

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