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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 11:51 am:   

Here's the very house where the events of my childhood took place:

http://www.moveresidential.co.uk/property_info.asp?ID=136961

I feel strange - moved and a little uneasy - to be able to gaze into all these rooms, which are utterly changed. One further oddity is that less than five years ago the same house was sold for under a third of the price - indeed, so far as I can see, for by far the lowest price (60,000) of anywhere in the cul-de-sac:

http://www.houseprices.co.uk/nook-rise-liverpool-l15/11/

What would have kept the price so low? I'm hoping the last line of "Coming to Liverpool" applies now.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.27.152
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 01:55 pm:   

Where the heart is, Ramsey . . .

One day, if there's any justice, this place'll be listed like the Beatles' pads are.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.27.152
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 01:56 pm:   

Repossession sold through auction, probably kept the price that low. Not sure the word "possession" adds much comfort, tho . . .
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 03:07 pm:   

You're right, Gary - there should be a "blue plaque" or something.

Hope you don't mind me saying this on your thread, Ramsey, but it's a related thing so I'm not going off topic, I hope.

My own childhood home - which also holds some bad memories for me - was long since demolished. It was one of those old prefabs which they put up just after the war to get houses built quickly. My dad now lives in a sheltered housing complex on exactly the same site - they've even given the road the same name as it had then.

But it always feels really weird going back there - like I can actually "see" in my mind's eye the old prefabs the way they were, the garden I used to play in, etc.

I can imagine it must be quite unsettling to see your place still standing and be able to look into the rooms. At least mine only exists in my imagination now, and also in a few very old black and white photos.

Still, we have happier rooms, houses and gardens to inhabit nowadays.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.27.152
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 03:18 pm:   

Another oddity is that Ramsey's old house's tenure is leasehold .
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 03:20 pm:   

Not off topic at all, Caroline! The only image in that bunch of Nook Rise photographs that looks even remotely familiar is the first one, of the front of the house, though the garden used to be enclosed by a hedge where the gap is now, and there was an apple tree I used to climb.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.27.152
Posted on Monday, August 02, 2010 - 03:24 pm:   

I hope Mr Gray wasn't anything to do with that tree . . .
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.170.179.157
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2010 - 07:30 am:   

Ramsey - which was your bedroom? Don't say it was the one with the hanging figure....
I'm quite obsessed with seeing the places I used to live. They do feel haunted. Recently I heard the somehow horrible piece of information that a boy who was a friend back in the early seventies is still living in the same flat. I've not seen him since and have odd memories of his place (a glorious mess). I would want to go if it didn't mean churning up some awkward memories.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.170.179.157
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2010 - 07:33 am:   

And Ramsey - do you find stories in such findings as this, and your odd spam mail? Do you, like me, write of the things that frighten you, have to explore the possibilities on paper? (and like me that's probably often!)
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.170.179.157
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2010 - 07:42 am:   

http://www.amber-online.com/exhibitions/scotswood-road/exhibits/unveiling-ceremo ny-the-willows-1962

I used to live in the Willows! I used to play under that statue! I really liked it.
The weirdest sighting of where I used to live was in Wire in the Blood; they filmed a scene in a tower block where a gunman was picking off people at a garage below. The flat they used could have been my old one, was the precise dimensions. It was very creepy and just as I remembered it how it was when we got it, all shiny and echoey.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.229.8
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2010 - 09:23 am:   

Looks like a perfectly great home to me, Ramsey! Somehow I'd imagined the premises to be more cramped and identical to dozens of similar constructions, in a sunless little street not bereft of uninhabited semi-ruins, old cinemas and at least one problematic church.

I've had to move five times in the last nine years - noisy neighbours, mostly - and now find myself in a block of flats with a very nice view, spectacular sunsets and all. Slightly to the left I can see part of the garden of our old house and most of the rear of the building itself. An odd feeling.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2010 - 11:32 am:   

Of the images on the web site, the fifth one was my room (the one with the bear on the bed), where I slept with my mother for years. The sixth was my grandmother's - I conclude my parents shared it until she moved in, though that may not have been the case - and after she died it became just my mother's. The seventh image shows the room my father took to once they became estranged.

As for writing about my fears and disquietudes - well, what do you think?
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 212.49.212.18
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2010 - 12:07 pm:   

That's a bloody good looking house. My mum still lives in the house I was brought up in from the age of three. Despite a lot of terrible memories associated with the place (my father's doing), the memories and times I spent with my mum and brothers far outweigh the negative ones. I love my mum's house. And that's saying something considering what happened there. I guess my mum's resilence in changing the house, and not just our lives for the better, has affected me more than I thought.

Tony - with regards the boy who still lives in the flat he was living in the 1970's, I have a friend in my mum's road who has lived in the same house in which he was born. His mother died in the house, and his father who has lived there for over fifty years, is a very old and fragile man now, but my friend is happy as Larry. Or at least I think he is. Some people are born content in their surroundings, whilst others are moored to theirs permanently, perhaps against their own self-preservation. Do you think people who are made unhappy by their literal environment, the environment of brick and mortar, the physical environment, the one which has been their home their entire life and which they feel compelled to escape but never do, do you think they at least have some kind of deep reaching balance that others never achieve?
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2010 - 12:39 pm:   

My mum & dad have been living in the same house (where I grew up), extensively improved and added to, since 1960. To me it is the centre of the universe - or rather, my old bedroom is, where I still insist on sleeping when I stay over. I couldn't imagine them living anywhere else or that house not being a part of my life...
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 212.49.212.18
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2010 - 01:33 pm:   

Steve - I share your sentiments exactly. It is indeed the centre of our universes. My mum like your parents has obviously added to and improved the house since the early 1970's. It resembles nothing, again obviously and expectedly, the house into which we moved. Well, for one it has an extra room now!

BTW, Steve, did you manage to plough your way through the stories?
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2010 - 03:52 pm:   

Yes, Frank, not enough time to go into details now but I like your writing style immensely, as I've said on here elsewhere, and see great promise in it. There are a few rough edges need worked on (nothing too serious) but the prose style, the clammy atmosphere and gritty urban settings (shot through with an aching poignancy and compassion for the human condition) remind me of what I liked about Tony & Joel's fiction. I see you all as very much influenced by our Ramsey (the guvnor), with a soupcon of Aickman (the prince waiting in the shadows), and I can think of no higher praise than that... as they are the two greatest horror stylists of the modern era imo. When the undeniably talented Kings & Straubs of this world settle into their proper place, Campbell & Aickman will still be venerated as among the Poes, Machens, Lovecrafts & James's of their day imho.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 212.49.212.18
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2010 - 08:15 pm:   

Cheers, mate. Keep taking the medication (with ref to moi), and remember care in the community is not to be sniffed at.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.170.179.157
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2010 - 09:04 pm:   

Ramsey - thank God you posted this. I slept in my mum's bed till I was about 14-15. She and my dad barely slept together ever. It had a horrible psychological effect on me, a sort of shame that at least never cropped up in conversation at school (everything else does among kids - but this?). I think it drove us all a bit mad, and it certainly helped dent my day-to-day confidence and make me feel I deserved any bother I received.
:-(
As for my comments on your influences - do you think your work is a kind of therapy then? You think you need to write? I can never decide if my work helps me or lets me wallow in my woes (which can be as sweet as a warm bath, I have to admit).
Most of my stuff comes from being adopted, I've decided, all permutations of an estrangement from life.

Hey - thanks' Stevie!
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2010 - 09:42 pm:   

>>I slept in my mum's bed till I was about 14-15. She and my dad barely slept together ever.<<

This is weird. I slept in the same room as my parents (though not in the same bed) till I was 11. They had separate beds. The last time they had sex was when I was conceived, and it never happened again after that. It had a strange psychological effect on me too. Funny how several of us here have rather odd parental backgrounds.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.252.126
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - 12:33 am:   

Tony, I too am adopted and had the fact explained to me as "just one of those things that made me who I am" from as young as I could begin to understand. It was the classic scenario: my parents were told they would never be able to have kids so adopted me as a months old baby, then three years later my sister came along as a completely unexpected minor miracle (they happen all the time). I went on to have just about the most idyllic, well adjusted childhood it is possible to imagine - we were the "perfect" nuclear family lol.

As for how the knowledge of my adoption affected me... I'd say it gave me a love of mystery and the unknown, a certain feeling of being different in a special way (no jokes!), a sense of compassion for those around me as all merely accidents of birth (any one of whom I could have changed places with) and a rebellious, non-conformist streak that made me break away from my staunch Irish Catholic upbringing and pick Leeds United as my team when all my mates were either Liverpool or Man U lol. I remember the film that touched me most as a very young boy (perhaps 5 or 6) was John Ford's 'The Searchers', with its tale of the search for a lost child, and I remember that marvellous ending haunting me even then - it may even have been responsible for my falling in love with cinema. Apparently, when it was over, I turned and asked my mum, in all childhood innocence, if my "real" dad would come looking for me someday on a horse (true story).

Frank, I seriously like your writing, of which more anon...
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.170.179.157
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - 07:11 am:   

Stevie - my mum and dad explained it to me, too, from an early age; we were sort of lucky because it didn't happen much back then (a family friend never told their son and when he found out from kids at school he ran away from home).
I have all the traits you describe - over-affinities with underdogs (whatever they've done - i.e. that Daft Moat bloke), empathies with inanimate objects and animals (I've been more worried about objects getting 'hurt' in the past thatn some humans!), an inability to really bond with people. It's funny, I was playing a footy game on the xbox with my son the other day and he told me I always play with the crappy little teams nobody's heard of.
But yes, a sense of mystery all the time, not feeling I belong anywhere. No wonder I was potty on Who and fixate on folk like Dexter and Holmes.
Have you tracked down your family? If not, don't. I did last year and even though the people were nice I couldn't bear them; they had destroyed the mum in my mind's eye, the one that had essentially become my 'real' mum. Mad, isn't it? In fact a half-sis moved over here to live I the same country as me and I've more or less broken contact with her leaving her more or less stranded.
I have to admit to uber-selfishness.
Caroline - how did you know about the sex thing?
They don't realise how these things affect us, do they? Bringing up kids is like walking on eggshells.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.170.179.157
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - 07:13 am:   

I read a quote about adopted people that really helped me and rang lots of bells; that fantasy becomes our parent.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - 12:03 pm:   

Tony, the love of animals and the sense of responsibility that looking after them brings and, yes, always supporting the underdog or looking out for those who were bullied in school (or work) are very positive traits I'm sure I acquired subconsciously through the knowledge of being adopted - or rather my complete assimilation of that knowledge from as young as I could reason.

I did trace my roots about 7 years ago and, like you, it did not end well - I didn't like the people at all or the values they espoused (and vice versa) and after about a year we broke off all contact by mutual consent. It was a painful time but I came out of it satisfied at having solved my own personal mystery. I felt I had become a stronger person by not having succumbed to emotional blackmail and with my love for, and appreciation of, my real "real" parents and sister strengthened immeasurably. Apparently something like 95% of adoptees who trace their natural parents do not like what they find out but I'd rather know than go to my grave wondering - so no regrets, and neither should you have...
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.74
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - 01:07 pm:   

Tony - no, I've never thought my tales were therapeutic, though my childhood certainly give me a cornucopia of themes. I did find writing about it directly (in the foreword to The Face That Must Die) immensely liberating, since (as I said in the essay) I'd been inhibited by my upbringing from ever discussing it with anyone.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - 04:15 pm:   

As I've said elsewhere, Ramsey, that intro is the most powerfully emotional thing you have ever written imo. To talk about these things openly is to remove the potential long-term psychological harm the bottling up of such experiences can cause. As my prime literary example I need only point to J.G. Ballard - the master of turning psychic pain into coherent narrative.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.170.179.157
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2010 - 08:32 am:   

Ramsey - we were talking about you in Leeds yesterday, about that intro. Managed to meet up with Mark and Gary Fry. You've some very nice fans. Lovely blokes both of them (not that you have TWO fans!)
Stevie; I do have regrets because now my half sis is stranded in the UK (in Cardiff) without me putting out an olive branch! But then...she wanted to come here, and did have a sort of bf she met on the net (they fell out quick).
My family were very like me, all a bunch of weird loser types. I was hoping they'd have been more 'together' than me. Half sis told me her mum (our mum) said it had sort of disappointed her i hadn't done more in my life. One, to hear that was a bit crummy, and two, to be TOLD it had been said was crummy too. They bickered like heck on the net this lot and I hated it - I was getting pulled this way and that and couldn't bear it.
But yes, did you have a fantasy mum, Stevie? Mine sort of died but I actually loved her, thought she was real.
This stuff has fuelled every story I have ever written.
BTW you weren't born in 1963 were you? Just for coincidence' sake you understand.
I feel like I should email you for a chat about this.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.170.179.157
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2010 - 08:35 am:   

But yes, that intro was incredible.
My mum was quite a tricky customer (my adoptive mum) but I couldn't hate her, and she did love me. But it's like that experiment they did with the baby monkey; wrapped some spikes up in it's mother's skin and watching it hug the finished object and not let go even though it caused it pain.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.73
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2010 - 08:46 am:   

Ugh. Hideously powerful image, Tony, the monkey. Hadn't heard that one before.

(And yes, really glad you could meet up with Gary and me yesterday. Was fun. Pity our chat about Ramsey, his work, and the intro to Face That Must Die was interrupted by Tris getting that fat bloke to set the security/fire alarm off in Waterstones...!)
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.73
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2010 - 08:49 am:   

Seeing Ramsey's childhood home is interesting. It's not at all the house I pictured from reading Ramsey's work (as well as THAT introduction). I'd imagined it darker, more claustrophibic, narrower, and at an angle to the world for some reasons. Maybe from Ramsey's eyes it was all those things.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.73
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2010 - 08:57 am:   

Of course, as estate agents are devious souls, the house could be narrow, dark, crumbling, and they sent the photographer to make it look better by the trick of his lenses.

Weird to think we're looking at the roof that captured Ramsey's dreams all those years ago... And The Inhabitants of the Lake must've been written there!
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.27.152
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2010 - 09:16 am:   

(Great to see you, Mark and Tony. Let's do it again when we can. I'll try and make a bit more time available next time.)
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.68
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2010 - 10:00 am:   

(Gary kindly signed a copy of Feral Companions for a pal of mine - who'd actually bought the book for Simon Maginn's novella and not Gary's, but there you go - and I must say if you haven't read Gary's contribution, try and do so. I think it's one of his very best pieces.)
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.27.152
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2010 - 10:13 am:   

(I was particularly pleased to misdirect a guy who's probably read more books already than I'll ever read in my lifetime. :-))
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2010 - 12:57 pm:   

Email me for a chat anytime, Tony.

swalsh123@hotmail.com
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2010 - 02:11 pm:   

What? You had a meet-up in Leeds and didn't invite me? I could have popped over to Leeds as I only live 45 mins drive away. Next time any of you do that - if you don't mind having me around - I'd love to meet some of you in the flesh, so to speak.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.170.177.38
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2010 - 10:06 am:   

Hi Caroline - I had no idea you lived up the road. I'm really sorry about that. :-( I actually get to Leeds quite a bit over the school holidays so it's likely to happen again. :-)
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2010 - 03:47 pm:   

And I had no idea you lived around here either, Tony. Yes, I'm between Leeds and Bradford. When I'm working, I work in Leeds.

You know my email address. Next time you're going to be in this area let me know - so long as you don't mind being seen with a silly old woman who looks like she reads Catherine Cookson rather than Ramsey Campbell!

Ramsey - sorry, we've taken your thread off course ..
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.55
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2010 - 03:56 pm:   

You're quite local to come and see a play in Manchester in November as well. If you wanted to obviously.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2010 - 04:03 pm:   

You've been dropping a few hints about that haven't you, Weber? If it was over this side of the Pennines I would, but my trips to Manchester are few and far between. Sorry.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.55
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2010 - 04:22 pm:   

Me, drop hints? never.

Cough*6th-13 November Farnworth Little Theatre*cough
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2010 - 04:29 pm:   

Where is Farnworth, anyway? I've assumed it's Manchester way somewhere.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.55
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2010 - 05:06 pm:   

Just off the A666 between Salford and Bolton. I think the Motorway that bypasses it is the M61.

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