Bury market is debatedly the most famous market in the U.K. and in 2006 won the Market of the Year award (links here and here). And as it's down the road from us, a trip definitely had the potential of a good day out.
Although not the most direct route to Bury, we caught a bus to Rawtenstall to catch the East Lancashire Railway to Bury. The ELR is a private railway running steam engines on the old Bury-Heywood branchline. Although started as a trainspotters' hobby (and I was one once, anorak and all!), it is now a valuable community service.
Up the valleys by bus to Rawtenstall (one end of the line) - beautiful sunshine, small towns, old cotton mills, stone terraces ... A short stop in Bacup where the driver advised me I could get off for a smoke. A one-legged pensioner in a wheelchair couldn't negotiate the narrow pavement and alighting so we manhandled him on. Jaime fascinated by a one-legged person!
We just made it onto the train. Kezia and Jaime were enthralled. All the Tommy the Tank Engine comic book images became real, a couple of tunnels - whooh! - the engine hoots and whistles, smoke and chugger, chugger, chugger ... We pull up in Bury and have time for photo opportunities. Jaime is invited onto the footplate (not sure he can be made out through the smoke in the photo!).
And then to Bury market.
Now I have to admit an ulterior motive here! Bury is the home of the Black Pudding! Nowhere else in the U.K. can you have a Black Pudding Sandwich - a hot, boiled black pudding sliced in two with a filling of picallili, tomato ketchup, HP sauce or mustard. A culinary delight!
The culinary delights continued - a meat-and-potato pie with mushy peas (dried peas boiled and mashed) covered in gravy (another traditional northern dish) - and then I took home some real (as opposed to shrink-wrapped) farm-made Lancashire cheese - strong, tangy, crumbly. Angus is a happy boy!
And Nanda went shopping!
Something for everyone!