Day Twelve: Macclesfield

February 17, 2007

My next rockstar pilgrimage occured on December 30. We visited Macclesfield, home of the legendary Ian Curtis. The night before at Grandma and Grandpa’s, Drew and I spent some time talking to Paul’s Sarah about Macclesfield, since she works there and knows the town well. She said it was a great town to visit, lots of shops and such, plus it’s rather quaint and charming.

Drew and I left around 9 a.m. to walk to the train station. Mark and Sarah live a ten minute walk away from the station, which was wonderful because they didn’t have to drive us around when we embarked on our numerous day trips. Before our train left, we stopped for some coffee at the little shop at the station. The same girl was always working the register when we made our pre-train pitstops, and everyday you could tell she was wondering where we crazy Americans were running off to next. For some reason, I decided to poke around at the magazine selection that particular morning, and I came across the latest issue of Mojo, which just happened to have Ian on the cover. It was a sign, right? I had to buy it.

Macclesfield was a short train ride, only 15 minutes away. When we got off the train, we wandered accross the the street and up the steep cobbled street into the center of town. A beautiful old church was to our right, which we decided to invesigate. The churchyard was covered in old tombstones, and some people were outside doing rubbings of them:

From the church, we had no idea where to go next. We followed another cobbled street that was lined with shops, and did some browsing. Since we didn’t have a map of town, we were hoping to find a petrol station (also known as a garage – the Brits are good at confusing us Yanks!) so we could either get a map or some directions toward the cemetary. Thankfully it didn’t take long to find a petrol station, and the woman working there seemed a bit puzzled as to why we were looking for the cemetary, but she was pleasant enough and very helpful. As we left, it began to rain (surprise, surprise) so we huddled under our umbrellas during our 20 minute walk to Macclesfield Cemetary.

I had seen some photos of Ian’s grave online, along with some directions towards where it is in the cemetary. I generally have a poor sense of direction, but we found it quite quickly, even though it’s a tiny stone:

The cemetary was large, so I’m glad we found it so fast! It would have been a long day in the cold and rain if I wouldn’t have checked online before our trip. After paying our respects, we explored more of the cemetary, which was really beautiful:

Drew and I stayed for about an hour before we headed back to the center of town. From there we explored more of the shops, and bought more Thornton’s chocolates. Then we discovered the Brit version of the dollar store – Poundland!

Can you tell that it’s the little details that make us happy? We had to go in and explore, though the place was packed. Drew picked up a few bags of glowsticks for some jollies on New Years Eve. While browsing I came across this calendar of Sharon Osbourne:

As you can see, it was half-price at 50p. Who in the world wants a Sharon Osbourne calendar anyway? Maybe they should try giving them away…

When we left Poundland, it was getting dark. It was still raining, we were cold, and we decided to find some food. We hit up a local pub first, but they didn’t sell food. They directed us to The Queen’s Hotel, which was down the road. Once there, we ordered some pints and looked at the menu. Since it was a more respectable establishment, I was admonished by the bartender to take off my hat. A local came up to us for a chat, turns out he’d spent a number of years living in the States. Naturally, he wondered what would bring us to Macclesfield and I sheepishly mentioned my Ian Curtis pilgrimmage. We talked for a bit longer, then we finally settled in for our meal (Drew: chicken tikka masala, Me: fish, chips and mushy peas – boring aren’t I? but it’s good stuff).

On the way out of town we stopped at Tesco’s so we could pickup some odds and ends (chapstick, antacids, Boddingtons for Drew for our New Year’s Eve gathering). We hopped another train, then headed back to Sara and Mark’s. A few more snaps from the day. At the train station:

Self-portrait on the way back:



  1. ian curtis: legend

  2. I want a Sharon Osbourne Calendar! Go back & buy it and I’ll pay you twice whats its worth 🙂

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