sons1I meet the General Manager, who shows me around after I fill him in again on what I’m trying to do, the whole place smells of melted rubber, a deep scent that penetrates right into me. He tells me the history of the factory, about what they make and some of the process, then shows me to the shed where my father used to work. I can see him standing there in the shadows, precise in his dress, manners and work. I go and stand where I see him, let his aura envelope mine. Put my hand on the ground, under the layers of dirt and years his footprint is here, even if the factory were gone the earth beneath will always hold his resonance. I see the slow hydraulic presses rising and falling, the room full of men feeding the constantly hissing machines. I’m shown the boiler room, the process areas, walking where he walked and listening for his voice. With many thanks I say goodbye, Dexines has done me a kindness they will never know. My father returns to me from the closed curtained room of my head, and the blankness of referred story.

Back in the car crossing Rochdale: Spotland Road, St Mary’s Gate, John Street, Molesworth Street, up to Liley Street where Dad used to live before he married Mum. Where we all lived together at first when they got married and after I was born. There is nothing here, no houses left. It is strange familiar ground under the feet. I take some photos of the perspectives, the street sign, trying to imagine where the houses would be, where number six would sit.

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