Monday, 2 November 2009

I remember Argleton

Argleton, the place not far from here that exists on Google maps and nowhere else and on which I have blogged before, has now come to the attention of the national media:

I did explain to the nice reporter from the Telegraph that all I knew about Argleton I had gleaned from Roy Bayfield’s intrepid explorations in the badlands north of Liverpool on his blog ( Still she managed to spatchcock my inane musings on the matter into an uninformative but not too embarrassing quote. Strangely, my more esoteric references to Alberto Manguel’s classic Dictionary of Imaginary Places failed to make the cut. I note that I am described as a ‘map expert’, which I am sure will delight real map experts everywhere.

Apparently there is now a ‘Save Argleton’ campaign gathering pace on the net. Tell me where the barricades are and I’m there …

Martin Wainwright, who already gets maximum respect from this blog’s posse for writing a biography of the Morris Minor, has just published a book about my neck of the woods, True North: In Praise of England’s Better Half, which I’m enjoying. There is no mention of Argleton but plenty of good stuff about beef dripping and fish’n’chip shops. I liked the account of his Uncle Chris, a vicar in Bradford who explains why people there never take their overcoats off: ‘If it isn’t raining, it soon will be,’ he says. Wainwright also has a blog on the book ( which is well worth a look, as is his intriguingly titled partner blog Martin’s Moths (, which sadly now seems to be hibernating.