Monday, 24 October 2016

tunnel of love

Now that I’m back in Hong Kong, I don’t expect to be writing anything about the UK for the next seven months, but I do have one loose end to tie up first. On the weekend prior to my departure, I travelled down to Manchester for the christening of my grandson. It wasn’t possible to travel early enough on the day—that’s the modern British rail network for you—so I was obliged to travel down the day before and check into a hotel in the south Manchester suburb of East Didsbury.

Once I’d done so, I had the rest of the afternoon and the evening to myself, and I spent much of that time walking around the area. Among the city’s public transport options is a modern tram network, some of which follows old railway lines that may have been disused for decades prior to their incorporation into the network, and I was walking along a path (shared with cyclists—there appears to be an extensive off-road network of cycle routes around these parts) that runs alongside one such line when I came across a brick-lined tunnel, the walls of which were covered in graffiti.

Regular readers will know that I don’t automatically regard graffiti as vandalism—they can have aesthetic merit—although in this case a degree of vandalism must be conceded. However, the vandalism here appears to be against older graffiti, which have often been overwritten. There are also a lot of meaningless scrawls, often on top of more elaborate pieces of work, so that often the result is, unfortunately, a mess. As you can see from the following sequence of photographs, the tunnel cannot be compared with Ghost Alley or Penrith’s Answer to Ghost Alley. Nevertheless, I felt that it was worth recording.

Having checked out these images, you’re probably wondering why I gave this post the title I did, given that I often use common phrases that don’t appear to be directly relevant as titles. In this case, I was listening to music on my MP3 player, and Tunnel of Love by Dire Straits came on just as I reached the tunnel. But for this serendipitous juxtaposition, I might never have bothered to write this post.


  1. Tunnel of Love for sure or not in some cases. That's my England, everyone trying to get on top of one another, and that's another story Dennis. I do like to see nice graffiti done in an artistic way though.

    1. Good to hear from you Rum. I hope you’re well. I do agree with you that graffiti can be artistic. Have you checked out the two links in this post? Ghost Alley, in particular, is a stunning experience, especially when you consider that it’s in a remote area of the Hong Kong countryside. As for urban graffiti, you may enjoy Physical Graffiti, which I spotted originally from the train taking me into Kowloon.

  2. I hope this finds you and yours doing well. May we display your header on our new site directory? As it is now, the site title (linked back to its home page) is listed, and we think displaying the header will attract more attention. In any event, we hope you will come by and see what is going on at


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