I come from Hyde. Does this mean I’m in a coma?
I know, I know. I’m about twenty years behind everyone else. For whatever reason, I didn’t watch Life On Mars when it was first broadcast. In fact it completely passed me by until series two started being promoted. And it looked tempting, but I didn’t want to come into it mid way through.
Thankfully BBC Four (oh the wonderful BBC Four) started reshowing it from the beginning a few months ago, and I duly set my PVR to record them all. And on Thursday, Catherine and myself sat down to watch the final two episodes.
Now I’m not going to go into anything about that final episode because it would be ridiculously late and everyone’s done it already.
However I will say that I’m glad to see that the good name of Hyde has been restored in peoples minds.
For those that don’t know, I lived in Hyde from my birth until I went to University in 1996. Hyde’s a pretty unassuming place. Town hall, market place. Nothing special. It’s just a town about seven miles east of Manchester.
It is however famous for two things. Most recently a certain Harold Shipman who did many bad things, including causing Five Live presenter Victoria Derbyshire to stand on Market Street in Hyde at 7am and live on air, proclaim that Hyde’s a sleepy market town. Well if you’re going to stand around a town centre anywhere in this country at 7am, of course it’s going to look sleepy. And she’s one to talk about sleepy market towns given she was born in Ramsbottom…
Second thing Hyde was famous for? Well it’s less well known but the home of the Moors Murderers was in Hattersley, which is part of Hyde. Funnily enough, the same area that boxer Ricky Hatton grew up in.
And that’s it. Well that’s it that sticks in the minds anyway. I mean, TV legend Stuart Hall was born in Hyde, and Timmy Mallet got educated in the buildings where I studied for my A-Levels. But these are not exactly well known facts about the town I grew up in.
But thanks to Life on Mars, I’ve got something new to link Hyde to. Yep, I can now say “I come from Hyde” with relish, knowing that everyone who has ever watched Life On Mars will have heard of it. Even if it is now essentially a euphemism for being in a coma….
Of course there’s one inaccuracy I can think of in the whole of Life on Mars. If Hyde Police Station in the 1970s was anything like the size of the one I grew up seeing in the 1980s, it could barely hold two drunks in a cell, yet alone an entire CID division… In fact the main police station in the area has always been in Ashton…. What’s that? He was in a coma so it was just his mind playing tricks on him? Oh I’ll let you have that one then. If I must…