I come from Hyde. Does this mean I’m in a coma?

Published on 29 September 2007 in , ,

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…


  • Bobby Kemp says:

    Hi Bods – came across this by accident and was interested as an old Hydonian.
    Speaking as someone who still lives in the area, I can’t believe the cr*pness of the people you mercilessly name drop on your other pages.
    Come on Bods – surely you can do better than that!
    (only joking : )
    For the rec, I went to HGS and the 6th form. I’ve been in music most years, having performed nationwide and worldwide in various guises.
    More recently, I worked in TV doing documentaries on (and with) David Beckham, U2, Michael Jackson (RIP) and Emma Thompson to ‘name drop’ but a few.
    Oh, and Harold S. was my Doctor too!
    On the serious subject of Hyde though, if you or anyone reading wants to get involved in preserving part of this great Northern town’s legacy, then I’m currently organising an event with Hyde United FC.
    They’re in serious danger of bankruptcy and, as an attempt to raise awareness (and lots of money), I’m planning a Big Band show in their Stadium.
    * I really feel strongly about the state of play with the Country’s smaller clubs. They’re a massive part of each town’s heritage and local culture and it really rankles when you consider that some premiership players could bail out such a club with 2 week’s wages!!
    * These people really aren’t Gods – I’ve been in loads of their houses and only Jamie and Louis Redknapp seemed to have a working kettle!!
    Please drop a note back (or check the local papers), for more information
    Take care
    Bobby Kemp

  • Andrew Bowden says:

    If it helps, my Doctor wasn’t Harold but I was registered at the surgery which reported him! I also remember when at least one Manchester City player lived in Newton. Bet that doesn’t happen any more…
    Good luck with Hyde United gig.