Newton Heath, put simply, is the arse-end of the world.
There are a lot of piss stained, beer soaked swillings of towns reviewed on this site but I can honestly promise you, they are nothing compared to the blight on the UK that is Newton Heath.
Situated in the North of Manchester, it is perilously close to other “respectable” neighbourhoods such as Moston, Clayton, Gorton and dare I say it, Miles Platting. Truth is, if you can get off the bus on Church Street without getting mugged you’re a better man than I am. In fact, if you can get onto the rotting, s**t stained Bluebird single decker in the first place you’ll be lucky. Getting past the twenty or so 16-year old single mothers with prams in the disabled area can be quite a nuisance, especially at peak times. And if you do manage to get past the smoke-smelling, pink-tracksuit and crop-top wearing louts to the rear of the vehicle you’ll inevitably get the seat next to the pissed old scruff who’ll definitely try to touch your leg.
The aforementioned Church Street, which is Newton Heath’s chewing-gum and chippy wrapper strewed main street, has a variety of shops for you to choose from during the day and a host of nightlife outlets of a night time. Netto, which shares a building with Iceland, hordes the majority of the Giro-wielding scumbags who can’t afford to go to the LIDL a little further down the street. This yellow peril has blighted Newton Heath for years, and only seems to be getting more popular as Iceland across the pathway loses out. If supermarkets aren’t your thing, try the ‘60p’ shop, which retains its name even after nothing is actually sold at 60p anymore. But this eternal symbol of scumbag-isation still stands sandwiched between a bookies, a pawn shop and a Greggs. A perfect line of outlets for any discerning day-to-day Chav. Many Newton Heath-ers will spend every Monday blowing their Dole money on the Irish Lottery, pawning their mothers old family heirlooms for cocaine followed by a trip to Greggs for a dog meat and potato pasty. And when their screaming little s**t they have in tow won’t shut his fat little face, they’ll buy him a throwaway lighter from the 60p shop to keep him occupied.
As for the nightlife, Newton Heath boasts a great many beer swilling joints, namely the Railway, Culcheth Gates and several on Church Street itself. Each one is as grotty as the last, and each one is run by a fat old woman who sleeps with a baseball bat at the side of her bed every night. And one of the punters in it. Even after the smoking ban, you can walk past the doorway of one of these hateful sin-bins and get high from the cloud of marijuana fumes escaping from inside. The local Working Mens Club has actually installed a kind of ‘open air prison cell’ right outside the front doors, so you can watch the Tetleys-drinking old men perving on your girlfriend (or mother) as you wait for a bus at the stop outside it. Speaking of which, the council recently tried upgrading this lowly bus stop with a new shelter for Newton Heath’s extensive Granny population. I don’t think it’s ever had any glass inside it, however. If it has, it’s likely to have been nicked to replace someone’s council house front window.
The locals of Newton Heath couldn’t be friendlier. Swarming with ‘Trespass’ black-waterproof tracksuit clad thugs; I wouldn’t bother asking for directions if you’re unfortunate enough to get lost in Pooton Beef. There’s a local rivalry between the three main high schools of North Manchester, namely the Girls School, the Boys School and St Matthews High School. The Boys school frequently beat up the Girls, and St Matthew frequently get beaten up by both. The 677 school bus is the stuff of nightmares; I’ve seen horrors on there which should never be released into the public domain. It’s not just the youths, though. Indeed, most of the thuggery hanging around on Newton Heath’s estates are between the ages 20 – 40, some even older. Drug dealing is rife, the wardens are corrupt and the police simply don’t give a s**t. Dogs are used as currency in areas such as the Troydale estate. The bigger and rougher looking, the more they’re worth. Poodles, for example, are roughly equivalent to 1p in monetary terms. Trading a dog for food or sex is also commonplace. Sex with the actual dog, too, can probably seen after dark down some of the more downtrodden alleyways.
Finally, I come to the local culture of NH. If you don’t wear a pair of Nike Shox, you’re homosexual. If you don’t shag somebody before you’re 13, you’re gay. If you impregnate a teenager, you’re classed as a local hero and may even attract your own gang of thugs. Certain areas, such as Brookdale Park and Scotland Hall Road are no-go areas unless you drive an armoured vehicle. Do NOT drive anything less around Newton Heath. At least, if you take pride in your car any road. It WILL get broken into. No doubt about it. All children in Newton Heath are brought up on a diet of chippy teas, weed and Carlsberg, the latter two of which can be bought from California Wines on Culcheth Lane.
There’s a level crossing at the bottom of Berry Brow in Newton Heath. Trains run every 30 minutes through this crossing. If you happen to accidentally venture this way, it’s certainly better to end your journey by waiting for the Manchester Victoria service to squash you to a pulp. A lot better than walking through Newton Heath.