Parapet to Pillared Aisle (Manchester Town Hall)

Come walk with me the cobbled square
And follow Albert’s frozen stare
Towards the corporate castle where
Committee men and women share
Cathedral calm and ancient air.

For this is Alfred’s towering grace,
It haunts you with its sense of place,
The ghosts of clerks who scratch and pace
As pale as gaslight on the face,
Worn wood, smooth stone, their only trace.

Come walk with me the spiral tread
Up to the rooms where hang the dead
In portraits that the years have bled,
To hear like them the minutes read
And time hang heavy on the head.

For this is Alfred’s winning pile,
In Spinkwell stone, Italian tile,
In municipal Gothic Style;
From parapet to pillared aisle,
A monument to spatial guile.

David Hulme 2012