Nestling amidst stark, Pennine hills,
fringeing a river, our town has grown,
spreading slowly through passing years,
like gentle waves that never recede.
Ever growing, ever changing.
Growing and changing.
Old slabbed pavements, cobbled roads.
Stone terraced houses, grime encrusted.
Mills and chimneys in every vista.
Reminders past of Rochdale’s pulse.
But change is coming;
change is coming.
When life was dreary, hard and raw,
town offered a sense of belonging.
Change occurred slowly, steadily, sure,
watched over benignly by the Town Hall clock.
It was the other side of Town.
Other side of Town.
Here and now, town is transforming.
Black spots flattened, erased, re-jigged.
Trams are revived, Roch river exposed,
revealing forgotten medieval world.
New projects in progress;
projects in progress.
What’s at its heart? What stimulates change?
Heritage, history all play their part.
Communities contribute hope for the future,
share strengths and skills co-joined as one.
This is the other side of town,
other side of town.