You’ve seen the film ‘You, Me and Marley’? If not, it’s set in trouble torn Belfast and specifically a terrorist controlled, nationalist ghetto with no respect for law and order on its streets. Well, the film makers decided Sholver was the perfect setting for this film. No, seriously.
Sholver is essentially a giant council estate where the folk at Oldham council would historically dump its waste population. Geographically, it’s estranged from other more salubrious neighbourhoods of Oldham, such as Derker and Littlemoor. Think of it as a giant category C prison built on a hill side.
The people are what makes Sholver the stinking cesspit it really is. An overspill estate from the old Belle Vue Zoo, there’s clearly some kind of cleansing programme going on in which young girls are whisked away some time before their 10th birthday. What we see is a predominantly male population; pre-pubescent vandals, heroin addled teenage joyriders, unemployed, pissed young men, usually fighting or selling coke and old villainous money lenders that fancy themselves as prize fighters.
Community services and facilities are scarce. There’s a pub on Sholver green, the Northgate. It’s a cheap nasty Manchester brewery pub that are always the cheapest and are usually found in the most deprived s**t holes. A relief manager for the brewery once told me that finding managers willing to set foot in the Northgate is perhaps the brewery’s biggest single challenge!
If Sholver has one redeeming quality, its the end of the line. Innocents don’t have to go through Sholver on the way home, don’t need to risk their lives on the 83 bus as it weaves its way through streets strewn with empty cheap lager tins and used needles. Seriously I’d rather travel through Andy Dufrane’s s**t pipe than stay on the bus to its Sholver terminus. Oh and the views are good, to all the other parts of Gtr Manchester that everyone would rather be.