Guardian Angel Watches Over Us
HMP Manchester and Manchester Libraries

Read by Peter James

A man gets off a bus, stumbles, looks over and sees a woman smiling. He smiles also as he makes his way from the bus stop, looks up and reads a street sign, which is Rensure Street in Liverpool. In these beautiful Victorian style buildings he walks on admiring, crossing the main road to get a better view of the famous bombed out church of St. Luke’s that stands proud still today after the Blitz during the way. Then he slowly pulls up his hood as the clouds become grey and inclement weather draws in. here comes the rain showering down.
He walks through the city centre and immediately is met with the smell of hot dogs, burgers, onions wafting on the Liverpudlian breeze, mixed with fumes of taxis, cars, buses and a hint of the River Mersey that followed the winds coming from the Docks to greet him. He crosses cobbled stones from one street to the next, stepping out of the way of passers-by. As he continues, his attention is drawn to a grand pub called The Crown. On the big window he reads ‘fine ales, whiskey, gin, run, homemade Scouse served’, written in whitewash to draw in punters and passing trade.
Just then there’s fluttering coming from his left side. Gangs of pigeons all flying down from where they sat in formation like military ranks on the Lime Street Station rooftop, all gathering around puddles of rainwater. To the north of the entrance to the station was an old spinster lady hunched over with layers of clothing this poor soul warm on the streets, she was throwing corn and in her other hand she pulled along an old shopping trolly with all her worldly possessions inside.
The spinster lady was well known to the local clientele as the delivery to the pub a drayman with cellar doors open dropping barrels said to her, “hello, Kitty girl. Them pigeons of yours need to go on a diet, Kitty.” They both laughed. Then she replied, “ah go on with yeh,” smiling with no teeth whatsoever but happy feeding her enjoyment. As she walked on slowly, a taxi driver pulling away from the Lime Street rank, beeping his horn, window down, thumbs up to Kitty. “Hello, Kitty.” She waves back at the Scouse.
Inside the pub was heaving with people all enjoying themselves. As the man looks on, listening to the singing bellowing out: “In my Liverpool home we speak with an accent exceedingly rare / If you want a Cathedral we’ve got one to spare / In my Liverpool home. As the night comes closer people go home. The man is nowhere to be seen, only the song echoing in the rainy night.