On Monday 8th November Hardknott Dave and I set off to Marble Arch to meet with Ted from Brewers Union 180 Oakridge, Oregon and his sister Christi. They had arrived in Manchester that afternoon from America, returning for their first visit since the relocating of Hardknott brewery to Millom. After meeting up at the Marble Arch an impromptu brewery tour of Marble brewery, thanks to James, was Ted's first brewery excitement after his arrival. Next stop was a quick visit to the Font bar. By now it was 7pm. We arrived into Marlborough Street. There were lots of cars parked on Marlborough Street. It was a single yellow line but it was after 6pm and there were no signs on the wall to give allowed parking times. Well surely this many cars wouldn't be wrong would they?
We went into the Font where we were greeted well and bought ourselves a beer. Half an hour later after only one drink we returned to the car. On turning the corner we found the road was completely bare. Not a single car. I looked at Dave, this was the right street wasn't it? Panic set it. I Couldn't believe it. Had the car been stolen? I phoned the police 999 and explained that our car was gone. The helpful police gave me a phone number to ring which was difficult to remember but between the four of us we managed to memorize it. I phoned the number which apparently was the local council and informed them my car was missing. After giving the registration number they told me they had towed the car away. If I wanted it back we would need to collect it before 10pm and pay £140, they gave me a post code.
We were in a strange city we had no idea where to go neither did the taxi driver. £10 and 20mins later we arrived at the pound. Luckily I had our driving licences in my bag otherwise they were not going to return the car to us at all. £150 lighter and less than an hour since we parked the car we were eventually on our way again. All of us feeling very upset and deflated. What did we do so wrong to have the car towed away less than half an hour after parking it on a single yellow line at 7pm.
Well apparently we were 2 weeks late. Since 1999 until 2weeks ago we could've parked there without even a fine. Unfortunately the local council decided in their wisdom to change the parking times to 8pm instead of 6pm. No fine or warning just tow the car away. How to make visitors feel welcome. So be warned if you visit Manchester. You are not allowed to park on a single yellow line between the hours of 6pm and 8pm anymore or they will tow your car away!