by Karen J Mossman
If you have read Behind Closed Doors, you might want to know a little about the area mentioned in the story.
Withington in Manchester is a place I lived from 1968 until 1976. I wanted Kerry and Tommy to be in a place I knew so I could describe and imagine it as I wrote. If you get the opportunity to walk down the same streets, it brings the book alive.
There are four roads in Withington that run parallel with each other; Hatherley Road, Brooklea Road, Ashdene Road, and Fairholme Road. Cutting through the middle is School Grove., talked about a lot, as Kerry made her way to various places, just as I once did.
Ladybarn Park is in the middle of Parrsword Road, Parsonage Road, and Mauldeth Road. This is where Kerry frequently goes out for a run and it also where she and Tommy have their first row. At one entrance to the park, between Parsonage Road and Parrswood Road, there once stood a red telephone box. It is here that Kerry makes a tearful phone call to Tommy after a row with Bill.
The Cotton Tree pub was a place I frequented a lot and was near Cotton Lane, very close to Alan Road where Tommy lived. This is where Behind Closed Doors opens, when Kerry is out with her then boyfriend, Howard. And it is here that she first encounters Tommy.
Withington village is still a bustling area today, and the building that held the Scala picture house still stands. Kerry meets Iris for the first time in the village, and Kerry and Tommy frequently drive through it.
They also went on a date to the Scala cinema, which is in the village, and saw a Clint Eastwood film. I couldn’t find a photo of how it looked as I remembered it. This is a lot older and when I went, there was the area at the front and this is where Kerry and Tommy queued to get in.
Here is the road map showing Ladybarn Park, the road where Kerry lived with the arrow and Alan Road where Tommy lived. On the left, you can see Wilmslow Road. This is where Withington Village is located.
Find out more about the book here.