Rob Ramwell: Former Estate Management Officer

Hulme in Manchester holds a very special place in my heart. I moved into the (usually preceded by infamous or notorious) Crescents in the early 1980’s as a student and later was fortunate enough to get a job with the council as a glamorously titled Estate Management Officer of a not very glamorous estate. The advent of Hulme City Challenge in 1993 gave me the opportunity to work with a bunch of committed residents the tensions at times threatened to overwhelm us. 

In the years since I worked in various regeneration roles but as austerity bit in 2013 I left Manchester, my home and most of my possessions and set off in a 25 year old motorhome which never missed a beat as we chugged our away around Europe. Eventually we had to settle somewhere and since my partner Ángel is Spanish we decided on his home town of Almería. 

My Place is therefore Almanzora, a sleepy little village with an abandoned railway line that was once an engineering wonder and a decaying palace that I am working with the local community to restore using my regeneration experience. At first I found the heat of summer intolerable and sweated constantly. Now I’m more like a Spaniard and complain ‘que frio’ if the temperature drops below 20c and keep my winter coat on until May. We have wonderful sunsets, mountains and coast and a garden to potter around in and experiment with heat resistant plants. Hulme seems a world away. 

I’m the one on the right in the photo above standing next to Ángel