Allow but a little consciousness.
To be conscious is not to be in time
But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
Be remembered; involved with past and future.
Only through time time is conquered.
TS Eliot. Four Quartets.
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Watling street/ Tame valley industrial estate Fazely. Two Gates.
Walsall . West Bromwich. Blakenall.
Punished for ‘worklessness’, third of people on benefits.
Punished for ‘worklessness’, third of people on benefits.
Bloxwich dole office.
When he comes home it's freezing black outside but you put the tv on and the three bar fire and have pasta with red sauce. The electricity is on a 50p metre. When it goes out sometimes you lie in bed by candlelight and talk about places when you were young, haunted places where you’d seen the other side.
Your hair is black with a bluish tint, your face is pale,, sometimes you put talc on to make it look even whiter. When you run out of eyeliner you do it with felt tip. Day before giro is the worst time but you can usually borrow a tenner.
Raining, heavy dark skies, train over to Bescot. You walk down a narrow path overgrown with briars and pale grasses… it’s muddy and cold,, dark pools of water underfoot. Motorway to your right, hedgerows and trees blazing with berries.
Streams beneath the motorway in concrete culverts. Brindley Ditch. You climb a narrow concrete staircase, tracing graffiti with your fingertips, 1977, 1981, 1995. You feel those times, you lost yourself there and now little shreds are filtering back, coaslescing, fleshing out the spectre of yourself.
Muddy tracks, red campion,, an expanse of space opening where a pattern making factory once stood. You creep in through holes in fences and drift through blackened fossils of castings and machines.
Heaps of bricks, shards of walls, bleak suburban housing.
Back to path, M6, concrete staircase,,,a lovely apple tree, a pippin, heavy with ripe fruit, on an island between the railway tracks and the bombed factory,,a high metal fence and the M6 above.
Concrete embankments. Toxic pall from illegal bonfires.
Lorries, vans, abandoned vehicles.
A narrow path between The Delves and the M6. 70s masionettes with child like graffiti,,
‘Xfactor’,, LUV LUV and pink hearts/
1997. Election campaign. IRA threatened to blow up this stretch of M6. Four small charges attached to concrete pillars .
Proof of concept, shift from spectacular to economic damage.
Dreams of pylons crashing down on motorway.
1995 encampment under Spaghetti junction. Portakabins, caravans, double decker structures.
not construction workers,
coppers off gym duty going soft.
M6 section going to M54
Isolated underpass left with warning vehicle—
Pass beneath motorway again, vast spaces opening up, concrete stanchions becoming sentries, golden light, Autumn chill, graffiti, Green Man, scorch marks on dusty floor.
Flood plain and muted vista of fields, tangles of blackthorn, a river and small clusters of wooden shacks. Horses. Piebalds. You speak to them but feel sad not to have brought apples.
Walk along canal, the motorway splits into different levels.
Walsall. Old football ground. Morrisons. Laundry End.
Junction 9 and 10. ‘The wall’ demolished.
Alum Well- FH LLoyds
The van parks up outside… a muddy lane,, pools of oily water,, briars curling over tumbledown fences…
black vans, battered ambulances.. dogs barking and pans clattering in the kitchen.
He jumps into the yard.
You’re watching through orange drapes at the window,
sharp October dark,
woodsmoke, incense, heavy boots crashing up wooden stairs.
The Wheatsheaf… 1993 Blythe Power and Contempt,
a dimly lit alcove,, crew playing Antisect, Poison Girls, Crass. Peroxide spikes, leather jackets. A load of you drinking poitin the RDF crew brought from Peckham.
You arrived there en masse and Dee was waiting for you in some vegan co op place, you can’t remember exactly where, you think it might have been George Street but that’s beyond recognition now.
Industrial buildings have been removed along the canal to be developed by Urban Splash
WRC hopes to attract £755 million in public and private sector investment to fund this ambitious programme. The eight projects are not only expected to deliver new jobs and homes, but also raise the aspirations of the town.
West Bromwich. Sandwell valley,, wooded slopes. Blocks, some 60s, others pfi, reclad blue like cop shops.
Large suburban estates, green expanses between low rises. Waiting ages at a windswept bus stop. A few on but not many, done up girls and an Asian bloke who smiles at you.
West Bromwich is a blasted landscape of fences and rubble. You go into a shopping centre and return to West Riding in the 70s, blooms of water damage across concrete, polystyrene roof tiles yellow in dim light. You linger in the cigarette smoke, the cold and the damp.
THE PUBLIC// flourescent hangar,, black and pink, like a psychoactive IKEA.
Magenta light, tangles of pink neon and glowing yellow walls. You watch an old lady with a walking frame trying to negotiate stark angles and silver corridors,, the abandoned dream of a youth disco//
The café expands in chill blue light, blasts of ice hit your feet, your back. You have coffee , you cup your hands round to warm them.
Dudley Road, 70s semis, hoardings and pylons.
Allotments, industrial estates and towering fir trees/
He has a couple in the George first before he comes to meet you.
Pass the Rainbow House and Balti Valley.
Brades Tavern. Cream and brown three storey hulk at junction.
You sit outside, in that triangular yard with the metal seats;
he comes out to you with lemonades and a little wrap of whizz,, he says he’ll get you some pills if you want them..You pour some vodka into the drinks., he says stay out here. They’re having a karaoke disco inside and you want to go in but the landlord will kick off if he sees you. He brings you a pack of fags from the machine inside, stops and smokes with you for a while. His hand is on your knee , says we’ll go round Steve’s soon, he’s bringing some pills, we can put your tunes on there.
Victorian houses, ivy covering the front, muddy track at the back, abandoned cars scorched in the briars.
October sun warming soft bricks,, in the yard,, sitting round a small fire… cups of tea,, single skinners, Subhumans tape rattling through the window. He asks how long you’ve been in Walsall. Two months. You never settle anywhere long.
October sun warm on your back,, brambles, purple juice bursting, crushed on the towpath.
Gypsy Lane estate. Bentley common bisected by motorway/
rough pasture for horses. Rebranded Roughwood county park, fictional transformation, history distorted to perpetuate myth.
First to come onstream will be The Walsall Waterfront, a flagship development by Urban Splash of designer homes, offices and waterside cafes and restaurants. This new ‘quarter’, located right in the heart of the town and inspired by the nearby iconic art gallery, is intended to kickstart the whole regeneration process.
Gypsy Lane estate- Beechdale-
50s, 60s travellers persecuted,, council operating zero tolerance policy. Police harrassment, burning, crushing, caravans smashed. If they’d had higher authority they\d have had every one of us in the gas chambers
Canal by Bentley common, traditional camping grounds,scrap dealing, agricultural work…,
geographically central, marshalling yards, motorway confluences.
Violence meted out, brutal evictions of burning and beatings. Campsites banked up with heaps of earth, trenches dug to prevent settlements.
-my own little son very badly injured and my caravan smashed to pieces.
- my wife was kicked black and blue by the police in her own caravan three days before her baby was born
-I was kicked unconscious
-a sister from the hospital refused to treat us.1
1994. Criminal Justice Bill.
The convoy is heading for London, gig tonight at the Robey, he wants you to come ,,
When you get back you throw your stuff in a bag and he says come on then. He picks you up and you fall into the van laughing. You’re heading out of Walsall, elevated high on the M6 and you wonder if you’ll ever come back.
Mossley estate,,, Glastonbury, Tintern—
pleasure of ruins……
Leopard skin jacket, shades, mohair jumpers.
The Gate Lichfield 1979
Flock wallpaper, pink curtains, band crushed on tiny stage.
Mahogany door and dark red carpets.
Rough ground where Asda is, travellers made a stand.
Fire bombed, fights on site/
Encampment destroyed,, Sainsburys demolished
You pass that tattoo studio on Bradford road. Freezing night, blue frost sparkling on roads and rooftops. Black terrace, dim yellow street lights.
You rent a room over the chippie , Saddlers; burnt oil, vapours of black grease in the stairwell. There’s just you here most of the time,, it’s cold, electric fire glows warm but doesn’t throw out heat, you go to bed in your clothes
Mould, damp stink in bathroom. Early Decemebr,, skies black then lit up red and green; fairylights, tinsel, the smell of smoke.
Black felt in arched windows. You scratch the moss from the ledge. He gives you a fiver to go to the shops; instant mash, noodles and pasta from scoop and save. He’s on a dole course now, away every day and gets his dinner paid for, pastie, crips and drink.
Unemployment rising, designated Enterprise Zones emerging from the rubble , area redeveloped. Round Oak developed as Merry Hill Shopping Centre and Waterfront leisure complex, Patent Shaft site developed as industrial estate.
Circle of trees - signs of burning in the area - ritualistic paraphernalia on former MOD land.
The canal is high above the motorway.
Flattened grasses, scorched patches of gorse.,
,,, elderflower, hawthorn,
Black circles by the towpath and the abandoned factory.
Magic Lantern, estate bunker, dark brick, salmon panels, George cross as threat outside.
Beechdale estate, once Gypsy Lane estate.
.. he has charm, charisma…beautiful…eyes/// so pale blue.. dark hair,, streaks of peroxide … the room is ,smoky, magenta.
boarded up houses in Blakenall,
Front room skag dossing.
Goscote hospital. Closed.
Burnt umber, raw sienna.
Flattened grasses, dead ferns.
----,, West Bromwich, 2011 becoming Wakefield in the 80s, clusters of blokes outside aggro boozers. 4 o clock Tuesday afternoon, electrical charges jumping between 1981 and 2011.
But always ahead with phones, tvs , gadgets.
Main drag smashed in riot, leads to Soho Road in Handsworth,, Asian gold jewellery shops--, military planning, kick it off up here to draw police out of Birmingham.
Bus station cold. Waiting around in corridors of blue glass, anti loiter colour, makes it crueller. You feel a pride and a thrill for the riots, the destruction and refusal. Before that glittering August you felt depressed at the collective acceptance of such misery.
You are drawn to the shopping centre,, another arcade, like Seacroft, think always of Leeds, 1970s, early 80s…
Like ’smart water’ indelibly stamped on you.
Carphone warehouse, Phones4U..glossy faces in adverts incongruous, trapped in dank corners of 1980.
The A34 trunk road runs directly through the middle of Walsall and is often used by persons travelling from John O Groats to Lands End by foot or other method.
An elevated section of the M6 motorway built in 1968 half circles around Walsall to the West of the town.
Parties above Hole in wall
Bradford arms. Salvation army spike. Casual ward.
Sister Dora statue moved. Tesco now derelict.
You walk,, you keep walking,, that lost edge of the town, where you go to be quiet, away from him… you say you’re going to the shops, he doesn’t know where you go…
With your skin, yellowing on the forearm, violet on the thigh.
Overgrown garden, buddleia, sycamore-
nettles spiking through broken greenhouse.
Cooker not in bad nick. Grey dreylon chairs,
Gas fire, still working.
Green formica table in kitchen.
Walking stick hooked to a chair.
You feel sad, it takes you over quick,, but then the calm comes again.
Shadowy stairwell, listen for sounds. Wallpaper coral and grey, iridescent with a sheen of damp.
Carpet, mint green and pale pink, swirls radiating from the hearth.
At once recognisable, but somewhere so distant now.
You know you can never go back.
Urban design has a key role to play in the regeneration process. New city squares are being planned, linked to a major remodelling of the town centre. These incorporate new bus and train station links and a new civic space centred on the Cenotaph.
You get on another bus, biting cold, to Wednesbury.. rock hard seats, icy draughts and the smell of fish and chips.
Pedestrianised arcade , market square.
EDL stickers. Mean looking boozer called the George. A couple walking past who you know are Nazis.
The tragedy of our class. .
Sports wear, shaved heads, overweight.
All looking ill.
You sense the stares and the sniggers from flourescent pubs, Sky TV flashing over burgundy walls. They watch you walking, they’re shouting something but you don’t hear it, you’ve burrowed into a forgotten seam, a hardened artery///
You recognise it as the end of a diseased trajectory.
White, defensive, embittered.
You wait for your slot..they wont sign you if you’re a minute late, you miss your slot, have to come back//
You’re waiting for your emergency payout, your personal issue. You lean against the wall, your back aches and you feel the beady eyes of the security on you. You recognize someone from the kitchen you wash dishes in.
All junkies, illegals in there.
She looks over but keeps her face cold.
Furnaces, mainly foundries.
Peoples March for Jobs Spring of 1981. George Street, Walsall now Asda.
“Walsall is truly starting to be known as the place to be for great and emerging architectural talent,” added Nathan. “AHMM (bus Station), Caruso St John (New Art Gallery) have already delivered great projects and Urban Splash has started work with award-winning architects, SMC Alsop, shedkm and Feix & Merlin on phase 1 and now we have 132 practices to add yet more talent in phase 2.”
Flats empty, corner of Churchill Road and Wolverhampton Road in Bentley.
Disused factory buildings on the corner of Day Street and Bate Street.
You head down the canal by Urban Splash hoardings completely obscured by thistles and detritus. There’s a new build with a show flat open and you go inside. You’ve burrowed in and you feel compromised, anxious in a sterile warren.
Man and woman in charge, you know they’re supposed to put you at ease in a scene of easy domesticity. He’s a white businessman, stepping from an advert, tall, clean and suntanned, about 50. You tune into the neurosis,, the affairs, you smell the panic and the aftershave.
He shows you round, you stare at the clean, manicured hands, the silver bracelet. The flat is pale, sanitised, a double page from a DFS catalogue. He says it would cost £575 a month for a penthouse two bed looking across the canal and gallery.
You look at a landscape of chimneys and crumbling factories.
He says we’re not turning our back on what’s already here, flicker of defensiveness momentarily sullying the veneer.
Abandoned factory Darlaston, Bentley Road south
Charles Richards and sons imperial bolt fasteners.
Freezing, shivering, too cold to get out of bed.
Electrics gone, room dark in a warren of black cells.
Cream carpet, circles seeping black.
On the hoardings black marker cuts bright faces:
Negative equity ghetto, Rehouse us Now.
Rileys Snooker Hall 2010. Abandoned, used to be The 5th nightclub.
1989, total wreckage.
Monument to 5th Batallion South Staffordshire regiment.
Menergy, male dance/strip act--Dance Macarbre Halloween club night/
Trick or treat yourself to the 5th dimension. Whittimere Street Walsall. Smart casual dress.
Cocktails, pink neon behind bar.
Football casuals, wax jackets and golfing diamonds.
Petrol blue door and walls.
That’s the problem with that place…it just seems so cold. It gets into you and it makes you shudder, coming up on a pill,, you feel it scuttle across your skin, the cold walls, the thin skein of moisture.
Cerise jacket with shoulder pads, hair up loosely on top of head, drinking cocktails with a fluorescent straw. Been pretty for about two years and still giddy with it , like the power it gives you, the look of yourself in the Ladies toilets. Suddenly you have currency, something to trade.
Will Alsop is coming to town! Urban Splash is working alongside Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council and Advantage West Midlands
to spearhead the comprehensive redevelopment of this 17 acre site
in Walsall town centre.
Derelict factory next to drill hall ‘vandalsised’ ‘haven for drug users’
Dubliminal Wharf bar May 2011
Yeah, I know ‘em all---Seb fontaine, Carl Cox, Jon Carter…
I never had a chance, no one doin me no bloody favours, had to get there on me own. Andy Weatherall, yeah know im an’ all, none of them guys are as good as they think they are…
The place is 2011 but feels 1999, luminous drinks, purple lights, faux leather high back chairs. His waxy face melts.
Basics…Renegade Robot at Custard factory---you hope you’re nodding, saying yeah in right place.
He says it all the time, who else would be stupid enough to put up with you? You’re a mess, you don’t’ even look good anymore.. I’m taking care of you because I’m a good bloke, I feel sorry for you.
He tells you you wear too much make up, you need to lose weight.
The Black Country ,late 1970s and early 1980s.
High unemployment ,closure of large factories Round Oak Steel Works at Brierley Hill and Patent Shaft steel plant at Wednesbury.
Stalking the aftermath of a warzone. Like the pit villages of Yorkshire, Nazis haunting the periphery waiting to exploit the anger.
Goscote estate. Waiting for things to happen.
Peoples March came into Walsall from West Bromwich. 1981.
Shannons mill. George street., little nests in the sprawling dereliction for smoking weed and hiding out with cider.
Developers tipped junkies the wink.
Red brick 1890s parade of shops curving round. Covered walkway. Antiques. Jewellers, leather goods.
St Modwen, Goold estates, Lend lease.
Asian bloke in a black Audi A3, soundsystem blasting Scarface across precinct. Red lights flash in sequences along side, bass shudders. Sky pink and gold, everything amber in the heat. Hair cut in tramlines, flash of gold jewellery, he drives past you and says Alright love and asks you if you want to get in, you kind of smile and keep walking.
Dudley st/ George st--- pub on corner-Sikh landlord
Late 60s early 70 bargees had communal shisha pipe
Another dilapidated 60s shopping arcade, coloured panels ,peeling paint and shop fronts with letters missing. Most of units in town centre To Let.
Link from Tottenham court road to Walsall.
Fitzrovia to here.. your own journey reversed, 20 years pulled round.
Autonmie club. 6 Windmill street.
Socialist club, Goodall street Walsall. 1892.
Walsall Anarchists, charged with bomb making.
When you get down the hill into the main centre of the market area there are more lads hanging about, gangs, , the threat of violence, feeling it could erupt at any second. You feel the charge and it’s a turn on.
You love the tension, the holding space before the kicking off..
Shaved heads and sinewy hands down jogging bottoms.
Empty market stalls, brash with vodka by public sculpture.
Katz-lower Rushall street…
‘ the Victoria’… mirrored alcoves, ceramic cats and coloured glass ornaments.
Brewery tower, meetings upstairs. Student socialists and Clerical fascists.
Derelict colliery offices.
Great Barr hospital colony
St Margarets hospital.
Grimshaws, derelict flats in the Chuckery.
Tower blocks top of Tantarra street, Union street. Barrat houses and industrial estate.
Bombay blues, derelict,
Cobra Lounge, derelict,
Trophy shop, New Look, factory building in Albert Street. Derelict,
Smoky air, trees tinged with Autumn. September, moving into a different house, a red brick terrace.
Skipping meals. You think you look fat. You study yourself, you feel the weight of yourself, clutching handfuls of flesh, squeezing, dimpling, you think how could anyone fancy you and always feel shocked when they do.
Purple leather settee, grey mottled walls.
Bathroom ceiling black.
Paint walls but black dots come through.
Wallpaper, ripped shreds of puce, oxblood leather settee. Him, black tracksuit top, looks fucked.
Black stubble and black hair, heavy jowls now. You remember him when he was 27, he was gorgeous then,
You listening to what I’m saying? Off out to get some baccy, yeh?
Purple walls, black dots.
Bored. Nothing to do. Go into abandoned house, no windows,, holes in floor boards.
Dark grey mattress,, drawings and graffiti, kids crayon drawings on floor.
Yucca, thin dark leaves.
Blocks receding in distance.
Child benefit, £60 month.
BLACK BEADY EYES, YEH>? PIRATE FACE. YEH? Eyes thin, smacked in, beady dial.
Kitchen spilling out, cupboards open, stuff all over.
Brown ceilings, cupboards, kitchen surfaces, crammed, containers, tins, crockery, pans/
That big mirror.
You stand in front.
The second early project, the Darlaston Strategic Development Area, situated several miles out of the town next to the M6, aims to attract major new employers into the area. The education element will come through six other projects. This include a new business and learning campus, anchored by an expanded Walsall College, and the St Matthew’s Quarter of the town combining urban apartments with niche shopping, pulling in leading High Street stores.
Deal or no deal, Cash in the Attic, Come dine with me, drifting into sleep… voices loud in the dream world, softness, the back of the van, opiates, voices emanating from another time…
A shriek wakes you, pulls you back into now.. all the programmes repeat, 2002, 2006, 2009, other times fracturing.
Through freezing mud you tramp, under pylons, a yellow sky. You think of him, the warmth under the blankets, the elctric fire in the corner. You walk. You’re thinking about him, your skin still tingling with the pleasure of his kisses, his lips on your neck, your breasts. Returning again, that pink room up there, high above the town, twelve floors up…
He tells you he’ll see you later, when he leaves like that you never know , so fragile is the gossamer thread…
He was a phantom haunting the stairwells. He’d been watching you for a while. You’d seen him, your eyes had scanned across him. There was a subdued fascination. Then the moment erupted, rum and cokes, an altercation with the police, a bruising mob marching through the market square, the pubs all shut and you looking for that cataclysmic moment.
When everything might change.
Walking through town you feel particles of warmth piercing the grey coldness of your body. People smile at you. You feel surprised by it, undeserving of it.
Empty pubs and shops, ghostly film set, places existing outside of time… charity shops, freezer vans, bric a brac.
Club playing abrasive techno.
Wharf 10 gallery bar
a multitude of selves slipping all over..interweaving, drifting—
drunk shreieking ,girls screaming
‘Essence’,the 90s still haunting the arcades—
‘uplifting’ trance anthems— making you depressed, reminding you of bad e’s, soul blackening come downs.
It’s always there, the music takes you closer to the edge of it,, the anguish.
Crown Wharf shopping park.
HMV, H & M, TK-Maxx; You feel fat. You look old. You haven’t really looked this bad for a long time.
Maybe this is supposed to be a time of endings—
Thoughts keep returning to 1992. That momentous time---these eclipses are like the ones then.
Shards of your new life lacerated the old, prismatic gems of light dazzled the clumsy, prosaic and mean.
You became someone else .
You walk back through Pleck, Balti houses and abandoned pubs turned into flats. Working Mens club, Aslams cloth house, rows of houses, all closed down.
The party was in a big site under the motorway. He was in his van. You sensed that he was there. You knew you should avoid him but you were drunk and you wanted a taste of volatility and passion again,,…
You were drunk,,,blacking out kind of fucked/// staggering beneath the stanchions… his black hair,.his blue eyes.. he was always going to let you down. Standing by a bonfire.. suddenly there, arms gathering you in, hands around your waist… there were bruises and you were falling about,, you were in his van, you remember the blue smoke smell, and the dampness of soil and fallen leaves/// a soft bed,, your head heavy, sinking into the velvet blackness of the covers… the velvet pillows. His face looming over yours, looking down at you, the intent gaze, the kisses, muffled then cutting, slicing through the fog momentarily,, sobering you up for a few piercing seconds then sinking back down to the muffled black, the muffled thuds of the soundsystem///
old railway line ,you follow the blackened sleepers…the tangles of briars and ragwort.
K Cider..Mad Dog 20/20.
It is late January, you dream of fragrant cherry blossom, of hawthorn and wild roses. He’s waiting for you in the beer garden.
Smiths Flour Mill converted into flats .Factory ruin demolished.
You cross the footbridge that links the pub to Sainsburys, past the derelict swimming pool/
The Walsall Regeneration Company(WRC) formed in March 2004 to lead regeneration in Walsall and the surrounding area. It has drawn up a framework for development that sets out to transform the town over the next 10 to 15 years. This is spearheaded by eight ‘transformational’ projects which are intended to play a different role in the town’s regeneration. Each has a different emphasis, embracing the business, skills, retail, housing sectors, and form part of an interlocking jigsaw.
fucked, pock marked face..
Track suit top, bare chest, grey jogging bottoms. Woke up with a load of flat screen tvs at bottom of me bed. Fuck knows where they came from.
Power workers dispute 1972.
The van drives round in the black,, the night shiny with frost. The paving slabs,, sloping down, shiny with ice,, and your feet, scrabbling to keep you upright. Van spins out of the lane and goes by you, he slows down and turns his head 90 degrees to stare at you. He knows where you live now.
You’re done up in fur and gold ear rings, the hair backcombed in a bun. You try walking fast pulling the jacket deep around you, arms folded in front, walking fast on the black roads. The flats are high up, the embankments wide,, six lanes and no traffic.. motorway signs hanging overhead, Brownhills, Wednesbury, B’ham/// walking fast and no traffic… walk to the other side,, to the traveller site, people there, keep close to them. Keep going. Hear the portable tv.. ‘Take me out’’ Paddy McGuinnes and raucous cheers,, you see the lamp glow,, the red Tv glow.. the arguments from the trailer, the smoke and the oil/. You walk on, see the junction, can get that far… faster pace… keep going …on and on, to the bottom of that slope,, the shiny darkness/ He is there. You know.
The van , a spectral trace… it isn’t here yet… keep walking . keep walking, pulling the fur jacket, closer and closer in,, feeling the pavement slippy underfoot,,the black ice, the black, freezing night.
You wake up naked and scratched, bruised and alone in a dim cabin smelling of wood smoke and damp leaves.. aching and head smashed… can’t even raise yourself up. Thin yellow light leaches through a dusty window. You stare at the varnished wood above your head and listen to the voices outside.
Reedswood Way, big retail park, Lidl, Macdonalds. Dunelm.
Phosphoresecent cooling towers, turbines and pylons demolished in the mid 80s, haunting the flat expanse.
9th January 1972. Seven dark weeks. Gormley Miners strike. Ted Heath closing local suppliers of coal by barge. You remember the boxes of candles under the sink, how you liked it when the lights went out. You remember that front room with shadows flickering on orange walls, and the strangeness you felt when there was a bright judder and it all creaked back on.