Thursday, 21 April 2016
Past Meets Present
Summer PE lessons out on the field are a distant memory,
as is the school that once housed over 500 pupils.
Only the name of the longest serving headmistress lives on
in the name of the close.
In fact none of the schools I attended still exist.
Two out of the three buildings remain.
The exteriors mainly unchanged,
but the interiors have been remodelled to reflect the needs of modern educational establishments.
However, the names have gone - they have been rebranded.
My past has been erased while I am still breathing.
I question what this does to the sense of community.
I was born into a small town of around 30,000 souls.
The town centre streets,
where rain dripped from soggy canvas canopies,
and downpipes deposited the midlands rain,
to run rudely across the pavement to the freedom of the gutters.
Now replaced by an ugly construction of concrete steel and glass.
With doors that close out the cold winds and casual vagrants.
I never did get to go through the revolving door of the 'Hungry Man'.
It was bulldozed by progress long before I was old enough to drink.
The magically named 'Unicorn' suffered a similar fate,
only to be replaced by a row of mundane retail units.
Every town should have a Unicorn.
Maybe a place with greater discernment would honour, not slaughter, such a beast.
The name lives on and slides down the hill
towards the woods where bluebells flourish
but only in the spring.
Maybe if you stand still and listen carefully
you may hear the hooves of mythical creatures running free,
despite the departing traffic on the A448
from those who seek enlightenment
within the hallowed halls of Touchwood
or at the tills of Merry Hill.