This Is Not A
10 Out Of 10 - Twenty Empty Years (2010)
I am at one with this place.
Apart from the twenty-five months I spent at University, I've never lived anywhere else; nor have I wanted to. This has obviously proven to be a handicap when it comes down to the 'getting ahead in life' stakes, but I have few regrets about that. Being 'anchored' in a place, feeling a deep sense of belonging to it, is important to me; so much so that I have formulated a rather po-faced theory that many of the social problems of our society emanate from people being - in some amorphously psychic sense - 'out of place'.
So what has happened - and what continues to happen - here has cast a long and not always benign shadow on my life and thoughts. Of all these events, the most traumatic was the closure of our steelworks by a bunch of asset-strippers in 1990. The baleful effects on the place and the people living in and around it are still being felt today, and will for as long as there are people here who remember the time.
On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the closure, I tried (not altogether successfully, I must admit) to outline what the steelworks meant to my family and to many another's, and perhaps to put 'out there' a slice of local history which shouldn't be allowed to pass unnoticed by the world at large.
As before, please click on the 10 out of 10 button above to go to the piece.