Darwen likes to promotes itself as a traditional pretty little market town, the reality however, can’t be any more different. People complain about Blackburn being full of chavs, but at least there are brightly lit shops there to take your mind off the sheer scale of deprivation, teenage mothers, benefit claimants and alcoholics falling over in the town centre – in Darwen, its all there, in your face, and usually falling out of the ‘Spoons or the Bridgewater at 2pm on any given day of the week (or weekend).
The Local councillors are mainly old and angry, and are forever slagging each other off in the local rag or pointing at rubbish or potholes, or rowing with each other whilst pointing at rubbish and potholes. The icing on the cake was when one councillor implied he was glad another ward councillor of an opposing party was dead, so that the mayor could be ousted and replaced with another councillor from the first one’s party.
You cannot buy clothes here, you cannot buy shoes here, you cant buy f*ck all here unless it comes from Boots, one of the many discount pound or charity shops, or you want a takeaway – we have takeaways in abundance, no really… the A666 into Darwen is lined both sides with Pubs and Takeaways, their signages glaring, flashing and enticing the jobless, like a addict spending his last few quid gambling on the fruit machines. Once it entices you in, there are buildings in various states of disrepair and demolition (including one of the markets) and row after row of decrepit terraces housing the hundreds of single parents, drug addicts and general folk down on their luck because there are only a few large employers left in Darwen.
There were signs of development in Darwen, before the recession hit, there was Axxis Park, it looked so shiny and posh, now, after the building firm collapsed, it remains unsold, vandalised, graffiti riddled and now looks more like the result of missile testing. The local dealers [alleged] hangout Frankies bar, was torched and a Chinese developer bought it and knocked it down, thinking he was going to build a 5* luxury spa hotel on it. Needless to say, several years later it’s still a flattened building site in the heart of the town centre.
These are a few new house builds taking place, and each one is preceded by months of bickering & bitching about ‘views’ and lashings of racist comments regarding who might move in them. The saving grace is the A666 that also takes you out of this Royston Vasey like hellhole, toward another hellhole called Bolton, or the train (2 per hour at peak times) IF the ticket machine is working.