After a mere 6 months of living in Dewsbury I still refrain from telling intrigued strangers where I live, instead informing them that I am from Mirfield, the relative haven about 3 miles up the road. Here is why….
7:30PM: Daylight has left Dewsbury and it is time for me to make my way down Halifax Road and into the centre for a desperate dash towards the bus station. Countless coke dealers drive past in their all white, tinted Audi’s complete with personalised number plates and the occasional muddled up old man passes in search of salvation, and a pint, at the Bath Hotel.
7:40PM: I walk under the viaduct separating Dewsbury from the start of Staincliffe and wait at the lights, a smackhead approaches. “Y’alright mate, ere, ya got 30p for my bus fare and that, I live in Brighouse and that and its proper far away and that,” I tell him where to go, knowing full well that the only journey he will be making tonight will be in his pursuit of the dragon. After crossing Dewsbury ring road I am confronted by scaffolding that has stood for well over 6 years, plastered with “moving in soon” labels left by potential new occupants of the scaffold-encapsulated building. Evidently, these new owners saw a lack of potential in the wasteland that is Dewsbury and buggered off years ago, leaving a building site in situ for half a decade.
7:45PM: As I approach ‘Spoons I notice a ******, complete with Lonsdale tracksuit and shoes, stood outside scrambling around the floor for the docker he so desperately craves. “Geddin,” he exclaims when he finds a rain sodden half finished Sterling Superking teetering off the blood stained curb. He stands up, with a dripping cig in his mouth and asks me for a lighter. I provide a lighter for this strange creature who then proceeds to light his damp *** and tails back across to the Black Bull complete with its smashed pint glass out front and boarded up window. As I pass the Northgate Market Square a familiar site confronts me. Toothless ****** beings are sprawled out upon the benches opposite Poundworld (Dewsbury’s answer to Harrod’s.) Cans of Karpackie Polish Lager and bottles of White Lightning litter the floor as does Spice packaging, these people being as degenerated by their genealogy as they are by their seemingly legal addiction.
7:50PM: Many of you will remember Dewsbury’s McDonald’s, just next to the bus station, it serves a different purpose now. For those unfamiliar with the area, “Maccies” had peculiar purple lights in the toilets. The reason for this? Smackheads… the purple meant these heroin riddled cretins could not see their already diminished veins to inject their poison. The smackheads got around this by simply shooting up upstairs and outside McDonald’s and the group eventually decided to leave the town. In its place stands the Big Discount Store, proudly offering 3 packs of big rizlas for 3 pounds to 12 year old stoners for over 3 years now. As I walk around the corner to the bus station the homeless man who I pass almost everyday nods and grunts at me, to which I respond now then. This clown has even lost the energy to enunciate his need for change to go buy some Mcat! The bus station entrance gives me a sense of Deja Vu as I see a heavily pregnant 14 year old in full Paul’s Boutique attire taking a hit off a spliff alongside her 20 year old boyfriend/groomer. This sight does not surprise me due to the regularity of underage pregnancies in the town.
8:40PM: After a 45 minute bus journey to Huddersfield I arrive at my favourite pub, order a pint and take a pew, a drunken man proceeds to ask where I come from to which I respond “Dewsbury” tentatively. He responds, “Ahhhh, int thaaat where that lass Shannon Matthews was?” To which I respond “Yep, well…. I’m from Mirfield actually……