“You’re not local, are you?” I couldn’t make it up… I’ve just returned from my second and last visit to Keighley. I have never encountered such a depressing, unfriendly and dull place in my life. The more time I spent there, the more I felt I was trapped in some groundhog day loop of repeating misery.
I did my best to like it. I wanted to like it. I had good reasons for wanting to like it. But when the waiters in the two restaurants seemed to go out their way to be unfriendly and you are greeted in a shop with ‘you’re not local, are you?’ you have to give up and consign it to ‘avoid’.
I’m not going to lower myself to shaming the restaurants but in the 2nd one I ate in, two waiters stood and chatted whilst looking suspiciously at me. I couldn’t figure out why, then it struck me that everywhere I went in Keighley, all I could hear was the local accent. A nice accent, but nowhere else have I been in the UK where the local accent is the only accent you hear. I don’t think tourism is big in Keighley because why bother going? Even the hotel I stayed in seemed to be full of people from Keighley. Do they go on holiday by staying a mile from home?
There is nothing to do bar a library, the steam railway (which seems to suffer from vandalism) and a quaint cinema. They seem like taunts. The main street makes you want to scream or cry – low budget ‘salons’, charity shops and ‘to let’ signs. Oh, and the shop displaying a flyer for some far right group. I took a photo of it then decided I didn’t want to pollute my phone,
There is no night life other than souped up cars going round and round and round a set of streets in the middle of the town. I stood and watched them the other night and thought ‘jeez, you’d be laughed at where I come from’.
Such a shame. I’d blame the recession but it seems Keighley has been going downhill for decades.