Kirkby-in-Ashfield: Another Slowly Dying Ex-Mining Town With Nothing There.

Living in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire
Living in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire

When I was little and growing up here, I used to hate Kirkby with a passion. Nowadays, there’s not even enough left to hate. It’s a dirty, dingy skeleton. If some people didn’t have to live here, nobody would come anywhere near the place. If you like charity shops and hairdressers you’ll be amply served by the myriad pop-up stores that cling desperately to life for a month or two before inevitably collapsing and leaving permanently shuttered window. You’ll certainly have plenty of time to admire the desolate town centre, as the red lights are long and the the green lights are short.

Barely anybody works in Kirkby-in-Ashfield. With virtually no sources of employment, the people who have jobs have to get out of town in order to work. These commuters are the lucky ones; they get to leave, if only for a little while. Left behind are the significant proportion of elderly people (mostly ex-miners wondering what the hell went wrong) and the unemployed factory workers left behind when their jobs were outsourced abroad.

The Coxmoor estate is the crowning “glory” of the area, and even that can’t manage to be anything special as council estates go. Crappy social housing slowly falling apart due to the indifference of their tenants, poor maintenance from the council and the sheer weight of people coming and going.

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The only notable things about this town are:

* A cricketer who left as soon as he could and buggered off to Australia.
* A few dozen kids getting accidentally stoned on pesticides and having seizures during a local fair.
* A big stone “cross” near the old part of town that hasn’t actually had the + part for nearly fifty years.

Just looking at those “accomplishments” says everything you need to know about Kirkby in Ashfield: the place rots your brain, so get out while you can. Don’t wait around to fall apart like the town’s old symbol.

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