Come to sunny Thurnscoe, once the largest village in the world according to the Guiness book of records; and located centrally in the Dearne Valley region of South Yorkshire; where you will find some of the highest incidences of deaths from heart disease and lung cancer in the whole UK.
Drive past the industrial estate where once stood a thriving colliery. Thanks to Mrs Thatcher it closed in 1989, but don’t fret; thanks to the miners strike and it’s after effects benefit culture & a slack attitude towards the property of others has been a permanent feature since 1984.
Why not stop at the Pit-Shop opposite , where dirty children hanging about sharking for any opportunity to pursue the popular local pastime of shoplifting will surely enchant you.
Feel yourself go all mushy and gooey inside as they blankly stare, rivulets of snot dribbling from their were-pig noses, then hail you with their customary greeting “Ah seh!” Translation: “I say old chap, hello how the devil are you, and what would you happen to be fixing your gaze upon this fine evening?” Watch with wide-eyed-wonderment as they desperately try to string a coherent sentence together before settling on a curt “Yer wot?” or“F**k off”. Do not be alarmed if they then proceed on their merry, innocent little way on some form of motorised petrol driven transport.
Children in the Dearne Valley region of South Yorkshire are encouraged to take up driving from an early age. Many being issued with the parts to build the staple filthy, illegal, hybrid moped as a kind of rite of passage / family tradition. These machines are derived from a stockpile of 60’s-80’s Honda 50’s with plastic farings; known locally as “Plags” or “Plaggys”; and the mopeds you used to have to pedal for a bit before starting up…the “pedal and pop” in local dialect.
They are serviced by specialist mechanics, who blasted their minds out on Bostik during the mid 80’s. Although they are now barely able to fire enough neurons to produce human speech from their crusty, scabby gobs, their solvent-shredded synapses are still capable of rapid motor control, and they can strip a motorbike, hybridise, and re-build it within five minutes.
This is the tax-free transport of choice for all ages around the village, as well as scrambler bikes, and more recently the quad and mini-quad. Indeed, it is not rare to spot three generations of the same family – Grandad (35) Son (20) and granddaughter (6) -careering across a public highway on the same clapped-out motorbike.
These machines also function as a primary leisure activity for local Chavs and Chavesses. Hang about the main road through the village long enough and you are sure to witness many displays of despicable dobber derring-do. A Chav / Chavette on an illegal bike zooms out of a junction with reckless disregard for passing traffic / personal safety or pedestrians then proceeds to rag the bollocks off their pride and joy down the main road trying to maintain a wheelie for as long as possible. Don’t expect to see any casualties however. Unfortunately, 4-5 generations of this reckless, illegal motor-biking coupled with heavy exposure to E-numbers from Panda Pops and more recently Sunny D has hard-wired the ability to handle an illegal bike under any circumstances into their DNA. The Thurnscoe Chav on a moped is the petrol equivalent of a Spanish riding school adept atop a Palomino, especially when tanked-up on Kestrel Super Strength tempered by Temazepam and methadone.
This familiarity with motorised vehicles from an early age does however, lead to a distinct lack of fear towards them and also a complete disregard for the highway code. Observe open-mouthed as local pedestrians’ lurch out to cross the carriageway upon your approach, impinging upon your right of way. Recoil from the torrent of abuse that will be heaped upon you by the slack-jawed proto-anarchist with little regard for societal convention, and a practical knowledge of the green cross code that is slim-to-none at best. Just drive on, in his tiny little mind you’re the one in the wrong, and you wouldn’t like him (and his 20 mates, extended family & mob rule mentality random passers-by) when they’re angry.
Similarly this reliance upon personal motivation has led to an almost pathological hatred of public transport amongst many of the locals. See how many smashed plexi-glass bus-shelters you can see, and write it down in your jotter. If you are fortunate enough to visit at a time when South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive is actually letting buses through Thurnscoe, after school home-time be sure to watch out for native ambushes. Usually some common-sense-free little prick lays down in the road impeding the buses progress whilst the rest of the pack run out from their hiding places and lob bricks and stones at the bus, occasionally assaulting / intimidating the hapless driver. This is a simply breathtaking spectacle that has to be witnessed in its’ spectacularly brain-dead glory for optimum effect.
As you venture through the top-end estate be sure to play the Good House / Bad House game. See if you can spot the real working class houses, bought from the Tories in the 80’s and well maintained by normal people with gainful employment. These can often be found next to the “Bad House”, bought by the Housing Association and let out to dole-wallah, estate-pikeys who think nothing of moving in, stripping the piping, fixtures / fittings and even the roofing. Then they up sticks to another area, to repeat the cycle when they’re on yet another housing blacklist.
See how shiny and new the windows in the “Good House” garden shed look. That’s because they were only replaced last week following a break-in by one of the “Bad House” residents who has stolen a £1500 lawnmower, a £500 mountain bike and approximately £1200 of power-tools. He or she has then proceeded to trade these ill-gotten gains for a tenner bag of smack, or an eighth of an ounce of finest Moroccan compressed vinyl, masquerading as cannabis whilst the householder’s insurance premiums soar.
If you see a boarded up derelict house, don’t worry. One of the fire-worshipping locals will burn it out soon enough, or alternatively Barnsley Council will let it be used as a children’s’ / smackhead’s playground whilst it deteriorates into a bomb-site eyesore over the 10 year period it will take them to issue a Compulsory Purchase Order.
So come to Thurnscoe, one of the many jewels in the Crown of England that is South Yorkshire. See the Chav’s, just as nature and the British Establishment intended. Just don’t make eye contact or speak to them…follow the same safety precautions as you would in Longleat and “tha’ll be reyt!” as they say in these parts.