I’d like to nominate Shittlesey…sorry Whittlesey as being a contender for being seriously grim. Things haven’t changed all that much since I lived there in the 70’s and the 80’s. This never was exactly a bright and vibrant town, but rather a dull lifeless damp cloth of a settlement.
How this place has barely survived into modern times I’ve no idea? Most of the locals regard Peterborough as The Big Apple. I spent many a grim time on the local bone-shakers/buses (before I was old enough to drive), with the standard issue fresh snot and stale blobs of dried chewing gum under the ripped seats with more black exhaust fumes than a Chinese plastics factory.
Rows of soon-to-be boarded up shops that don’t sell anything over a fiver are the norm and inhabited by people who are almost at the Reaper’s door anyway and are too knackered to even care. “Meet moi wife and moi sisturrr” and there’s only one woman standing there, gives you an idea.
Cue the twilight hours and the stereotypical ***** come out from under their encrusted Stella Act-a-**** stained duvets, climb into their knackered green dented Saxo’s to re-enact scenes from Mad Max: The Benefits Warrior.
To anyone thinking of visiting this grey, faded time-slip of a place to “soak up its fenland culture”…don’t bother. There isn’t any. On a cold rainy weekend, you can almost see the ghosts of long-dead miserable souls wandering around the litter and chip strewn paths. The best thing about this town is the road leading out of it.
Whittlesey is just a town you drive through to get to somewhere else. Thankfully I jumped ship many years ago and have never returned. Do I miss it? Like a hole in the head.