Posted by: docdenbow | March 22, 2014

I’m Not A Black Country Boy Anymore

Nostalgia, it’s a thing of the past isn’t it? Rose tinted glasses, everyday a sunny day and every time a happy time. Your back never ached and your knees were never sore. There was no expanding bald patch and your stomach was flat. The music was better, the beer was better, the girls were prettier and you smoked fag upon fag with no thought of the consequences. From time to time I put on my rose tinted glasses and look back. I look back at Wolverhampton from a distance of 35 years and wonder, I wonder what would have happened if I had never got the job in Wales or had turned it down. I wonder what would have happened to me had I stayed a Black Country boy.

Looking at Wolverhampton as it is these days I can say with total certainty that it bears no resemblance to the place of my youth. The Mander Centre has somehow become seedy and Dudley Street is certainly not what it was. British Home Stores, where I worked, seems to have shrunk yet when I pass through there I see ghosts. The ghost of the young management trainee with eyes only for a Saturday girl who worked there. Ghosts with half remembered faces and forgotten names. I sometimes feel like asking at the helpdesk about the trainee and the Saturday girl, but they wouldn’t be able to help.

That in a nutshell is my problem with Wolverhampton and Bilston and Sedgeley and Dudley. I pine for what they were, the people that filled those places and made me feel that I belonged. Those people are now ghosts and no longer think about me. I just find it hard to accept that those places have moved on. Those people have moved on. I have moved on.

I’m selfish though.

I’m allowed to move on, grow up, change and my hometown and my ghosts must stay as they were to entertain me on the odd occasion I honour Wolverhampton with my prescence. I have no friends in the Black Country. Not anymore. One friend died and another moved away. Then there’s that girl……there’s always a girl……

As I write this I can almost feel tears stinging as I realize I’m not a Black Country boy anymore. I don’t know what I am.

Am I seeking asylum? A refugee?

I really don’t know…..not anymore

Ciao For Now,




  1. Hi Squire.
    I can tell you what you are – ‘unique’ is the word you are looking for, the one and only.
    It doesn’t matter where you came from, and it’s always good to reminisce on the past; it’s what made you who you are; for better or for worse!
    It’s the present along with the future you should be looking at; you have many friends right in the here and now, whether you believe that or not.
    I welcome you as one of our own, as I hand you your honoury Welshman badge, if you wish to accept it, that is.
    Me, being born in Barnet! 🙂

  2. They say, “Yow can tek the lad outta the black cun-tree but yow wow tek the black cun-tree owt the lad.” I’m sure part of you will always be a yam yam but after years in Wales you feel Welsh too. I agree with the other comment, you are unique and you can be that anywhere.

    • You’re right Jay….the Wolverhampton I loved so much was about the people, friends and they’ve all gone.

      I’m nearly Welsh now you know

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