Thursday, April 05, 2007

More from Wingate. This former colliery/pit village turned out to offer much more than a couple of fine vintage and faded signs. Never have I experienced such a magically desolate and abandoned atmosphere. The only sounds were cars swishing through on their way to more important places. On a Saturday afternoon its library, post office, barber shop and coach-travel agent were closed. Many former small-businesses looked long untenable. A dusty premises called John's Cafe gathered damp as its venetian blinds slid down discoloured window panes. Uphill, a large 1930's Co-Op building was For Sale, but who would be interested in purchasing such a multi-roomed monolith in this ghostly Northern backwater? Other commercial properties showed signs of vandalism, as did a formerly rather grand looking red-brick Police Station. All its windows were smashed...

I hear Wingate suffers more than a fair share of social problems. Wingate Grange Colliery closed down as early as 1962. Teenage pregnancies and drug problems abound. Yet, powerless to help, all my comments lie firmly in the aesthetic realm. As I fall asleep I'm unable to stop vivid memories of this place resonating around my brain!

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