Monday, 27th October, 2014.

I’ve been told many a time that one should “never go back”.   By that, the people who tell me mean don’t go back to places you once knew.

Being “trapped by the past”, I usually ignore that advice.   I browse through my memories and truly enjoy them.   My memory (even as I stagger through old-age!) is very clear still and I’m able to recall even the fine details of most of the things I’ve experienced.

Last week, when visiting our old home-town, brother-in-law Terry suggested that I should have a look at the webpage “Lost Pubs of Wolverhampton”.   I did so when we got home – and was shocked at the number of pubs which I once knew which have disappeared.   Not just changed their names, but disappeared.

Later in the week, I spoke with my cousin, Audrey, on the phone.   Our chat drifted into people and places long ago.

A couple of days later, I followed Google Earth round Whitmore Reans, the area of Wolves where I was born and raised, at street-level.   The places I remember are nearly all gone!   Where those rows and rows of tightly packed, working-class terraced houses stood, there are lots and lots of new detached and semi-detached homes.   No wonder the old town has had to spread out over the farm fields I once knew!   A pair of semi-detached modern houses takes the space of – what? –  half-a-dozen of those now-gone tiny terrace houses.

“Corner shops” have gone, pubs have gone, houses have gone and, worst of all, communities have gone.   There is no longer a shared history of community which was there when I was young.

But my mind recalls, still perfectly, the atmosphere of those times.

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