“Nice day today” I said as the taxi pulled past the grammar school and a shaft of light beamed across the lawn in front of the old building.
The taxi joins the ring road and the Molineux comes into view, sunlight bouncing off the yellow seats earning its title of the golden palace. 8am on a Sunday and there’s no traffic, we swing into the city centre past the university, a portable cash point that looks like it’s been by chewed up and spat out again, the Royal London (it’s still there) and when I see the Grand Theatre I know it’s time to alight.
I’m on the National Express now and the guy behind me is watching the boxing in Hindi on his phone. He’s really into it and is singing along to the traditional Indian song that preludes the fight itself, I hear the ding dong of the bell and he settles back into his seat. His phone is pretty loud but I’m not annoyed, I think about the enforced silence on public transport in Japan and I welcome this freedom of expression.
As the bus pulls out of the depot the driver announces our departure in a friendly way and I remember when a brand new Sainsburys stood inside that tired and stained Doric-style building.
The spire of the church of St. John in the square signals my final farewell to wolves as the bus swoops down a deserted Birmingham New Road towards the M5.
I’ll miss you, Wolverhampton. You are my feet, my socks and shoes, my base. I can’t escape. I’ll wander and roam but there’s a rope around my waist tied to the gates of the Newhampton Arts Centre. My perspective is shaped by the town, I see through Wolves goggles. The town is my barometer everything gets measured against. The distance from the train station to the grammar school, the size of the Molineux, the capacity of the civic.
There are about 10 people on the bus and a screen at the front above the driver that shows you the road ahead, so you don’t even have to look out the window:)
We turn left by the AlDI at the Priory. What’s this? One last visit to the BCLM? I do have my unchained pass…. Maybe the driver can’t go any further without checking out the new 60s street, and who could blame him?
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