The most attractive thing about Wolverhampton was the multi-story car park on School Street, the roof level of which used to offer attractive rural vistas of Staffordshire, Shropshire and the Wrekin. However, the council knocked it down in the 90s. Now its most attractive feature is an orbital dual carriageway so impossibly difficult to negotiate (unless you’re a local) that it actually performs a service to the community by keeping curious outsiders away from this gutter belch of the West Midlands.
Wolverhampton was made a city in 2001, and as the nation shrugged, TV pictures were beamed into every home by way of the 6 o’clock news, showing Wolverhampton’s town crier (who reasoned that a testimony to 60s concrete renewal required a town crier?) announcing this momentous event to at least 6 interested residents gathered on Dudley Street in the pissing rain.
According to some, the night life in Wolverhampton has improved in the last few years. Yeah, it’s great if you’re a suede-headed moron who diligently phones each of your mates in turn before a night out to make sure you aren’t all going to be wearing the same colour YSL shirt, before heading down to Yates’s to pull a 40 year-old mother-of-5 and punch someone in the face for having a different skin tone to yourself.
Unemployment in Wolverhampton is, of course staggeringly high and the city is so divided along class and racial lines that it is hardly a city at all but a collection of tribal groupings. Some of its outlying suburbs (such as Heathtown) are terrifying concrete wastelands too terrible to describe (Heathtown is where the people of Wolverhampton go to die).
The town has given birth to such talent as Slade and Eric Idle. It’s local politicos, whisky-supping sham socialists to the core, have the ruddy faced corpulence of the undeniably corrupt about them.
In the evenings, the smell of hops from Banks’s Brewery permeates the town like the stench of a trapped animal slowly decaying in a drain pipe.