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Peterborough

City in England » Cambridgeshire

Peterborough is a city spoken in another language. 

 

From the station, the journey is stunted by a vast car park - heart sinks. Beyond this, decay, urban stuttering and the half finished tags of council planning, now indelible in concrete. No one knows the street names, where they live. Perhaps they've never needed to look. Peterborough is an expedient.

 

I can feel a rush of panic. Where indeed am I?

 

And then, she speaks. Rising from the town-cum-village-cum-city, a solid and reassuring form. St Peter's a Gothic certainty. It's a different country.

 

Cleaving through corridors of glossy frippery with promises of worse to come, eschewing the Queensgate Mammon, I reach the square. The place where people meet, watched over by the great cathedral.

 

Warmth, greeting, conversations in a myriad tongues, all are fluent.

In a home-made-caked sanctuary, I sup tea, and note dark warnings of no go areas, of invasion. Of urban grit. And they're true.  Even Waitrose does an excellent line in shoplifting.

 

I smooth away, and discover secret brick, moss covered history, vicarage and ancient wall. I find the sun dappled texture of heritage about to be consumed by indifference, or a Starbucks.

 

Peterborough is in the throes of not being loved and finding hard to prove she is lovable.  She will pile upon herself new baubles and shiny outlets to compensate for an empty heart and, like Leicester, Birmingham, Croydon, retail will be the only language anyone will need to understand.


Rue

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Looking for lost friends & family... why not try our free genealogy notice board?

– Posted Thursday, April 30, 2020

Today on your Local Notice Board & Genealogy

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Some photos where shown kindly supplied by Geograph, and are subject to this creative commons usage licence.