4 May 2012

Bilston... There’s No Place Like Home!

In England we had the Industrial Revolution, it turned fields into factories that brought the workers to furnaces. Bilston is a quirky working class town in the West Midlands that played its part in the Industrial Revolution and then some! It's my hometown, but most of all I believe it has a chance to become something more! Orange chips, outdoor markets brings this town to the people!

Alright bab? Bilston is nestled within the Black Country region of the West Midlands, once the home to a booming steel trade during the Industrial Revolution, this town hasn't lost its post-industrial edge. Bilston may be small but it has many hidden gems that make me love this place, there's no other place out there like it. Bilston is my surrogate home-town for I moved here from London when I was five years old, so now I'm practically a fully fledged Bilstonian! Bilston is a town that's unique in every sense, there's no pretense here because we just get on with things. You would be surprised because this West Midlands town has something quite extraordinary to offer to the locals and some visitors. Located not too far from Wolverhampton and Birmingham I would recommend an afternoon in Bilston to enjoy some chips, the surroundings and listen to the locals because they always have something to gossip about. Take what you want from this ex-industrial Midlands town, you know that you're all invited? Bilston is bostin!  
Listen carefully, this is important. Bilston is a town should be fully celebrated and recognised as a culinary wonder of the West Midlands! We have got the Cafe Metro, its a lovely little coffee shop that brings a serving of class to our working town of Bilston. Some places might have posh coffee shops and Michelin star restaurants but Bilston has Major's Fish Restaurant, which is undoubtedly the best chip shop that I have ever been to! The Major's 'chippy' Fish Restaurant is so special because their chips are bright orange in colour! Don't ask me how their chips turn out orange because that's Major's doing and I'm sure there not going to reveal the secret any time soon. Like our trade our food reflects the simplicity of our town, I suggest you grab a coffee at Cafe Metro and a bag of chips from Majors! Bilston brings the spices of India to the high street for we have numerous Indian Sweet Centre's and Indian restaurants that serve a taste of India. It's a sure fact that we're quite international here in the town of Bilston. 

The folk of Bilston like to congregate around both of the indoor and outdoor markets. Buying all sorts of bits and bobs, from food to the most random things ever. I find that if you just go out to Bilston to people watch its really quite intriguing because their are some characters for sure! I will be honest the stalls of Bilston's outdoor market sell some odd things that I would never dream of purchasing, but each to their own I say! Bilston folk always bump into someone we haven't seen for ages so its common to wade through the crowd of chatting people, mainly women. I know that things have not been easy for the markets of our country but for Bilston to still have their daily markets I'm hopeful that things aren't to bad for us. Now I shall tell everyone one thing, Bilston is a town stronger than steel! Here in Bilston we know everything's going to be fine for our market. The outdoor and indoor market in Bilston is open Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but there's only an outdoor market on Sundays. Don't miss it! 

What's your verdict? The loyal shoppers of Bilston town trudge through the market in all weathers, whether it be rain or shine it's a hit with the people of this town. You could honestly buy the most random or either useful things from the stalls at the any of the two markets, but the outdoor market stands out especially. These two Bilston market areas sell a wide array of produce from fruit and vegetables with a range of catering amenities that serve their purpose. Where would we be without our market in Bilston?! I personally believe Bilston market is an asset to this town, bringing the community together whatever the purchase the visitors and locals have in mind. Bilston might not be the most conventional place to visit but I really want to see this town flourish, plus you'll never such a wide range of people going about their business. I might not say it all the time but I have love for Bilston. Leave high fashion for another day because Bilston brings it big in every area. Experience something extra in a town that's stronger than steel?

Don't worry about getting to Bilston, its all covered. Public transport is plentiful in Bilston, there's simply no excuse to not visit Bilston by one of the many transport resources. The Midland Metro has transformed the way people reach Bilston Central to access the town and markets alike. This marvel of transport connects Bilston with Birmingham and Wolverhampton. Personally there's no other way to travel when in Bilston Town. Another mode of transport that's been in Bilston longer than the Midland Metro is Banga Travel. A somewhat individual bus operator that replaces some of the other bus routes that National Express West Midlands doesn't operate. How did you think we get about in Bilston? Like I mentioned before Birmingham might be your base so take the Midland Metro to Bilston Central, it only takes twenty five minutes to reach our town. You will be missing out on those Major's chips if you don't make your way to Bilston, I guess that's the story? Connectivity is key so get yourself to Bilston already!

It's no secret that Bilston was the boom town of yesterday, people came from the rural communities to work in the red hot furnaces of the steel works. My great-great-granddad came to Bilston to make his fortune, well to make a living from the burning trade that set the Midlands at light during the Victorian age. Bilston and the surrounding boom towns got the name 'The Black Country' from when Queen Victoria determined how black the sky looked over the Midlands when she got off her Royal train. Times change but my family has been here for at least six generations, there hasn't been a good enough for my grandparents to move from the town because that's just where we are from. I hope to that with investment and tourism, the town of Bilston can burn bright once again but in a different sense of the meaning. Bilston just needs you to take a chance, we'll definitely make it worth your while! Major's chips, the markets and the Metro are all waiting to show you what Bilston is made of. That's enough of my hometown glory for now!

Bilston is the Best!

Joseph Harrison

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