28 December 2013

Bilston Town: Where Dreams Are Made?

Bilston Town, is it really a place where dreams are made? Bilston may be a concrete jungle but it's a town that always gives me that 'Empire State of Mind!' Bilston happens to be my hometown, as I live between Bilo and Brum I would like to think I get the best of both worlds. I have been to some faraway places but none of them compare to Bilston. I need to get my life!

Bilston, I like you a lot! You've been through tough times but against all odds you're a town that keeps on fighting! We do not need posh things, we're not the Nouveau Riche nor do we want to be for we have our own honest values! From our industrial past to our current way of being the people of Bilston get on just fine, we're stronger than steel! Let's get back down to reality for Bilston shunned Michelin star restaurants for the likes of Major's Fish Restaurant and Cafe Metro. Bow down to Bilston for we are looking good and feeling fine! The famous Major Fish Restaurant serves up the best battered orange chips, I lived and worked in America on two occasions and my co-workers could not fathom the idea of this Bilston made product, I guess that's Major's stands to be famous?! Whenever I return back home to Bilston, I either get a bag of chips or a pork & stuffing sandwich. Bilston must be a culinary wonder?

Five generations of my family are from Bilston and when all is said and done there's no other place olike it! I'm currently in my final year at university in Birmingham but Bilston is home, but for how long shall I be living here until I jet off again? I'm always 'Desperately Seeking Adventure but will always be back every now and again. I've got dreams and aspire to be working in a foreign land once again but Bilston Town will be my making, as I said before we're stronger than steel! Bilston's Industrial past runs through my family for my Great-Granddad Tom once worked at the Steelworks, Great-Granddad Tom worked at Spring Value after serving in the army during WWII. Like many other towns during the revolution of industry Bilston prospered from its farmland beginnings to a booming success! Bilston's success's were more than smoke in the sky it was the fire fueled the development to become the town I know! Elisabeth burned from 1954, one of the furnaces that burnt red.

Bilston knows how to shop, to the left is the entrance to Bilston's indoor and outdoor markets, both markets receive a continual flow of custom, us Bilston folk like to buy from our own. Bring rain, shine or even snow the Bilston people venture out to the markets in hot pursuit of a bargain and I can assure you that a bargain or two can be found in this formidable West Midlands town! At any time of year its the done thing to buy the weekly essentials at one of Bilston's premier butchers from the indoor market. I can remember taking trips to the market way with my Mum, Nan and Aunts for Bilston is a place where dreams are made! Over the years the markets have been beautified because we all need a new look every so often. Get it Bilston!

Bilston's got talent when it comes to our markets, go and shop somewhere else if you don't like it! We're not Harvey Nick's but Bilston brings it big because small independent market stalls trade weekly in this steel-like town. Bilston is about looking after our own, pushing the mainstream chains away for we have a string of businesses that have been trading in this town for donkey's years! Looking for that perfect loaf of bread or a tasty cream cake? Pete's Pantry is the answer to your question, children if you haven't been here, you're sure missing out! You should choose Harper's Quality Meats for a top quality cut of meat, perfect for that Sunday Roast or that Saturday night steak and chip dinner! Oh, I've boasted about Major's so that's your lot when it comes to Bilston!

Bilston is moving forward in many ways, we might only have a small town centre but what we have is enough for us. Firstly, Bilston took the plunge by saying goodbye to the decaying Bilston baths to make way for the all new multi-purpose Bert Williams Leisure Centre, named after Bilston born former International goalkeeper who played for England's football team. Now, 93 the former sportsman opened the all new swimming pool and gym that gave Bilston a breath of fresh air, I told you its all about beautifying yourself from time to time! During my summer holidays this year I used the pool most days in-preparation for my holidays to Spain and Turkey, one has to be active from time to time. Bilston folk were quite skeptical when this new facility opening as the former Bilston baths had been a part of the town's fabric for an age. I have one thing to say to Bilston! Build that Urban Village Bilston! Yes Bi!

From the Metro making its way to Birmingham New Street in 2015 direct to Bilston Central it's another vital link for Bilston to be proud of. Bilston has come full circle as this town once had a mainline rail station but times change so Bilston moved forward with them to make way for Midland Metro in the early 00's. This new Birmingham expansion is developing slowly but surely, I suppose such a project can't be knocked up overnight? During my final year at university in Birmingham I have seen the new tracks, its going to be one year yet. I'm a regular passenger on the Midland Metro from Birmingham Snow Hill to Bilston Central, I just can't beat seeing Morrisons and the warehouses come into view as I arrive into Bilston Central Metro station! Bilston brings it, I'm a firm believer that if transport is improved a place can strive to reach its full potential so I have full confidence that Bilston is working and serving all it needs! Bilston! You'll stay strong, OK?! You are a dream maker?!

Fidelitate Et Industria Stat Bilstonia!

Joseph Harrison 

8 comments:

Rouge S said...

I really must try these orange chips you speak of! I love how some towns still have the great stuff their made of it really gives that rich feeling!

Joseph Harrison said...

Those chips are the talk of the town! It's all about the Pork and stuffing sandwiches they are beyond! I do love Bilston but I'm a city boy .. Thanks for comment it seems like people don't bother with them anymore.

Joseph

Bob Hale said...

I wish you success with your new blog. As an ex-pat Bilstonian now living in China , it's good to see someone passionate about the place.
Have they actually demolished the old baths now then? When I last visited , two years ago, they were boarded up and starting to look derelict. It was a sad sight indeed. I looked at them, remembering how we used to walk down from the Boys Grammar School for our Monday morning swimming lesson, and how later I used to play squash there on Sundays. I could still smell the chlorine and taste the horrible tea from the machine.
Still times change and nothing lasts for ever.

I look forward to reading more and seeing more pictures.

Bob Hale said...

Oh yes, meant to ask, which of Birmingham's Universities are you at - I'm an alumnus of Birmingham University myself.
(The one in Edgbaston, in case there is any confusion.)

Joseph Harrison said...

Thanks, I always like to put a positive spin on things for the local media and perspective isn't usually very kind towards Bilston. Yes, the new baths have been a part of Bilston for just under two years I think, I lived in America last year so I can't be sure of the times. It was welcomed with mixed reviews, I think they've done a good job but it will never have the character that Bilston Baths had, even though I only remember it as a child.

Joseph Harrison

Joseph Harrison said...

University College Birmingham - it used to be called, Birmingham College of Food and Domestic Arts on Summer Row

Joseph Harrison

Bob Hale said...

I used to work next door. In Civic House for the police computer department.

Joseph Harrison said...

Great stuff