50 Shades: Wolverhampton, England!

Oh, the shade of it all! Wolverhampton always gets pounded down by those newspapers, a reputation mired with legal highs and anti-social issues! Now, I visited Wolverhampton during November 2021 because I was what? I was happy to be out of the house, now that's some shady shade! Come on Wolverhampton, let's go and take those media witches down! 50 Shades of you!

Pulling into Wolverhampton St. George's on the West Midlands Metro, how I wanted Wolverhampton to remember me! Like a snapshot, the view wasn't quite red hot but I for one recognised my former City of Wolverhampton College location. Those days of Further Education study felt like a million years ago but the same bricks and mortar that presented Metro One Campus had me remembering that 2008-2010 period of college. Why had I prioritised to visit Wolverhampton? Like the beginning of a record I wanted to listen to every track on that album to see if I remembered the tune. The shade stood strong because that Metro extension to the train station has taken more than its needed to take! I wanted to pull into the main station but without that kick the construction phases hadn't yet completed that project before my visit took place! Pull your fingers out because Wolverhampton needs to step it up a few levels, we are being laughed at continually! No WV1, you need to go back to the werk-room to rethink your life! Go! 

Bring back my Wolverhampton! Shade due for that lack of a Metro extension yet to be completed, I surveyed the walk forwards with much observation because those city centre streets looked empty! Empty because that once promised city centre loop extension still hasn't been built yet! Listen baby, if you don't build it, the people most certainly won't bother coming to Wolverhampton at all! WV1, you better step your public transport system up! In a rough way, the sunshine forced me to see that Wolverhampton served some charisma. Charisma and Wolverhampton in the same breath? Yes! Trusting in that autumnal sunshine morning, Dudley Street had a buzz about it! OK, I didn't recognise some of the new shops that had opened up since my previous visit, it had been since July 2020 when I had last visited Wolves. About to count my money, I had to take a double look at Wolverhampton's Lupo Lounge because she looked quite out of place. Maybe I've already done had my time in WV1? Listen up, I'm the one! 

Lady Wulfrun, where you at? Girl, have you see these questionable new venues? Baby, we could be so much better than Birmingham, so tell me why they're investing in the wrong things? Who's Wulfruna? You ain't going to meet another Anglo-Saxon noblewoman, keeping the same energy she is Wolverhampton's namesake! Ring, ring Lady Wu! It's for you! Running the show during Mercian times, Wulfrun owned property in Staffordshire but kept it 100 for her Heatun yard! Changing the game in the West Midlands, Wulfrun ensured the category was 'Wolvrenehamptonia!' Immortalised in statue form on the steps outside the front of St. Peter's Collegiate Church, she's now keeping scores to see if modern day Wolverhampton is doing what it needs to succeed! Lady Wu knows Wolverhampton cannot blame it on the edit because she's been watching! I got the feeling that Wulfrun would want to keep the same energy like her Coventrian female counterpart, Lady Godiva did. I bet Wulfrun only made friends with all stars?

Deep down, that November 2021 visit served a lot of nostalgia, of course Miss Wulfrun's statue impressed me much but I noticed something nearby! St. Peter's House stood in the same place, nothing from outside had changed since our last meeting. Noticing that the coffee shop part was open I had to have a mooch inside because I had attended a youth drama club there on a Thursday night, many moons ago. Having gone around the world before that moment, life before my meeting with St. Peter's House the first time around saw my life a lot quieter. No shade, Wolverhampton actually had my back even back then it did! Ordering my pot of tea, I sat down in the same part of the ground-floor level where the drama used to take place. Nothing looked as if anything had changed, those memories were being thrown back out at me as I sipped on my piping hot tea. Was Wolverhampton the one schooling me? Prepared to soak it all up, St. Peter's was the super queen during that moment, never missing a beat! Just lovely, WV! 

Back, back, back again! Queen Square tried to have me fooled with its sunshine reflections, stepping out of the box during that autumn mid-morning, I didn't know what to think? Wolverhampton could be the champion, the media tries to continually keep this West Midlands city down with their reports but something keeps this city off that life support machine! What is it though? Surviving the pandemic, having saved itself by a near miss, I stared the 'M.O.T.H' dead in the eye, how was that sunshine view fooling me? Let me put that acronym into real world context, Prince Albert can be seen sat upon a horse, the local youth gave the statue its own nickname. Not quite worthy to be called the cover girl of the West Midlands, Wolverhampton's Queen Square served a certain city glow with an element of grit and determination. In some crazy way I felt as if that city centre Wolverhampton moment reminded me of my 2019 return to Newark's Downtown District! Queen Square, just keep putting that base in your walk! Prance!!!

I know sometimes I can come off as arrogant but when it comes to Wolverhampton, I've said what I have said for a reason! I want nothing but the best for this hometown city of mine but when I saw it on BBC Three's 'Drug Map of Britain', what was I suppose to think about the busted and broken narrative the programme didn't even have to push. Brighter days have to come because seriously with the social issues, those zoots are compromising the safety of those Wolverhampton streets. Stop those legal highs, give the homeless the help and please get people the mental health provision they need because that fake heroin will finish them! No shame, I say this with the utmost honesty, shade doesn't come close because these social issues will just grow like the virus did during the pandemic and beyond into this anticipated endemic. From my distanced viewpoint, I hope that the city gets the investment it needs. Otherwise, not bringing this city out of that shade would be the real path to permanent addiction and decline. Step it up! 

Like those BOX PARK container type hangouts, the all new 'City of Wolverhampton Market' gave me some life to see such a forward concept in the heart of the city centre! From St. George's Parade down to Summer Row via Cleveland St, the new market space looked like the place to go! Yes! Taking a ten pound note out of my account, I was not ready for the vibrance of that market space, mind there's a long way to go before such a space steps it up but I was impressed. The offerings at the Wolverhampton market ranged from fresh fruit, textile garments and a whole lot of Caribbean nourishment! Buying a box of Jamaican Spice Bun and a box of Dalgety Cerassie tea had to be done, life back in England really can be dull sometimes but with an occasional injection of spice, I can look past my surroundings. In that moment, the whole feel of the market gave me 'new' but the clientele remained the same, I was not going to knock that everyday market scene. You were wearing it well, Wolverhampton keep making it look brand new! Serve!  

Ooh Wolves, those 50 throws of shade have all been dealt with, of course it's all love! Like any glamazon, I am sure Wolverhampton has the potential to be that panther on the runway! With a whole lot of room for improvement, Wolverhampton knows it needs to make those modifications happen! I want to see the West Midlands Metro extended into the heart of the city, that football stadium and university deserve their own station stops! OK, I told a lie, for that I am sorry! I did stumble down towards the all new branded 'University Quarter' to see how WV's new houses of Higher Education have been fashioned, make it rain with those tuition fees! Striking up the band, I can promise Wolverhampton that chapter two will be happening soon enough! This West Midlands city sure wants to become 'blog' centre of attention with several possible future editions! My day in Wolverhampton was anything but dull, I think the sunshine helped as I have mentioned several times. Wolverhampton, don't ever let life bring you down! 

Not Sorry About It! 

Joseph Harrison 

Comments

  1. I remember stopping in Wolverhampton on the way to places. It was always raining, but I am sure it has plenty to offer.

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    1. Thanks for your comment!

      Seriously, you haven’t missed out!

      Joseph - Desperately Seeking Adventure

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