February 2, 2009


Gloucester when the air is still has an all pervading stench. Gloucester, a roman crossing to Wales & a backwater, highly unusual in English cities in that it has not changed since the early 1960’s. As in Grantham and Banbury the cattle market sector of the city gave way here to Arndale. The best Tudor public house on the rise to the crossing is a haunt of mid week drunks. The city is virtually empty week evenings. The city is genuinely haunted by the infamous events of Cromwell Street if only because of the unchanging city. Flooding visited here in 1947 and 2008 and at the Avon and Severn confluence water lapped Tewksbury’s cathederal. Gloucester cathederal’s yellow stone glimmers in summer sunshine and looking up from the cathedral lawns, the earth’s rotation can be vaguely clocked. In some circles Gloucester cathedral is the greatest of all. The sound of the organ playing at a funeral dirge, is profoundly melancholic.
There was a disused railway loop behind Middleton Street which also lends mystery to the once haughty ‘Park’ quarter to the south west, which was flooded. Everyone is called Richard. Gloucester, the main roman port in England. Gloucester Road in London points towards it. A canal links the inland docks to the Severn.
The Walls ice cream factory explains new immigration but how do you ponder going to Gloucester from a village near the border with Belarus?
There is a tradition of for example Ukrainians living in the city but all traces of the Polish landlord who made a fortune from run down properties around Wellington Street have all but disappeared.


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