Thursday, May 26, 2011


I am currently reading Edgelands by Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts:
Growing up on the edge of two cities - Liverpool and Manchester - in the early Seventies, it was easy enough to walk for a short while and soon find yourself lost in back lanes or waste ground, to follow the wooded perimeters of a golf course, an old path leading through scratchy shrubland, or the course of a drainage ditch. It was easy enough to find yourself on the edges of arable land, to follow the the track bed of a dismantled railway or descend into an abandoned quarry.
Every town has its edgelands. Eighteen months ago the promised "Airfield Business Park" was very much part of Market Harborough's: the signs had gone up but the credit crunch meant that no work took place.

Things have moved on since then and the new Harborough Innovation and Business Centre is about to open on the site. It may be the edge of the town, but these are no longer edgelands.

But then edgelands have always come and gone. An old Ordnance Survey map tells me that the town's original industrial state - Riverside, near the railway station - was built partly on the site of a 19th century isolation hospital.

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