Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Thoughts about Luton, Part 1

Two posts in one day. Don't get used to this kind of regularity.

I was thinking last night about Luton, the town where I live, and have lived for most of my life. I've got a funny relationship with the town. I love it, it's my home and home to most of my family going back a long way (more than 200 years in some cases). I know it like the back of my hand, I trust it's predicatability. I know where to go and where not to go. At the same time, I've become really frustrated with it too. It would be unfair to say `hate`, but I'm torn between feeling some kind of loyalty to the old place, and wanting to turn my back and run.

Anyone that'd been there knows that it's not the prettiest town in Britain. It's as far from the sea as you can get, nestled away between the pretty but undramatic Chiltern hills. It's too far from London to be really close, and too close to need it's own things to do. The train station is ugglier than a rugby players ear, and it's really only known for its airport and its football team (my team), Luton Town FC. Both of which are thought of as second rate.

So on the surface, there's not much to brag about.

But I've got really deep roots in Luton. It turns out they're deeper than even I thought. While round at my parents this evening, I was having a conversation with my mum about her dad, my grandad Fred. She showed me some lovely old photos of her dad and his parents, and some much older photos of their parents. It seems that all of these photos were taken in Luton, in a time when the Town was better thought of. It was fascinating looking at these pictures. My great grandmother lived in a tiny house, with many people sharing the space - including some soldiers who were billeted there during WW2.

I bet she was never complacent about Luton, and the things it offered her or her family. I bet she never complained about the distance to the sea, or the lack of things to do. Same with my other grandparents. Grandparents always had more to moan about, but never seemed to do much moaning.

No comments:

Post a Comment