Let's move to an unwelcoming market town still waiting to get paid for Buckingham Palace's gates! This week: Bromsgrove

What’s it about?

Right at the heart of England, yet awkwardly out of reach like a boil between the shoulder blades, Bromsgrove is perfect for anyone yearning for a characterless shit tip where everybody hates you.

Historically, neighbouring hamlets nicknamed the locals ‘Swedegnawers’; sounds like a Scandinavian sex act, is actually a derisory reference to townsfolk being so uncivilised they chowed down on a sole diet of raw root vegetables. Insulting but a fucking brilliant word for Scrabble enthusiasts.

The Bromsgrove Guild also constructed the ornate gates to Buckingham Palace in the early 1900s. The freeloading Royals never got around to paying for them so in 2015, the guild wrote to the Queen demanding final settlement or their return. They were promptly told to fuck off.

Any good points?

There are a host of childishly amusing place names, including Lickey End, Bell End and Twatling Road. Very Instagrammable. And in the late 80s the public toilets by the bus station were awarded the title of Best in Britain, though in the years since the coachloads full of visiting pensioners have dropped off a bit.

Famous sons include Fast Show cast member Mark Williams and classical scholar AE Housman who grew up here and released a famous book of poems, A Shropshire Lad, pretending he didn’t. He’s been honoured with a statue in the town centre, near Rymans.

The authoritative translator of Juvenal looks over a town centre which, come chucking out time, is occupied by drunken locals kicking shit out of each other for imagined slights in the Red Lion. No doubt he’s delighted.

Beautiful landscape? 

If you get out of town. The Lickey Hills afford stunning views to the Malverns in the west, and delectable vistas of the cloak of smog enveloping the sprawling metropolis of shite Birmingham to the north.

Anywhere worth visiting is miles away. Birmingham and Worcester aren’t worth driving to, the buses are shit and the railway station’s a mile out of town. There’s Sanders Park but you’d have to be fucking desperate.

Hang out at…

The remote locations of Pipers Hill Wood and Timberhonger Lane are equally popular for dogging and suicides. Check for a length of hose from the exhaust pipe before getting your cock out.

National Trust members can traipse vacantly around Hanbury Hall, which has all the usual shit, and the open-air Avoncroft Museum of Buildings has buildings in. You’ve probably seen buildings before. They’re around most places.

Where to buy?

The Charford estate is rough as arseholes for those on a low budget, the village of Catshill has convenient amenities like schools, pubs and even its very own religious cult, and the suburban settlements of Marlbrook and Fairfield offer a more upmarket alternative.

Shitting money? The posh hamlet of Barnt Green is home to millionaire footballers in tasteless mock Georgian mansions. Jack Grealish lived here once before getting a proper job in a real city.

From the streets: 

Eleanor Shaw, aged 53: “We used to have a Woolworths and an Our Price. Even the local paper fucked off out of town in 2015. Mind you, it was still a shithole back in the day.”

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Mash Blind Date: 'We said if we were both single at 30 we'd get married. It wasn't a joke, Lucy'

THEY’VE been friends since they were teenagers when they made a pact drunk that one party fully intends to honour. Will Lucy Parry and Jordan Gardner marry? 

Jordan on Lucy

First impression? 

As lovely as she ever was. I’m glad I waited through all the doomed relationships and tears on shoulders. I’m glad I held out for the prize of Lucy’s love.

How was conversation? 

The air’s been pregnant with what’s not being said ever since Lucy’s 30th last month. She knew, I knew, but it never seemed like the right time. It was such a relief to finally get down to it.

Memorable moments?

Quite the opposite: Lucy claimed she didn’t remember that night in 2009 when we made the legally binding verbal agreement! I walked her through it and even explained there was no going back because it was her idea, her suggestion, and her deal that we shook hands on.

Favourite thing about Lucy? 

That after all these years she’s mine, and it’s a relationship based on friendship so the love will always last.

A capsule description? 

Worth staying single for all these years.

Was there a spark? 

A shower of them, like the welding scenes from Flashdance. Lucy’s favourite movie. Her boyfriends never remembered but I did.

What happened afterwards? 

Lucy said there’s no need to take it too fast, but that she’ll be ‘thinking about me. A lot.’ I was walking on air.

What would you change about the evening? 

Only that it would last forever.

Will you see each other again?  

Obviously. We’ll be together for the rest of our lives.

Lucy on Jordan

First impression?

It’s always so great to see Jord and catch up. We’ve been friends ever since we were 17 and while other mates come and go, I know we’ll always be there for each other.

How was conversation? 

Surprisingly stilted. Which made me think this was it, he’s finally met a guy and he’s going to come out to me. I already know obviously, but I didn’t want him to feel pressured.

Memorable moments?

The one moment that really overshadowed the whole evening for me was when Jordan revealed that he was not gay, was in fact in love with me, and that we made a pact when I was shitfaced on Aftershock and I am now obliged to marry him. That was an extremely memorable fucking moment. I’ll be doing full-body cringes in the nursing home.

Favourite thing about Jordan? 

The simple, unspoken purity of our friendship. As was.

A capsule description? 

I have been working on asymmetric information for the last 13 years. There were things I did not know. I’m not marrying him.

Was there a spark? 

No. Nor has there ever been a spark. Nor do I find him in the least attractive.

What happened afterwards? 

We parted, never to see each other again, unbeknownst to Jordan. And my favourite film hasn’t been Flashdance for a fucking decade.

What would you change about the evening? 

I would not lose a close friend. Though it’s debatable whether I was ever anything more than an idealised shag at the end of the 20s rainbow.

Will you see each other again?  

Maybe I’ll tell him I meant when we were 60. It’s not like he’s doing anything else with his life.