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.
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.”