Category Archives: Midlands

Walsall’s angry Bird

Angry Bird

A bitter Mike Bird

The Guardian reports that Mike Bird, head of Walsall Council,

yesterday led the backlash against art critic [sic] Theodore Dalrymple, who launched a vicious attack on the town, writing under a pseudonym in American art magazine [sic] New Criterion.

Dalrymple’s description of the town as

Ceaușescu’s Romania with fast food outlets

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 08.21.58

Hiding behind a pseudonym. Disgraceful travesty

has, the Guardian says,

proved too much for its outraged residents.

Dalrymple wrote:

It is possible that there are uglier towns in the world than Walsall, but if so I do not know them: and I consider myself better than averagely travelled. But while Walsall undoubtedly exists, it is difficult to know where precisely it begins and ends, because it is in the middle of one of the largest and most depressing contiguous areas of urban devastation in the world, the Black Country of the English Midlands. There is nowhere in the world where it is possible to travel such long distances without seeing anything grateful to the eye. To the hideousness of 19th-century industrialisation is added the desolation of 20th-century obsolescence.

Walsall's Pleck apartments

Walsall’s Pleck apartments

Mr Bird dismissed Dalrymple’s jibes as obvious nonsense, saying:

I have no time for people who remain anonymous [sic] and haven’t got the guts to stand up and be counted.

He also

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Graceful Walsall architecture. Fast food available from outlet shown at left

last night branded Mr [sic] Dalrymple a narrow-minded individual who would be better off staying wherever he lives.

Walsall: Venice of the Black Country

Walsall: Venice of the Midlands

Ceaușescu’s Romania with fast food outlets

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 09.30.59Dalrymple on the Black Country,

one of the largest and most depressing contiguous areas of urban devastation in the world, where to the hideousness of 19th-century industrialisation is added the desolation of 20th-century obsolescence.