The dismal town of Yeovil


It’s difficult to find a nice thing to say about Yeovil, the nearest proper town to where I grew up.

But I could go on at length about the awfulness of it. The miserable generic shopping precincts with a skin of decaying and derelict buildings…

…trapped inside a fortress of traffic crashing through the town centre…

…on dual carriageways with municipal flower arrangements draped over central reservation guardrails.

I don’t think I’ve ever found anything there with any great character, any beauty, any real kind of life, only boxes speeding through from roundabout to roundabout, cutting the town into perfectly isolated chunks of bland housing and bland light industry, no interest or activity amongst it.

I was given some driving lessons there once and, though I quickly stopped them, I think they left me permanently with a Pavlovian response to getting in a car: there is always a fear that I will end up in Yeovil.

I know, it’s just a dismal small town, they’re not uncommon. But the west country is fortunate to mostly escape them, and there are none so dismal as Yeovil in this part of Britain.

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