Dreams for the future
The high street in the once prosperous city is empty. Charity shops, Chinese junk shops and a bakery where everything costs 80 cents are the main survivors. The old castle still overlooks the street that was once traversed by kings. Europe’s first industry was built here. In the caves under the mountain on which the street is located, coal and limestone were mined, a golden combination for the metal industry. Anchors and chains were forged for ships that sailed around the world. Now the industry is gone. A shopping centre stands on the site of the old blast furnaces. When it was built, all the shops in the surrounding villages and towns closed down. The black country lost its soul.
Enter Augustine. From a small restaurant just off the old high street she considers her future. A refugee from a war-torn country, she is one of the few, it seems, who sees opportunities here. Before long, she says, she will build her hotel there, with a party room and disco. The street will be reborn. There is new blood in town. Watch this space.
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