Imagine it. You’ve just finished an epic, 300 mile bike ride. You’ve raised £2500 for Cancer Research; you’re ecstatic, you’re feel infinitely happy. Then, it all goes wrong. Heading to the final campsite, you turn left rather than right at the roundabout.
That’s what happened to us: four teenagers on bikes unknowingly venturing into the lion’s den. Our legs were knackered; we desperately struggled up a large hill. To our side, on the pavement, the passersby seemed to become more and more miserable – their backs more hunched, their eyes more downcast, their brows more furrowed.
Reaching the top of the hill, we four people look to our left and see two other teenagers, perched on the top of a playground “playcastle,” smoking something that was quite probably illegal and muttering to each other, their white tracksuits blinding us in the light. It was then we realised we’d entered Heamoor. On a map, you’d almost expect a “here there be dragons” postit note stuck over the area.
Just before we’d arrived, we’d passed seven police cars all on shouts. Now we could see why. The atmosphere of the place was wrong. We now realised the error of our ways and turned around but, screeching past came a moped, the rider on which yelled out “w**kerS!!!!” He drove past a few more times before slipping away. We shot down the hill. Like hyenas, the teenagers in the playground guffawed, clutching their stomachs. Shame they didn’t fall off. Their pride (and, indeed, the gene pool)* could have done with a bit of “positive reinforcement.”
Ten minutes later, we arrived at our campsite (where, incidentally, they locked the gates at night. Possibly to stop cars coming in and disturbing everyone, more likely to fend off the hoards of raucous, drunken teenagers that roam the streets at night, emerging from their houses as soon as the sun set like chav-vampires). For the next few days, we had to walk through this place. Once, we found some police tape strung across a subway. Above us, a railing and bollard had tipped across the little gap between road and land. Presumably, a car had came off the road and smashed into the side. Or a moped.
Needless to say, I don’t view this place in the best of lights. Neither does the “police UK” website, which says that this little town had befallen a worrying amount of violent crime and ASB. So, all in all, I think the old joke about the atomic bomb hitting Cardiff and causing ten pounds worth of damage needs a revamp.
*Not to be taken seriously. Maybe.