I came to live and work in Shropshire in 1969. It was the best decision I have ever made. I love Shropshire; the countryside, the Wrekin, the Severn, all the lovely villages, the many golf clubs, the old Roman Viriconium. But most of all I love the people of this area.
But I am sad. In the year 901 Shrewsbury was described as a city and by 1066 it was a sizable town of four churches and Ministers.
In 1283, it held its first Parliament to include a House Of Commons. Henry VIII offered the town cathedral status. So Shrewsbury had been at the very centre of English life.
What do we have now? The old Town Walls have been vandalised by an empty Post Office block and the town square has been ruined by concrete disfigurements.
The old market has been replaced by a modern monstrosity and down by the railway station there is another empty unsightly building not to mention the car parks that disfigure the banks of the Severn.
So Shrewsbury, an ancient and historically important town, has been architecturally vandalised.
Darwin was born in Shrewsbury and the poet Wilfred Owen has Shrewsbury connections. There is a single statue of Darwin by the library but nothing else commemorates the famous name.
There is a plaque in Abbey Foregate that gives Owen’s name but nothing else. Any other city would have a Darwin University School of Evolution and at least an Owen’s Summer Poetry School. I am sure there are people out there who will not agree with me. Let them tell us all where I am ill-advised.