Yorkshire's former industrial cities are now trying to recreate themselves with various levels of success. I empathize but I must admit the cities made me feel nervous. The young people on the streets hanging out in groups had the ability to frighten you with what they might do. The litter and trash in the streets and in the canal showed a lack of caring. The many homeless in doorways even during the day and the pervasive urine smell (public toilets cost money) pulled at your heart strings and was off putting at the same time (the food market with stalls was nearby and I just couldn't make myself buy anything). A sense of danger is just under the surface. That kind of feeling that tells you to be safe inside and not out on those streets once darkness falls. Of course, the slinky of razor wire at the tip of every fence and along many roofs may also have something to do with it all.
Just past the last lock before you get to Wakefield was a large brush pile. Upon exploration, we scavenged many branches that will make good mini logs for our stove. There were also larger real size logs that people with other stoves could use. Hope somebody finds them and uses them so they don't go to waste. I have seen quite a few more brush piles on the way into town but they look like too much work and too much distance to get to and then drag limbs back from. But if someone had a cart or sled or wheelbarrow it would be worth exploring if in need of free wood.
Wakefield runs a free city bus that has a 14 or 15 stop circular route that you can jump on and off to get to where you need to be. We used it yesterday to go to charity shops and today to get to the train station. It runs every 10 to 15 minutes and seems to be rather well used. Good thinking for getting people to use the businesses and restaurants in the city.
The public transportation system here is great. Mike went back to the dentist today to have his broken tooth removed. We took the free bus to the train station, an 18 minute train ride to the town the dentist is in and a bus to the office. The bus station and train station were right next to each other. It is not like that in all cities but we have seen it like that in many. No need to rent a car, hire an expensive taxi or stress out over how to get there and home. The appointment was for 12:30 and we were back home by 3. Not bad. And the bus driver on the bus to the dentist's office was the same one we had a week ago and he remembered us. How great is that!
Has anybody else out there reading this read The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith? I have been looking to see if there was a connection between this Wakefield and Goldsmith or the title and this Wakefield. But I can't find a thing about it. Disappointing.