Shakey Wakey

Slumville sunrise
Nobody cares or looks twice
Shine away in the morning
Across this place where I was born in
Every bruise, every flower
Illuminated by the dawning

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I decided to photograph Wakefield – at least the centre to try and capture its vibe accurately. Although it is not my favourite city in the world, it was where I grew up so will always be a part of me.

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The bus station

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The street Westgate is well known for its bar crawl “The Westgate Run”, and for being where all the clubs are. When I was 18 all the “safe/non dodgy” clubs were just on one side of the street, nowadays its more mixed up and the clubs I used to go to have closed down. I feel old.

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The infamous pie shop opens late on weekends, so most drunken locals end up there.

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Fernandes is possibly the most well-known bar in town. Popular with the middle aged functioning alcoholics.

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Our theatre – when I was a child a Christmas treat would be to see the pantomime with school, and my mum would take my sister and I to McDonald’s after (usually McDonald’s was a strict no)

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British people across the country were outraged when BHS went into administration.

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Grind cafes are found all over the city – it’s a chain, but why only found in Wakey I don’t know.

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The Polish population has increased over the years, which has resulted in great cafes and shops, as well as a more multicultural community, but also an increase in xenophobia *eye roll*.

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The cathedral, which is always easy to spot.

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When I was an awkward teenage punk, all the “alternative kids” would hang out outside the cathedral. Not as much these days.

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Trinity Walk shopping centre opened a few years ago – very clean looking, but still surrounded by less clean looking shops.

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Barbara Hepworth is a renowned artist from the city.

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Trinity Walk came at the expense of The Ridings shopping centre – although still functioning, its shops are constantly going out of business.

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Still have a Blockbusters…

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Despite some places being very run down, we also have plenty of trendy bars, cafes, and restaurants constantly opening.

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The yellow block of flats at the back is almost as recognisable in the area as the cathedral (the skyline is basically the cathedral and two of these block of flats).

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Although I criticise Wakefield a lot – most people do – it does have its charms. The people are friendly enough (most of the time), and it has its nice places, and all are very down to earth – no pretentious people welcome here. I just know I don’t want to settle here myself. But it’ll always be a home to me, even though every time I visit it has changed slightly, and will continue to do so.

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