Waiting for train to Darton from Wakefield Kirkgate station
Isn’t it strange that certain ‘types’ of people would never appear in a certain type of place – even if this place serves as a public function. Wakefield Kirkgate train station is a very different beast to its sister station – Wakefield Westage – as, because it only has local train services, it has been left semi abandoned in an almost horrifying run down side of town. This station is shopless, assistantless and roofless and is notorious for being a place where dodgy things can happen.
Whilst I was waiting at this station today I thought I saw girl I know (knew, I should say). A girl who has gone on to do well for herself, and is almost certainly on her way toward a very healthy and satisfying career.
I knew before I could confirm it that it wasn’t her. Why did I know though? Because people who are going places – in the way in which it is meant in the modern, post Thatcherite, Britain – just aren’t to found in places such as this train station. To me, the two together – this young hopeful and Wakefield Kirkgate station – would make an almost surreal juxtaposition of imagery.
I am in no way criticising this young woman, or her social circles, it is merely an observation of the fact that certain types of people will not be found in public places which they ‘socially evolve’ away from. Perhaps it is possible to observe the income and opportunity gaps in Britain by visiting a train station with fast services to London and Edinburgh (Wakefield Westgate) and a station wit services to Castleford and Barnsley (Wakefield Kirkgate) – Barnsley being the town this girl originates from hence the reason why I initially thought it could be her waiting there.
Sadly I would say that the description of the average person I have seen waiting at Kirkgate would be a person of around late twenties, wearing tracksuit bottoms, smoking and looking older than they actually are. Truth be told, this girl I mentioned has a social circle of which I always used to envy, and would have wanted to be part – though it was never going to be i wasn’t like them; which possibly says as much about me as different social groups in society. Sadly its unlikely that I would meet a woman I could be with at this station. However the problem is, Nor would I at the ‘going places’ station of Wakefield Westgate. In a classed divided nation, I am in the middle of nowhere, running to which ever one I feel I belong with, which is neither.