Meir, a large area of at the southern boundaries of the City of Stoke on Trent, scared in the mid 1990s by the A50 being forced upon the area, and a very bad reputation. One mention of the area in the local paper will bring a torrent of negative comments from all areas about the area and its people, with anyone suggesting they are misguided given short shrift and at times vile insults and personal abuse.
According to these remarks made week after week, Meir is a place that no one in there right minds will walk the streets after dusk, that it is full of drunks, drug dealers, howling mad sex driven perverts, robbers, killers, muggers, knife wielding crazy people, gun runners, car- jackers, all manner of the scum of the earth. The kids on the square will take your legs away from under you in seconds whist there father, if they have the good fortune to know there father, will punch you in the face and have your wallet, mobile phone and house keys off you in no time at all. They will then force you to tell them your home address, go there and proceed to empty it of all your worthy goods. Yes Meir is bad news, Meir Square is singled out as the worst part, the hub of all that’s wicked and bad within the city of Stoke on Trent but the wider area is very bad news indeed.
So, before we go any further with this, let me explain my background, and where I come from. I was born and raised on anther of the city council estates, Blurton, before moving when my father brought his own house on Meir Hay in 1985. I only lived there a year before I had got the cash together to get my own home, witch I did in the September of 1986 in Normacot. There I stayed untill the December of 2004 when, with a nice bit of savings myself and Mrs. Lloyd had put aside, we brought a nice two bedroom home with a lovely big garden on the Hillside Estate in Meir. The wife tells me its more Lightwood, but the post code says its in Meir, so its Meir to me, and as most of you know by know, I’m ruddy well proud to say I live in ‘The Meir’.
How we brought the house was strange, we had closed the deal on the Normacot house, and needed then to find a home. Both of us loving the south of city, we had both been born and lived hear all our lives. The wife has many family members around the area, myself, not so now but with a good network of friends and the fact that I also worked in the area was up most in our minds. We did not want to move out of the area at all.
So, after a week of looking at homes, non of them we looked seemed right for us to move and live in for what seemed like the remainder of our lives. Mrs. Lloyd had at first discounted the area of Meir, believing the stories that went round that it was indeed a dreadful dump full of the lowest of the low. I on the other hand loved Meir, had many good mates in the area, understood the area had good bus routes, witch was important as I have never felt the need to learn to drive a car, and didn’t want to start now, getting into my 40’s, I did not want the hassle of that.
After a frustrating and wasted Saturday morning that had followed a week of looking at homes that were to small or to large or not having that bigger garden or overlooking the local scrap yards, being in a place that I would have a hell of a hick to get on a bus and the normal problem of the house being in such a state that it defied the laws of both gravity and the local planning department by staying upright. We had ran out of all leads, we had not seem a home we liked and could say we could do anything with and be happy there, and we had look at 25 to 30.
So, after a swift rethink by the wife, and a few home truths from me over Bacon Oatcakes and hot Coffee, we returned to the local Great White Sharks”¦”¦. Sorry, Estate Agents, we got a few appointments to have a look that day at 3 homes in Meir. The home we are in now is the second one we looked at, the first had fell into defying the laws of gravity class, the third one we didn’t bother with. We walked in to this one, knew it was home for us, whipped out the mobile and did the deal in the empty living room of the home we wanted to get and it was in Meir, no matter what anyone said.
Now you may say, what are you going on about, you soft headed git, your not on the front line then. Your sitting pretty in that nice little home of yours on the outskirts in a nice tree lined road that is well kept and a bus to most others part of the city trundles thought every 20 minutes. I’ll tell you what I’m going on about, I spend time around the grater area of Meir, in Meir Squire, on Western Road, Sanden Road, the road I live in joins onto Waterhead Road, I have many good mates there, and you know what, all that tripe you get on the comments board of the Sentinel from the likes of the well renowned local emmmmmmmm, person Garry Elsby, the Troll- M. Davies of Blyth Bridge for them that don”Ëœt know, that dreadful disgusting Carr woman from the same place, mind you she is just hell bent on dragging any area down that is not Blyth Bridge. There are others, but frankly, there petty minded views don’t deserve to be mentioned hear.
Yes, we have problems in Meir, but are they worse then they are on any other large housing estate, be it council, privet or a mix of both, no. Look in the local paper, take note of the reports, what goes on in Meir goes on just as much in other areas. Blurton, Bentalee, Addley Green, Chesterton, the list goes on and on and is endless. Reason being, like it or not it goes on everywhere. So why is it that Meir gets so much of a kicking, simple, for to long people have let it go on to Meir, not hit back, not said, “So, what’s your problem fool, it goes on everywhere.”
Now I not naming names hear, but there is at least one local member of the council that, to me, and only me, so I speak only for my hear, and not Pits N Pots at large, although is paid to represent the people of Meir and Weston spends most of the time doing two other things. They spend to much time pushing the twisted thoughts of there party, and to much time not representing the area, witch they say they are, but instead only highlights the problems of the area in a very public way. This effects the area in a very bad way, instead of sorting the problem, the problem tends to stay, people pick up on it, and use it against the area. This, of course is not the job of a council member, witch is to stand up for the area, sort out its problems, support its businesses and represent its people in the council chambers. I don’t see this member doing this very much.
Lets look at two things, one good about this council member and one not so good, and we will start with the good, and it’s the great Meir stinky meet trucks. This council members efforts have brought the problem to a head and to a wider public, and at the moment, the problems not that bad. I saying that, lets face it, it was a real problem, and had been a case of ill will around the area for a number of years. In short, and I’m sorry to say this, it was a nicely rolling band wagon and a bit of a no brainier.
Now the not so good, and I’ll now turn to the take aways in the area. This is a subject that this council member is very vocal about, as in they don’t like the amount there is. Now, I have never said much on the subject of take aways, I’m not a big fan of the old Kebab and Chips, Hamburger or Curry thing. I’m up for the nice fried rice, chow main and crispy duck every now and again and I’m always up for Fish and Chips, but anything more, no. I for one like to do it myself.
So are there anymore take aways in the area of Meir then are other built area driven by people living in that area, there might well by, but they all seem to stay open, so they must be making money. Another point is that if a take away is in a building, its goes without saying that that building will be used, and it will be maintained. If these take aways were not there, building would be empty. I think that Meir is not effected at all with the amount of take aways it has. The main problem with take aways is litter, and as I walk in Meir, I don’t find the litter a problem at all. The streets are well clear of it.
If you go down the road to Longton South area of Normacot and Dresden, you have just as many take aways. Do you see the council members in that area making remarks about them, no, it seem like they understand that they are important for the reasons I state.
Going off subject a bit, can I say hear and now that the city now as its fair share of take aways and that the city centre or the city in general need no more. The ones we have now must be left to get on with there trade, if that trade is not impacting on an area, most of the time it will not.
So In short, Meir as not got any other problems that other areas have, I live hear, I’m proud to say I live hear and I’ll fight for Meir and all who live hear all I can. I’m sick to death of hearing that the place I call home is a dump and the people who I live around and talk to day to day are not good people because they are.
And I’ll finish this in saying again, these are my thoughts and my feeling on the subject, it is in no way the thoughts that other hear hold, its just me. I’m saying it because I can. Please pass comment if you like, good or bad, I have very thick skin.