Welcome aboard the Barnsley Boogie Bus. I’m Stegzy Gnomepants and I will be your guide on today’s tour. Please form an orderly queue. I know some of you are from the colonies where queuing is a new thing but this is the Great and Glorious Empire and Kingdom of Great Britain. Queuing is part of the British constitution.
Right. I recognise a few of you from previous tours and I see there are some new faces too. Hello to you. Now if you would all like to buckle up and sit back we’ll head out.
Refreshments are available. Notably in the form of the local favourite, Special Brew.
To your left you can see the new bus station
This was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and based on the now demolished St Paul’s Cathedral in Rome. Note the curves and eaves. No doubt South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive will be having the builders back in a couple of years to rectify new faults. This is good planning as poor design creates jobs and jobs create revenue. Notice also the shape of the glass above the main entrance. This symbolises the Barnsley Bubble, local folk lore about a bubble that once roamed the countryside around Barnsley devouring small children and out of work miners.
Speaking of local trades, to your right you can see a local gentleman. Note the smile and the look of serenity on his face. This is because the water in these parts is laced with narcotics and hallucinogens in an effort to sedate the population.
Everybody wave at him so not to hurt his feelings.
Now, as we turn out of the bus station we can see to our left the new shopping centre that is being constructed on the site of an old mill. There will be trendy shops and wine bars here one day. When that day is we are not too sure as most of the people here aren’t that trendy and in fact live in a time warp which puts them about 10 years behind everybody else. However because of this we can see the bad fashions before hand and choose to ignore them.
Here we see the view towards the town hall. The Tarn Hall is the grandest structure in Barnsley. It is patrolled by armed guard 24/7 to ensure the riff-raff and untidy sorts do not spoil it for the rest of the world. This is why you see relatively few people with beards in Barnsley. Because, as we all know, beards are unsightly and people with beards should not be allowed near the town hall. Most of the council staff have beards (the women included) which is why Barnsley Council don’t actually get anything done.
Outside the Tarn Hall is the statue of Clemence Evans-Potato-Warburton who fought in the great battle of the coal in 1914. This little known piece of world history I shall relate to you here. During the First World War the Kaiser thought it would be a good wheeze to tunnel under the North Sea from Germany to England. Unfortunately centimetres had not been invented at this time and as a result the tunnelling went a little bit too far than planned. Imagine the look on the faces of the Barnsley miners when German tunnellers dug through their coal face and into their mines! So armed with pick axes, Davy lamps, canaries and other mining equipment the miners fought back against the invading hordes. Seeing an opportunity to become immortal, Evans-Potato-Warburton, an accountant who worked in the mine offices on the surface, blacked himself up and then claimed to have single handedly fought back the enemy. Because he was of a higher class than the miners it was his word against the proletariat and he got all the credit for it and rightly so.
Before we leave the tarn our tour bus passes the Barnsley Eye. This was the prototype for the London Eye and still draws crowds to this day.
Navigating the perilous one way system our tour bus passes the Alhambra shopping Centre. The Alhambra takes its name from the garments that used to be sold in the market there; Old Ham Bras. These were very fashionable in postwar Britain. Bras made of old meat was the brain child of a local corsettier and lingerie designer, Ethel Austin. In fact even today in Britain, women wear bras made of meat. Chicken bras, Pork Bras and even Beef Bras. But Old Ham Bras were the most sturdy and explain why British women have better looking tits than their American counterparts (though there are a few exceptions).
Further round on the one way system we pass a building that isn’t there any more.
The midland street ticket office has long since been demolished. But as Barnsley is in a time warp anyway the building wont actually disappear from sight for a further 8 years. Newer buildings are more evident. Especially Locke House which is the new social services building that dominates the tarn. Locke House has been specially coated with temporal paint to allow it to be seen by residents that are only able to see things with a ten year delay.
Up the hill we pass the old Barnsley High School
This is now luxury apartments though some children do still turn up at the doors and sit in someone’s kitchen awaiting their lessons in Mining Technology to start. They’ll have a long wait though. When taken to rehabilitation centres the children are placed with careers advisor’s and can often be heard to say “I want to be a miner like me gran’dad”. Bless their cotton socks.
Now as we draw an end to our tour we pass the Barnsley Metrodome
Like in the film and TV Series Logan’s Run the Metrodome is fitted with a carousel
People in Barnsley over the age of 50 are required to attend Carousel where they float off to the top of the room and are renewed. As coal. Whereby they are then used to generate energy for the power stations.
And so our tour comes to an end. Does anyone need the toilet?
Of course after all these minor miner references I’m sure there might be some upset so does anyone need first aid?
Thankyou for Travelling once more with Gnomepants Tours, we look forward to seeing you again soon.