I went through Longton the other day and straight away I remembered a million and one different stories and incidents as I wandered round the Bennett Precinct.
There pretty much wasn't any shops open so I couldn't look through the window of Dixons at the Sega Megadrives running endlessly. This ritual became essential part of life for years, generally as I walked to somewhere I should have been.
The old arcade that my Dad used to take me to has long since closed. It's been re-branded and re-designed a million times. The front of it however, still fills me with that feeling of magic that I hope never leaves.
The feeling I used to get on a Saturday morning when my Dad would walk me down to Longton and take me in the arcade so I could play all the Sega games. That's all I wanted to do, all I ever wanted to do.
The old bus station has since been gutted, renovated and redesigned into a giant bargain shop that there seems to be so many of at the moment. I'm still unable to walk into it though, without thinking of how dark and cold the old bus station was. It's like the progress we make is begrudgingly pulling us forward, as we further sink our heels into the sand.
Nothing stays the same, but memories seem to keep us in a state of perpetual stasis somehow.
Longton is like any other town now. A decaying city centre, industry long deserted, being slowly drained by an out of town retail park where all the big shops have set up.
In my head however, it'll always feel like freedom.
It'll always be the place I walked through when I should have been somewhere else.
I'm forever looking for the door to the arcade even though I know it's not there.
I'm waiting to walk into a room full of smoke, lights, machines and crackly local radio.
But that's just me I guess.
Until next time