It’s somewhat ironic that Bourne boasts two well-respected secondary schools, given that they provide the town’s younger generations with the best possible route out of this flat-as-a-pancake hellscape. Only those too thick to figure out an escape plan remain past college age, where they slowly ferment into the kind of dim-witted, loud-mouthed, racist, homophobic rednecks you’d expect to find hidden away in the Appalachians, not proudly on display in a small middle England town. They breed at a tremendous rate, dragging their nightmarish offspring around the local Tesco and bellowing at them to behave; or spending their summer months tossing them into Bourne’s overrated outdoor swimming pool and hoping that Darwinism doesn’t have an effect.
And doesn’t Bourne just pride itself on its middle-England-ness. Anyone vaguely from outside the area (Market Deeping is allowed; Peterborough is a stretch; beyond those – forget it) is treated with suspicion and disdain, and forget being granted an opportunity to speak out against the closed-minded dumb-dumbs that make up most of the population. That very population were born here, you see, and they’ve already made peace with the fact they’re likely to die here too – with only a quick annual jaunt to their Spanish holiday villa to provide the kind of cultural diversity they’ve been told they need to grant them a wider understanding of the world.
The nightlife stinks, with pubs overrun by fat-headed macho men desperate to wrongly assert that your casual glance is actually an invitation to fight. The stragglers rev their cars around the bypass, fulfilling those Paul Walker dreams while sat behind the wheel of their mum’s Clio (it’s got a muffler screwed on). The older guard drink and grunt their way to the grave, musing on how it’s not like it used to be round here – except there’s a good chance it’s exactly like it used to be, because progress is welcomed around these parts like a fart in a lift.
The town isn’t exactly overflowing with opportunities for shopping and culture, either. The three (soon to be four, because there’s a Lidl on the way) supermarkets present a gauntlet-run of dodging dithering pensioners and rampaging little shits, and the staff in each are all trained in expressing the kind of ‘where did it all go wrong’ frown that suggests you shouldn’t really bother them, lest they have to actual engage their brains for a moment. Elsewhere, there’s a library whose inventory consists of a couple of OS maps and a Danielle Steele paperback; some independent shops whose proprietors all have the whiff of desperation for you to spend, because there’s a good chance they’ll be out of business next week; and a surplus of tattoo studios, so the local idiots can get their name inked on their forearm, in case they forget it when they have to sign for that next delivery of stupidity.
While people travel to capital cities of the world hoping to find the streets paved with gold, visitors to Bourne will likely find the streets paved with litter and dogshit. The upkeep of the town is frankly disgusting, and South Kesteven District Council couldn’t care less. A local charity makes a valiant effort to maintain two green spaces in the town, but sadly they’re fighting a losing battle.
And don’t misconstrue my words to suggest that Bourne is only populated by tractor-molesting rednecks; there are patches of those who consider themselves upper-middle class here too, and they’re just as bad. They’re easily spotted by the Audi or new 4×4 on their driveway, often adorned with a UKIP-supporting bumper sticker. They certainly want you to be impressed by their impossibly tidy front garden, or the slew of soon-to-be-recycled boxes for all kinds of household and electrical equipment that they couldn’t possibly have any use for – other than to fill time in their empty, vacuous little lives.
Bourne. Home to the worst kinds of people, from every part of the spectrum. As long as the spectrum only covers white, straight people from Lincolnshire, anyway.