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Scumsville or Metropolis? It's all a matter of opinion.
Middlesbrough in General
Member Name: Nancy1428
Middlesbrough in General
Advantages: All the shops are together, lots of pubs and students
Disadvantages: Many of the locals, Violent crime, unemployment, smog
~~Middlesbrough: A beginners guide~~
Like many of those who have written an opinion on Middlesbrough, I have lived in Middlesbrough all my life - and boy, do I wish I hadn't had that misfortune! It's true that the town centre can be a good place to shop - all the shops are together, all the pubs are there, and there's plenty of variety; especially now, with Middlesbrough's new "updated" image - we now have trendy shops that we never had before - a virgin megastore, a schuh, designer shops, etc.
There is quite an extensive and interesting history to Middlesbrough, but I'm only going to give you some basics here, otherwise you would be reading for hours. If you really are interested in looking into it in further detail, a good place to start is www.thenortheast.fsnet.co.uk/Middlesbrough.htm.
Middlesbrough currently has a population of approximately 150,000.
Middlesbrough's two main 'landmarks' are the Transporter Bridge and Roseberry Topping (which I will upload pics of). The Transporter Bridge came into being in 1911, and is now one of only two left. You may have seen it in Auf Wiedersehan Pet, when a series centered around it. Roseberry Topping is a natural landmark, essentially a 'funny shaped hill' that can be seen from many parts of the town, and from outside it.
Captain Cook, who we have already mentioned a little was an explorer, who sailed his ship, The Endeavour, to explore Australia, among other places back in the 1700s.
Middlesbrough remains one of the cheapest areas in which to live. This is probably because no-one wants to live in it. They should pay us to live here. Sorry...got a little personal again there. :)
There is a lot more to the history of the area though, and it is quite interesting, so give it a look if you fancy it.
~~Housing and Regeneration~~
Recently in the local news, there has been a lot of emphasis on the regeneration of the town. Houses in both Middlesbrough itself and the surrounding areas are being pulled down left right and centre. The most run-down estates have been getting 'regeneration budgets', aimed at improving the quality of life in these areas. This includes ripping down old terraced house, building new ones and...well, that's pretty much it. They don't move the scummy people out of the area, they just give them nice new houses. Big improvement. Not.
Along this same thought pattern, the council has made Middlesbrough 'pretty' in the hope that people will stop beating each other up if they are in a nicer looking town. We now have town centre pavements covered in bonny blue and purple lights, some trees, some chrome benches and a modern sculpture or two. If Middlesbrough didn't have the worst people in the world living in it, it could be a lovely place to live.
~~The University of Teesside~~
The University of Teesside has been around for a good while (I can't seem to find a date anywhere unfortunately), and blends traditional buildings with modern ones. Unlike most mixtures of this kind, however, the university looks excellent. Offering a wide range of courses (on which you can get more info on their website at www.tees.ac.uk), the university brings a massive wealth to Middlesbrough, providing lots of business to local pubs, shops and restaurants.
~~Middlesbrough for the alternative scene~~
I'm sure many of the others who have written an opinion on Midlesbrough have said what a fantastic nightlife it has - but that would be the opinion of Middlesbrough's "trendy" people. From the point of view of someone like myself (myself being a person who likes rock music, not dance), there's now almost no nightlife at all. There is ONE rock-orientated club in M'bro now - The Arena - so if you don't like it there, you're scuppered.
To compare, I recently went out on a night out in Newcastle - one of Middlesbrough's closest big cities. I went with a group of friends (7 of us in all) - all of whom are slightly "alternative" in one way or another. We went out, walked to the city centre, had a fantastic night out, got taxis back and then went shopping the next day.
Now, the major difference is this - through that entire time, we felt safe! We didn't get even ONE comment on the way we looked for the entire weekend -which is extremely unusual when you're used to Middlesbrough.
The last time I remember going out in Middlesbrough town, we were walking home, and some lads coming in the opposite direction decided that we were "freaks" - and apparently this means that at least one of your friends has to be hospitalised -this is the mentality of the Middlesbrough "townies".
And this time was far from being the first occasion when something like it has happened to me and/or my friends - so you can see why I don't really go out anymore; or when I do, it's generally to a pretty quiet pub, and I (as unfortunate and unfair as it is) feel scared almost all of the time, even in daytime...I can't imagine how my friends feel, as I dress pretty "trendy" compared to them, I don't look alternative at all most of the time.
As a result of constant abuse by 'neighbours' of a friend, I will now no longer visit my friends at their house unless I'm with someone else.
The thing many people in the town talk about, along with the 'fantastic' transporter bridge (which is the most famous landmark of the town, that and 'roseberry topping', a funny shaped hill), is Captain James Cook, who was born in Marton, a suburb of Middlesbrough, about 20 minutes walk from the town centre. People in Middlesbrough are immensely proud that the town is the birthplace of Captain Cook, to the extent that EVERYTHING is named after him, including the major hospital in the area, which is now called The James Cook University Hospital. Up until about three years ago, it was simply called South Cleveland. Other 'famous people' that Middlesbrough can lay a claim to are Roy 'Chubby' Brown and Bob Mortimer and Chris Rea. The only famous local that I am actually proud of is filmmaker Ridley Scott (Alien), who attended what is now Cleveland College of Art and Design (in Hartlepool) to study film (the same course that I do I think). Incidentally, it is said that Scott's inspiration for the industrial wasteland of Blade Runner was Middlesbrough, and I can well believe it.
As I have mentioned the art college there, I should really go into a little detail on that, as it is unique. CCAD has been established for over 100 years, and remains the only specialist arts college in the North East of England. It offers a wide range of courses in all things art related. You can find out more information on their website at www.ccad.ac.uk.
In the last couple of years, Middlesbrough has seen further improvements in the entertainment sector. A massive multiscreen UGC cinema was built a few minutes walk from the town centre, along with a new JJB Sports (including a large gym), McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Nandos (chicken) and Etsuko (Japanese food). Recently, the UGC was bought out by large chain Cineworld.
Middlesbrough's dockland, Middlehaven, is set for a £500m transformation. This will see an essential wasteland being turned into a new area of attraction for both business and leisure.
Overall, Middlesbrough would be an exciting and modern place to live, if it weren't for all the damn people. I hope this has been helpful to anyone who is thinking of visiting or moving to the area.
Summary: Modern nice looking town, if only it WAS as good as it looks.
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