A foolish trip up to a dark. Midlands town, the pelting cold rain soaking into the black brick of the factories like old bad oil, glistening nothing. A wasted trip, through the good offices of the local M.P. Town fathers showed me everything and showed me nothing. I might just as well stayed down in London, reading books. An old factory town, with a history of working wives, no need (they say) of day nurseries and plenty of “ramified family units”. Steep black chimneys and generations living together in the same blank-front houses, rectitude and still some Non-Conformism left, open doors and closed minds to all strangers. A foolish, wasted trip.
My train was to leave in two hours and I asked to be taken to the mental hospital on the hill before I went. Town fathers reluctant, vaguely worried. But in the afternoon an inter- view was set up with the deputy chief of the hospital. In his office, in the gray, ancient-looking building which was once the poor house, sit the Chief Nurse and the Assistant Town Mayor.