Out of season back gardens are unkempt and overgrown, pubs with weatherproof banners urging people to ‘Watch rugby here’.
Sited in the middle of nowhere, adjacent to nothing more than a footbridge and a dual carriageway – if this is all there is to central Telford you dread to think how lifeless the suburbs are.
At Chester station groups of middle-aged men shuffle towards the exit, Racing Posts beneath arms, Debenhams shirts tucked in jeans, breakfast beers on breath.
At Crewe I am joined at my table by a student who is a jumble of juxtapositions; he’s wearing a Sex Pistols t-shirt under a cardigan.
The guard’s unfortunate inflection gives everything he says a quizzical tone. Commuters cannot cope with this level of implied uncertainty.