Postcard from Verden

Guardian Council, Going postal

Verden is a small town on the Hanover to Bremen railway line. It may best be remembered for its crossing over the river Aller, a bridge constructed by Army pioneers after the war, a titbit I have picked up on GP.

As bridges go, it must have been a rather well constructed bridge, and has – after the usual repairs which, I presume, had to come along with the usual wear and tear of a busy railway line – only last year been replaced by a clear disimprovement.

For while the old bridge afforded the eye with wide vistas along the broad and undulating river valley, the new bridge offers no such comfort to the weary traveler’s eye because the parapet on the new bridge completely blocks the view to either side. (I suppose this also makes the new bridge much more ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘sustainable’, which I’m sure must be such a relief).

The town itself is unremarkable, well organised in a boring kind of way, but used to be rather well known for the Massacre of Verden, when Charlemagne went a bit genocidal vis-à-vis 4,500 Saxons who didn’t take kindly to being converted to Christianity forcibly, in 772. The town, and the adjoining region, later became a bishopric (1180 to 1648) and then a principality (1648 to 1807/1810).

Being situated right in the middle of three larger cities (Hamburg, Bremen, Hanover) Verden doesn’t easily lend itself to gentrification, or hipster invasion as I prefer to call it, because it really is situated on the outer fringes of commuting distance to the fashionable meedja jobs in either of the larger places.

I like Verden being gratifyingly un-hip, and fail to register which – if any – benefits hipsters bring along anyway, apart from maybe the full Alpro range at Liddle and an increased demand for arugula salad, and even these effects of hipsterism are best considered questionable.

This is why I deeply sympathise with whoever put this little sticker on a lamppost on track 1 of the Verden railway station.

It roughly translates as “hipsters out”. But I suppose the funny bit about it is not only in the wording.

Guardian Council ©