'Homecoming is a new series in which Chris Bethell accompanies writers to their hometowns and learns about what they used to do, where they used to hang out and who they used to know, to see what it reveals about how the UK is changing.' VICE UK

Chesterfield: Joel Golby

'Chesterfield is a small-to-medium sized town in Derbyshire, population circa 100,000, a fine balance between ancient market town and grey unimaginative concrete, a town centre that quickly cedes to residential streets and green spaces, the perfect blend of leaf and brick. It is famous for having the most fucked up church spire in the entire actual world, for briefly having the second biggest Tesco in Britain, and for having George Stephenson die there. It is also – and this is not mentioned on its Wikipedia page, for some reason??? – where I grew up.'

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Oscar Rickett

'In the stories, homecomings aren't like this. In the stories, the hero travels far, overcomes much, comes back with the wisdom of the world in his eyes. In my story, the hero travels three-and-a-half miles and lets himself into the house he grew up in with the keys he still keeps in the front of his bag. Though I haven't lived there for ten years, in many ways, I've never left home.'

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Oxford: Nell Frizzell

'When I was nine years old, locked out and snackless, a meatloaf-style low ponytail and face like a bowl of cream, I once tippexed a small heart onto a brick by my front door. That brick, and my heart, has now been painted over. The front door is a different colour, the bush by the bins gone, and I no longer have a key to lose.'

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Hussein Kesvani

'Dartford isn't quite London, nor is it the leafy, idyllic Kent of neighbouring Sevenoaks or Gravesend. It's a fairly plain little town that you'll know for one of two reasons: you've heard of the Dartford Crossing, or you watched the Eastenders episode when Jim Branning had to drive over the Dartford Crossing. We're a town that, to outsiders, is still largely defined by a bridge.'

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Edinburgh: Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff

'My Edinburgh is basically just a jumble of drinking spots I used to frequent as a teen. I don't know what this says about my adolescent experience, but they're genuinely the places that hold the most resonance for me now, as an adult. And a little bit of tragedy too.'

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York: James Darton

'Once, a couple of years ago, I decided that instead of taking the train up from London, I would drive back to York for Christmas. This was a huge mistake for a number of reasons, the main one being that it robbed me of the usual re-introduction to York, via the soaring arched caverns and charmingly off-brand sandwich counters of the city’s iconic railway station.'

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Pontypridd: Emma Garland

'There is a rumour going around my hometown that, for a short period of time, Jesus lived there. It's a load of shit. Obviously it's a load of shit. But as a blatantly stupid in-joke between like 15 people, it represents something fundamental about the small village of Ynysybwl, where I'm from.'

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Glossop: Kamila Rymajdo

'"This is a local shop, for local people; there's nothing for you here," is one of the most loved catchphrases from The League of Gentlemen , a British comedy series focusing on an incestuous motley crew of rotten-toothed characters living in the fictional town of Royston Vasey. Channelling the grimmest backwaters of the north of England, The League of Gentlemen premiered in 1999 and was filmed in and around the Derbyshire market town of Glossop, where I spent my formative years.'

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Hackney: Daisy Jones

'When other people talk about their teenage years in Britain, they paint a picture of WKD and park benches, of driving besides fields at night with happy hardcore on the speakers, of desperately wanting to escape the confines of their seaside town to go to art school and/or meet another queer person who isn't their mum's mate Sue – the one with the bleached tips who works at the Co-op.'

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Bournemouth: Ryan Bassil

'When you move around a lot as a kid, it's hard to say where your home is. Sometimes mine feels like it's a small corner of my nan's garden, where the ashes of her dog Shep are buried under flower beds and paving stones, and everything is still. At others, it might be south-east London, in a house with bay windows, looking out onto an old shipping dock in the dead of night. Or it's abstract: the familiarity of a favourite song, a film, something to tune out the bad weather.'

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The Isle of Wight: Hannah Ewens

'A name can reveal something about its owner. Mine, Hannah: starts off laughing and ends up negative; an approximation of my emotional output. My home, the Isle of Wight: a population that's 97.3 percent white. Everything is black and white. No space for fluidity, ambiguity or subtlety. People are straight or "gay"; one of us or one of them. Times are good or hard, the situation at hand right or wrong. The season is summer or "the other one" (only June to August matters when your economy relies on the fluctuating public desire to eat a 99 Flake).'

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Leicester: Marianne Eloise

'Until very recently, when asked where I was from I delivered a stock answer. "Leicester," I would say, and before anyone had the chance to ask "where?" I would have followed up: "It's, like, in the middle of England. It's a shit-hole." If pressed, I could add that we were the birthplace of Walkers Crisps and the Elephant Man.'

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Honor Oak: Francisco Garcia

'The defining moment of my life so far occurred when I was seven years old, in the winter of 1999. I'd been hanging out at a friend’s house, just up the road from the basement flat I shared with my mother in Forest Hill, a perfectly unglamorous corner of south-east London.'

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Richmond: Amelia Tait

'If you come from a small enough town, then one day – just for one day – you'll be the talk of it. You might have broken up with the doctor's son, or perhaps you came out as gay or stole from school funds (or both). You might have accidentally drunk someone's piss at a house party, or you might have driven drunk on a country lane and knocked down a dry stone wall. On boring days, you might not have done anything at all – but people will still say that you did.'

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Waterford: Megan Nolan

'When I return to Waterford now, I will often enough go to church. I don’t go to mass, just in for a walk around, a quick prayer or two to see if I can still remember the words. I light candles for all the dead people I know, and thank God – or send thanks generally upwards, anyway – that the number isn't larger.'

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