|Stratford station Regenerated: |
Still as much chance of a stabbing.
Photo by Clive Power (It says I had to tell you that).
I wanted to correct her and assert my working-class roots - My Dad left school at 15 to work down the mines, ffs! But the fact was, she was right. My Dad's upbringing was not my own thanks mainly to his own work ethic & industry (thankfully not down the mines for very long). I in fact grew up a Landlord's son mostly in quaint coaching inns in well-kept villages and well-to-do market towns.
I did live in a rough dive-pub in Southampton between the ages of 3 and 6, but other than that, I've led a pretty charmed life of locations. My formative years were spent either in the not-very-ghetto'd Cotswolds, within the midst of straw-boaters upon the regatta-loving Thames or in the shadow of royal polo tournaments in Sussex.
At one point, I could even boast Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page & spoon-bender Uri Geller as next-door neighbours (Well, I could boast about Jimmy Page at least).
|Stratford: Easy to get out of, at least.|
This is the odd thing about these areas of London though - you could live on a very nice middle-class street but there could be a problem estate at the end of the road. You can have run-down social housing blocks down one side of a road, and on the opposite side some new-build yuppie flats exchanging hands for silly money.
Everything is on top of everything else and areas once thought too dodgy to venture into at night are now becoming gentrified. One problem of that of course is that the poor are often not taken along with the regeneration but actually forced out by rising property prices.
|East London Regeneration: The Luftwaffe started things off.|
Hopefully, Stratford (which isn't really that bad, obviously) will indeed benefit from the Olympic regeneration and become one of those areas where people want to move to without driving out the less well-off, so that they too can benefit from it. Maybe I will benefit from it too, one day.
Although I'm not saying it wasn't nice growing up where i did, I feel truly grateful to be a resident of London - there is a lot to be said about how enriching it is to live amongst a melting pot of people from such diverse backgrounds and culture all mingling together.
Still less likely to get mugged and stabbed in Moreton-in-Marsh though.
*For 'edgy' read 'dangerous'.
For 'up-and-coming' read 'still pretty run-down, but they are building some stuff.'
For 'vibrant' read 'large ethnic minority population living below the poverty line'.