Friday, March 30, 2007

Plumstead Common or High Street

In case anyone has been following some other blogg threads on Plumsteadshire re:- Crime and the percieved fear of crime. I published some stats on Crime in Plumstead that I got from the Mets website

This led some people to believe that the stats were only for the Common not the High Street, so have downloaded Map of Plumstead Ward (above) and as you can see it includes all of the High St. from the station to the edge of Bosall Woods. The only bit of Plumstead not included is the western end of the Common which is in Glyndon Ward.

There seems to be a lot of debate about the relative merits of the Common vs. the High Street, so I thought I might give my thoughts., having lived by the Common for the last 20 years.
Like many of the recent arrivals I was attracted by the fact I could buy a House for the price of a Flat in any other part of London (not much change there then!!)

The Common is Green has lots of trees and in summer a lot of youfs hanging around cos they don't have the wit or imagination to do anything more interesting, though in my experience they are quite harmless if not very bright. Lots of dogs with attendant mess. It is a predominatly White area, with some limited evidence of gentrefication. Not many shops, but at least most of the ones that are, are genuine local shops, not faceless chain stores. The good old co-op which at least is ethical if not very efficient and is part of the History of the area (RACS was one of the most important co-operative societies in times gone by). Quite a few indifferent Pubs the odd OK one and a Curry House which is not to bad.

The High Street is shabby, down at heal, poorer, far more ethnically diverse and in some respects a bit of a dump, but on the other hand it has a very good range of shops and eating places serving its community, thought nothing for the middle class arrivals living up by the Common, which is presumably one of the reasons they look down their noses at the area.

I took my Dad (who is 79) and lives in Upper Norwood to the Red Lion Noodle Bar in the High Street and he insisted I take him for a tour round after the Meal, this was 8.30pm.He was really impressed with the area!! He said that the High Street was like High Streets in London used to be, with a range of shops where you could buy things that local people want, rather that the wall to wall estate agents and Restaurants that most London High Streets have become eg Crystal Palace, where he lives. He loved the fact that there were so many people around at that time of night and he didn't feel in the slighest bit fearful.

He also thought the Noodle Bar was fantastic, which is btw a fantastic example of regeneration, if you had ever been to the grotty pub that it replaced you will know what I mean! I suppose some of the new MC from up the Hill will think the Noodle Bar is to cheap to be any good (a 2 course meal for 3 with wine for under £40) and are yearning for some overpriced Italian crap, such as I had the misfortune to be served up on my last visit to Blackheath. But the food is fantastic and the people who run it are lovely.

Well I am rambling on here, to sum up, the Common and the High Street are both GREAT places, no they are not Blackheath or Clapham, they could both do with sprucing up, but both have a lot going for them and in any attempt to go upmarket, lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater and see them turn into yet another soleless middle class getto.

Well, what do you think?

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tis me
Chelsea, with her partner in crime, Charlton
Chelsea got in the mood for Red nose day