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 http://www.met.police.uk/crimefigures/datatable.php?borough=rg&period=year

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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9 Comments:

At 8:50 pm, Blogger plummersplayspop said...

....since Plumstead first came into my life yesterday, I have been delving around on the t'internet seeking snippets of information and, by golly, have found a thriving opinionated bunch of people who are passionate about where they live. What a treat. I think you are absolutely right on the faceless homoginisation of previously characterful places. The trick is smartening it up with independants rather than the usual wishy-washy rubbish. If we do move to Plummers, I shall start a petition with CAMRA to get a decent pub installed. And perhaps everyone could club together and buy a cafe and run it as a cooperative.
Oh dear. Am sounding like the 'MC' that I really am but dammit, at least I'm an optimist!

 
At 10:02 pm, Blogger Pangloss said...

Keep the optimism up. As I've discovered through my blog, there are those pessimists who want to grind you down.

 
At 10:03 pm, Blogger Pangloss said...

Sibonetic, best of luck with your blog. A great start. I'll look forward reading more.

 
At 8:55 pm, Blogger Nigel said...

Nice one Sibonetic.
Always good to see more local input on the interweb thingy.
Keep up the good work.

Plummersplayspop I think you'll find that the Old Mill does quite well for ales - probably the only pub round here...

Any tips on good local greengrocers? Can't seem to find one.

 
At 12:23 pm, Blogger Plumstead Commoner said...

That map, and the local ward names, don't really tie into my own personal perceptions of where "Plumstead" is.

For example, the area on the map identified as "Plumstead" (or, laughably, "Plumbstead" on the main map), doesn't even include Plumstead Common, only Winns Common. Plumstead Common itself is in Glyndon ward. All the housing just to the south of the Common, including the Woodlands Estate around Flaxton Road, is apparently in Shooters Hill (despite not having any road access to Shooters Hill) when really it is very much a part of Plumstead Common geographically.

 
At 10:17 pm, Blogger sibonetic said...

Yes, some of the wards are frankly bizarre, I definitely live in Plumstead, being 2 mins walk from the Common, but am in Glyndon Ward. Which in the last round of changes shifted east to take in more of Plumstead.

The boundary commission wanted to change the name to Griffin ward as it now centred around Griffin Road, which was in my opinion an eminently sensibly suggestion.

Of course Greenwich Council decided to keep the name of a large council estate, which is now located on the edge of the ward!!

At least the good news from the boundary commission is that Glyndon Ward is moving back to the Woolwich and Greenwich Constituency, and out of Erith and Thamesmead, as one thing I am sure of, I have never lived in either Erith or Thamesmead!! and at least I won't be represented by that political pygmy John Austin (what ever happened to the Walker?).

 
At 10:11 am, Blogger Plumstead Commoner said...

On the subject of parliamentary constituencies, much of the area to the immediate south of the Common Road (again, including the Woodlands estate) is in the Eltham constituency. Which is COMPLETELY bizarre. I've never even been to Eltham.

 
At 10:55 pm, Anonymous St Paulinus Cray said...

Nigel, re: a greengrocer, have you tried Steve's on Herbert Rd?

 
At 10:38 pm, Blogger Erik Fuller said...

Italian food in my experience is one of the easiest to get wrong. Perhaps because it's perceived as being simple and anyone thinks they can do it. Similarly I've had probably more 'Italian' style meals than Chinese or Indian so have had more bad 'uns simply because of the maths.

Two shockers - a pasta place in Hampton Court where I had grey chicken served up and when I complained got a pesto made with a few flakes of dried basil served on marg-smeared overcooked spag as a replacement.

Then an Italian cafe very near to Putney station that served up balls of old fat in their sauce and tried to bluff it saying it was the traditional way. They simply had let their vat of sauce go solid over days or weeks and had been to imcompetent to notice. Just writing this is making me feel rage at the memories.

The Noodle bar in the High Street seems good. I took my Mum and Dad there and have been by myself - the Won Ton noodle soup was fun.

Nice blog by the way.

 

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