Aaah Hampton, leafy middle-class suburb where I grew up and returned to with a young family. Hampton, as in Hampton Court, home of kings and queens down the ages.
Hampton is part of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, the smartest part of the capital outside the actual centre, where celebrities live by the bucketload. While not in that league, Hampton has hundreds of properties worth more than £750 K.
Hampton is near a few epicentres of west London chavdom vizt. murky flyover-dominated Sunbury-on-Thames (see separate article), unspeakable Feltham (ditton), once rather nice now chav-infested Kingston (ditto) and the pustular boil on London’s arse that is Hounslow AKA ‘aaaaanzlaaarrr (and how that hasn’t been done on Chavtowns yet is a mystery to rank with the Kennedy assassination).
None of these, however, is near enough to Hampton for the chavviness to spill over. Even Hampton’s council estate, Nurserylands, is really not bad at all, while neighbouring Hanworth is merely scruffy and down-at-heel. In all, Hampton is dull, suburban and quiet and not chavvy at all.
Then again, there is Dean Road. Dean Road is a festering elephant’s abortion of a road, whose spiralling chavviness is spreading out over the whole place like diarrhoea on a teflon-coated pyramid, a foul sink of pasty-face shell-suited yobbery that is single-handedly dragging the whole place down to the gutter it gleefully lives in.
Let me give you a bit of history. 30 years ago, an Asian schoolfriend of mine used to take the bus two stops longer than he needed to and walked ten minutes out of his way to avoid the Dean Road shortcut because he got sick of being beaten up there. Since then, things have deteriorated.
Recently, chav culture has hit here big time i.e. tracky bottoms, chunky gold necklaces and burbery caps for Kev, big ‘oop earrings, pastel pink trackies and Croydon facelifts for Trace etc etc etc, well you know the list by now. Recently, I spotted one chavette (admittedly not in Dean Road) with a customised pair of jeans sporting the word ‘Bling’, picked out in silver studs on each arse cheek. I am not making this up.
Put on your crash helmet and bullet proof vest and take a walk down Dean Road with me. Lets start where my mate used to take his walk to oblivion, the footbridge over the Longford which leads you into Dean Road. First sight is the world’s toughest ducks in the river (they being the survivors of 50 years – or should I say 4 generations – of Dean Road chavs buzzing bricks at them.
As you walk into the Dean Road itself, try to dodge Kai and Chesney’s half-arsed attempts to skateboard up a pile of bricks at the end. Admire the cars, BMWs as well as souped-up Novas, that our wonderful benefit system provides. Don’t step on that patch of grass, it’s got discarded condoms and needles on it as well as broken pallets and the detritus of last weekend. Prepare for a sparkling conversation with a witty little chavling (here they speak in cod Oirish, f**k knows why). Sample underneath reproduced from memory:
Chavling: Arr so you’re Rosie’s dad aren’t ye now?
Me: No I’m not
Chavling: Sure you are and you’re Rosie’s dad.
Me [thinks of saying 'Do you think I don't know my childrens' names?' but then realises this is Dean Road, where such things are the norm]: I’m not, now bog off
Chavling: Ooo nahh keep yer hair on etc.
Pass the first 30 or so houses and you are where the chavs hang out, i.e. an open bit of pavement outside the shop where the poor Sikh family that run it – if I can be serious for a moment – must wonder what they did in a previous life to deserve having the slime of west London banging the door or nipping in to steal sweets at all hours of the day.
There are no pubs here or particularly near, but you do see the odd one pluck up the courage to walk 10 minutes to the Court Jester on the Nurserylands estate. This is a smoke-filled ruin from the 1970s, full of bulletheaded Chelsea supporting hardcases who could sort out the average chav in no time.
Come to the junction with Hanworth Road and that’s it. Beyond that is also Dean Road, but there is nothing much wrong here. At the junction, however, is the other big reason for Dean Road’s uber-chav status: Rectory School. Webmaster, if you ever set up a ‘chavschools’ site, this is going to be the first on. In the meantime, here goes…
Actually the school is now called Hampton Community College, which is another chiz, since it isn’t a college, it is nothing but a pain for the community and it is only just in Hampton. To those who went to neighbouring Hampton Grammar School, though, it will always be Rectory, or better still Rejectory. Having a grammar and a secondary modern side by side was a big recipe for trouble and there were regular bunfights in the 1970s. Regular as clockwork, the ‘tough’ Rejectory lads would try to ‘take’ Hampton by charging the fence and were invariably beaten to a pulp by the boat club boys ha ha ha.
Rejectory’s main function is to keep Kyle and Chantelle-Louise off the streets and on balance it is better that it does, but that means that us poor denizens of Hampton have to suffer the swarms of them, chavved up to the nines and punctuating every other word with f*****ng, making their way in for another day of hard dossing, then coming back via scrawling their infantile ‘tags’ on some hapless shopkeeper’s windows or homeowners’ walls. Last week, 12 out of the 18 shops in one parade got this treatment.
The chavviness and general yobbery has accelerated in the past three years or so I have lived here. It feels like once a week sirens blare down Hanworth Road and every time, every time bar none, it is three police cars (they wouldn’t do it alone!) are going down Dean Road to sort out some pikey domestic. Plus, needless to add, the council sends refuse collectors down there twice as often as anywhere else.
A couple of other choice incidents: 12, count ‘em 12, police outside Rejectory at 4 pm because they had intelligence [sic.] that a fight had been planned. Still, they try hard the police. The same week, they held a public meeting at a nearby community centre to deal with public concerns about bad behaviour from kids. It was disrupted by kids throwing chairs at the door…
So that is the Dean Road for you, an object lesson in how a few inbred dimwits can drag a whole place down. Seriously if I were Michael Howard, I’d make dealing with pondlife like this a big part of my manifesto for the next election, it would be worth a few votes wouldn’t it?