Malvern, despite once being described by a friend of mine as “a dark, Satanic Trumpton”, is actually a nice place, if you avoid one or two Chav hot spots. When I moved here 20 years ago Malvern was a middle class haven dominated by the blue rinse brigade and day trippers in hiking boots, and it would still be remarkable only for its green hills and tea shops if it wasn’t for some muppet in the District Council planning office who gave planning permission for a new retail park on the edge of town including, believe it or not, a Halfords and a McDonalds that share the same car park!!! What the hell were they thinking????
Before that fateful day, proto-chavs in Malvern were confined to 4 back streets where no-one else ever went, but, attracted by the aroma of frying “beef” fat and cheap wheel arch extenders, chavs (or kevs as we call them in these parts) have since expanded their territory to include the retail park and (when McDonalds closes) the 24 hour Texaco station in Malvern Link. Which means that functioning members of society can only safely buy fuel between the hours of 8am and 8pm in Malvern, no joke when your girlfriend lives 20 miles away, let me tell you…
Anyway, armed with my experience in Malvern and a chemistry degree I’ve observed a chain reaction of social devolution. Consider the following reactions:
small middle class rural town + McDonalds + Halfords = Chavs
most of us have seen that in action. But this is followed by:
Chavs + retail park = Matalan
Chavs + Matalan + supermarket = Morrisons.
Now, a Morrisons might not seem like disaster to you, but this is Malvern dammit, we have a Waitrose and we’re proud of it!!!
Now, Halfords does actually have a function in the world (even decent people need head lamp bulbs and wiper blades) so I blame McDonalds Inc for the downfall of society. Halfords is a catalyst to the Chav chain reaction, to be sure, but McDonalds is the reagent responsible for all the damage. And combined with the fact that its opening bough the demise of Burger Star, the local (and bloody marvellous!) burger outlet we used to have in town, Ronald McDonald has a lot to answer for!!! Maybe we should sue, or at least force them to put CAUTION – MAY CAUSE CHAVS on the packaging next to the warnings about hot coffee…