A town in South East England where the bling people wear is actually Argos, allegedly 4ct yellow-coated lead and the hoop earrings are so big that people’s ears look like those of the Yanomami Indians who stretch them for traditional purposes. I grew up here and am mentally scarred for life by the sheer amount of shell suits and Fila tracksuits with tummies poking out from under the jackets.
The town centre has always been littered with empty shops and the ones that are filled are either 99p shops, mobile phone shops, charity shops or discount shoe shops. Even Pizza hut has fled the town centre. The town has two Argos’s (says it all really).
Most teenage girls are spotted pushing prams around with a fag in one hand and a bottle of Lambrusco in the other and there are many 35 year old grannies too. It’s not uncommon to have aunties or uncles actually younger than yourself …
The factory outlet shopping centre, consisting of over 100 shops sell dross that rest of the UK population refused to buy the previous 10 years, but Ashfordians come flooding in at weekends to buy the passé sportswear, cracked ceramics and £10 pairs of discount Kickers.
There are many supermarkets selling Ashford’s favourite meals; McCains Microchips, turkey twizzlers and chicken nuggets – all rounded off with a glass of Sunny Delight or Blue Nun. There is however a posh area too, served by the Waitrose supermarket, but last time I visited there were only people in black-lycra leggings pushing prams around.
Weekend activities consist of visiting boot fairs, kids birthday parties at McDonalds and going out to get bladdered in the evening. Monday mornings are spent queuing up to sign on.