Living in Bootle

I can’t believe that no one has mentioned this place yet – once an independent town, it has now been subsumed into the Liverpool metropolis – and its chavs are as (if not more) fearsome than those in real Liverpool.

A few years ago I had the dubious pleasure of working in the Bootle dole office, and unsurprisingly, there was never a quiet moment. 9 to 5, everyday, was spent dealing with people of which at least 80% seemed to think that somehow we owed them a living and who seemed to regard it as a gross intrusion when we asked them exactly what they had done to try and find employment in the last 2 weeks. “Eeeerm, I’ve heard like, that Broooksiiide and ‘Ollyoaks are loookin’ for actors like, so I’m written to dem like” was one chavette’s reply.

All life in Bootle centers around the “New Strand” shopping centre, infamous for being the place where James Bulger was kidnapped from before he was murdered. Despite its attempts to brighten itself up, it is still a s**t-hole of enormous proportions. The shops – everything a chav heart could desire – Greggs (or the slightly more upmarket local variant “Sayers”), endless awful sports shops and dubious “trade” stores where scallies allegedly bring in stolen iphones and tablets in exchange for cash (which they then take into Supercigs to buy 10 Lambert and Butler). Throw in a smattering of the standard B&M Bargains, Brighthouse, Maccy D’s etc, and it’s like a little Chav ecosystem.

Apart from the strand, there is bugger all else. A library where chavs can go and rip up books and a Magistrate Court where Chav mums and grans go to shout abuse at police vans, in the hope that they might contain a paedophile.

Luckily for me, I didn’t live in Bootle, so I was usually out of there by 18.00 – but, on the rare occasions when I stayed for a post-work drink, the walk to the bus station induced the predictable gauntlet of abuse from the baseball cap wearing fiends – usually drawing attention to the fact that I was wearing a shirt and tie – “eeeh, look at the ‘kip of ‘dat “ being a typical comment (whatever it may actually mean). “Yes”, I would mentally say, “this is how people capable of holding down a real job dress, you slovenly f*ckers”, as I would mentally smash them in the face with the Victorian style walking stick I wish I could carry.

I should point out though, not everyone in Bootle is like this – just as in Liverpool (and everywhere else), there are a huge number of great, down to Earth people, who cause you no bother at all. It is, as ever, the nasty, vocal, nauseating chavs that ruin it for all.

Top 10 worst places to live in England 2018