I lived in many places in the north and south of England during my three decades of existence but none prepared me for the lack of humanity I would experience in Reading. Even some of the ex northern mill towns with an air of no hope, no employment or point to existence demonstrated a more positive environment in which to reside.
During my research prior to moving to this area I was informed of certain cess pools to avoid e.g. Whitley, so believed I would be able to live in a reasonably harmonious environment. We, and by ‘we’ I’m referring to my girlfriend and I, moved to Caversham which for those that don’t know, is referred to by some as the posh part of Reading. What could go wrong? We had done our research, found a small flat said to be in the better area and were looking forward to experiencing another part of Great Britain! Apparently my girlfriend wouldn’t get attacked walking to and from the train station if we lived in Caversham, as advised by an esate agent; how lovely!
Over the following 2 years living in at the bottom of Caversham five minutes walk away from what we had hoped to be a large chav moat (the river Thames) we worked long hours and were afforded what can only be described as a live soap opera being played out in the local vicinity. Joy riding, open drug dealing, LOTS of theft, LOTS of vandalism (including my car twice), 2 murders, several attacks/rapes and more instances of scroats running away from the police then I care to remember. Its no wonder council tax is so high when the police helicopter and army of police are permanently dealing with weapons grade arseholes with no sense of reason. One of the many times I interacted with the police they informed me “even if we bang up this generation, the next generation will only take their place” – great!
I finished the project I was currently working on and this left a small window to move. As my girlfriend still requires good train links into London we moved into a ‘quiet’ estate called Caversham Park Village. I knew a chap who lived in the area so asked him what it was like and he said mainly good. I had a walk around on Friday and Saturday night to see what it was like; all was quiet….ahhh bliss!
Well, suffice to say the peace didn’t last long. While the area itself is reasonable with families who at least work, there is a scheme of pepper-potting in the area which we have been unlucky enough to be subjected to. For those that don’t know, pepper potting is when a council take troubled families and house them in the better areas in an attempt to expose them to correct behavior e.g. not shouting everything you wish to communicate, not stabbing someone because they didn’t cook the roast the way you like it and not stealing other peoples property because “we aint got that” and you feel hard done by because your giro doesn’t cover 50” plasma screens.
The family that has been housed next door (3 bedroom semi detached) was so proud of having their fifth child. Alarm bells started ringing when I discovered the various kids were prefixing their dads name with his first name. Yes that right each child had a different farther. 12 months later after 11 domestics which the police attended, one incident of someone outside the family employing two ex drug dealers to come and try and stab the family in there sleep and a constant bombardment of abuse aimed at the children (don’t worry social services are involved, they even brought flowers), the latest, “daddy Gary” has left leaving his emotional chav slob of a partner alone with 5 kids. I barely know what to say other than we will be moving again. No words can describe the utter sham that is that ‘family unit’.
The obvious question of “why did you stay so long” is simple; we work long hours and need to get into London easily. These are the only two valid reasons for living in Reading.
Don’t believe anyone who talks about “all areas have their problems”. Yes, they do, but Reading in general is a complete s**t hole and “Chavasham” isn’t better.
The only area that is nice is Caversham Heights but anyone hoping to move there will need at least 400k to fend off any pepper potting.