Seen by many as the capital of the ‘Black Country’ (for those of you who don’t know, that’s the name given to the part of central England which was black with industry from 1750 until about 1980 because of the smoke from factories), Dudley is also seen by many as the chav Capital of the west midlands.
The town centre is a real hang out for chavs, it’s a really cheap place where discount stores are in the place of former department stores like BHS and M&S. Chavs hang around in the streets and pubs, smoking and drinking. Some chavs buy old bangers for a few pounds each and drive them to the top of Castle Hill (next to Dudley Castle) before letting the brake off and sending the car rolling down the hill across red traffic lights and into the middle of Castlegate Island.
At Castlegate, a modern leisure/commerical park near the town centre on the Tipton side, the are some top chav hang outs like the showcase cinema and stadium bowling alley. Chavs and chavettes go in the cinema to watch sexy films while the less sex obsessed chavs/chavettes go bowling in the bowling alley. When they come out of the bowling alley and cinema the chavs and chavettes hang round smoking and watching the older chavs show off in their modified cars.
Kates Hill is the chavviest part of Dudley, where practically all of the population aged 25 or below is a chav or chavette. It’s a mix of Victorian terraces, 1930’s council houses and 1970’s flats and bungalows – hardly the last word in desirability. Chavs go into the freebodies pub at the top of the hill and come out so drunk they can hardly walk, before smashing the windows of nearby houses with bricks and spraypainting their names on garage doors. The chavviest activity in Kates Hill is to race round in an old banger or on a motorbike and get spotted by the police. Chavs ride bikes down cul de sacs and the police are 100% sure the pursuit is over. But then the chavvy motorcyclists dash down an alleyway and come out somewhere that is so near but so far away – for this the chavs can thank Dudley council who in the 1970’s re designed the street layout so one half of the area was completely cut off from the other – somewhere which was a few yards away on foot was about 1 mile away by road!!!
The younger chavs, aged about 10 or 12, hang around underneath people’s flats around the garages, spraypainting their names on garage doors. Chavs used to spray their names on the communal stairs in blocks of flats but the problem got so bad that a few years ago special security locks were put on the entrance doors to the flats so only the residents could get in.
Another chav hang out in Dudley is the Priory Estate in the north of the town near the border with Sedgley. It’s a rundown 1930’s council estate alive with chavs and chavettes. The top hang out on the Priory is the row of shops at the top of the estate, where sunrise chinese takeaway sells the best Chinese food in England. But the off licence next door to Sunrise has a really generous owner who will sell booze to primary school kids. Whether its part of his nature of because he’s scared of getting blasted for meanness I don’t know. Anyway, once the chavs have got themselves drunk they run round the estate causing mayhem, running across people’s gardens and stoning windows. The toughest chavs get into fights, kick down fences and recently they set a house on fire.
Next to Priory Estate its the even chavvier Wrens Nest Estate, a notorious 1930’s council estate which has one of the toughest reputations in the country. Chavs and chavettes hang round all day and all night spraying grafhiti, smoking, boozing, taking drugs and breaking into cars. Back in 1986 a man living on the estate got 4 life sentences for running riot with a gun and blasting bullets at the homes of men who’d threatening to kill his family. He recently escaped from custody and was recaptured, he will not be freed until 2006. But nowadays the most notorious people on the Wrenner, as it is locally known, are the rock hard Chavs. People from all over the borough (Sedgley, Brierley Hill, Stourbridge, Halesowen) come to the Wrens Nest to pick fights and nearly always lose. Indeed, Wrenners are the hardest people in the midlands. The Washington pub, a mock tudor building, is notorious for fights between chavs and grebos. Even the chavettes fight there. The landlord calls the police but by the time they come the chavs and chavettes are gone.
Netherton, a large village on the south side of Dudley towards Halesowen, is also very chavvy. The village is a mix of just about every type of housing from 19th century cottages to 1970’s council tower blocks, but Netherton Park is one of the chavviest hang outs in England. Gangs of chavs rip tiles off the roof of the public toilets and throw them onto the back gardens of neighbouring houses. Some of the toughest chavs even throw the tiles at grebos and cause a fight. There’s also a lot of weed smoking and glue sniffing at Netherton Park. And most of it is done under the gaze of CCTV cameras.
Dudley is one of the chavviest towns in England and its getting chavvier by the day.