I had the misfortune to live in Gorton for 12 years, before I made my escape 4 years ago. I still visit friends there, and this report is based on my observations from my time living there (yes, I’ve been there, done it, worn the appropriately logo’d t-shirt, and lived the lifestyle) and from time spent visiting the area since my escape.
Gorton chavs are better known as ‘scallies’. Their uniform (male) is generally made up of half-mast trackies, tucked into Disney socks; Nike Shox, and baseball cap worn low under a tightly fastened hooded top – to conceal identity. The female uniform is similar, but ‘birds’ wear their hoods down to show off their collection of giant hoop earrings (the more earrings in each ear, the better) and gold chains.
Gorton scallies like to ride around in modded old bangers with R’n’B or ‘Gangsta’ music thumping out of the bass boost system ,It seems preferable to have a car full of ‘heads’ than just one or two people riding. If not moped races are just as much the rage Younger scallies who haven’t yet ‘acquired’ a car (although most scallies can drive from the age of 11) prefer to ride around on pedal-bikes, following people, intimidating pensioners and acting as ‘runners’ for the bigger boys.
The young ladies of Gorton like to breed early, therefore waiving them of the responsibility of disciplining young Tonisha/Kai/Shaniqua. The streets of Gorton are full of prams, usually attended by the slightly older green-candle-nosed sibling of a new arrival and accompanied by a fierce-looking dog (‘naaaah he’s soft as s**t really…’). A trip to Gorton on Monday morning will see the queue at the Post Office, stretching around the corner, and continuing for most of the day, as these founders of a new generation wait to collect their ‘social’.
After collecting their money, they will then proceed to Gorton Market, although this emporium is now a mere shadow of its former glory, when rip-off labels, cheap make-up and gold jewellery could be purchased in abundance. The next stop is then Aldi, and then a taxi home to watch Jezza At 9.25am before collecting their little darlings from school and awaiting the return of their ‘men’ from a hard day (or night) ‘grafting’.
After settling the ‘sprogs’ into their beds, the scallies will then watch the usual no-brain TV shows whilst listening out for sirens and the police helicopter overhead and tuning in to their ‘scanners’ to find out which of their unfortunate comrades is being pursued; to laugh at the misfortune of the person and to take to opportunity to ‘do one’ if it looks like it’s ‘gonna come on top’.
The highlight of the year is the funfair at Debdale Park, where all the scallies converge for a good honest night of proper old-fashioned fighting, which is even better if scallies from neighbouring towns (Longsight, Clayton, Reddish etc) join the party.
The rest of the year they have to settle for hanging around Debdale Park, Gorton Park, and Delamere Park; drinking alcopops, harassing moshers/skaters, attempting to breed more scallies, and ‘taxing’ the mobile phones/shoes/money from lesser unfortunate people stupid enough to be passing by.
The ultimate status symbol for a scally is the ASBO. Scallies who win this coveted award earn the lifelong respect of their peers, and only need to live a slightly restricted life for just a few years, whilst being treated as gods by their younger ‘less hard’ followers.
Gorton – the jewel of East Manchester – visit soon! (but watch your gold, your phone, your car, your shoes….)