Grey, grim, industrial Thames Estuary wasteland, neighbouring Lakeside, which shines in the distance like a chav Oz would to the chav Dorothy, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion. In Burberry.
Grays is a riverside hellhole, rows of pebbledashed terraces stuck under the Dartford Bridge, and flanked by Tilbury docks to the east. Grays does, in fact, look down on Tilbury to make itself feel better, but the chav count and the sheer number of people lolling around Grays market aimlessly means you can put a cigarette paper between them in all honesty.
All cars (must be some kind of DVLA byelaw) have West Ham stickers in the rear window, and the closest a Grays dweller will ever get to one of the world’s greatest and most exciting cities is the 20 minute trip to Upton Park every other Saturday, to wallow in their East End roots whilst ensuring they get the f- out before it gets dark.
Back in Grays they may well stop off for a pint in probably the least salubrious licenced premises in Britain, The Pullman, before walking home running the gauntlet of flying KFC bones and fat girls pulling at each others hair in frenzied attacks over malnourished boys.
I love it.