On speaking of the brassy actress Jean Harlow, Margot Asquith said: “The ‘T’ is silent, as in ‘Harlow'”. Just about says it all for a town whose only contribution to satire is to name one of its shittiest pubs…wait for it…hold those ribs…get ready with the defibrillator paddles…the Jean Harlow….with a silent T.
Where are the chav hangouts? F*****g everywhere.
With a forces background, I have lived in many places…even military transit camps converted (just) from ex WW2 POW camps. I have also been to the third world…so I can speak with authority when I say that Harlow is the nastiest, meanest, scummiest place I have ever had the misfortune to inhabit.
I work hard for a living…around my house appears to be a 5 mile exclusion zone of other employed people…scattered within it, like the remains of some post nuclear holocaustic sci-fi movie are a bizarre array of concrete bunkers inhabited by what appear at first sight to be Morlocks. As the incredulous camera zooms in…wait…no…they are almost human…those grey lumps are…HOUSES???….
I can only echo much of what other authors have pointed out…having actually done my research, (no, seriously!) much of the housing stock was award-winning in its time…when English architects thought concrete was a miracle material. Many of the methods and other materials were experimental. Problem is, no-one ever admitted when those experiments were stunningly obvious failures – by then it had cost too much. (And upper-class twats like architects never admit they are wrong anyway). They were designed to be cheap, easy / quick to build (can u see the problems and smell the mildew already?) to replace all the smog-stained slums that nasty Mr Hitler had bombed. Harlow is the first of the new towns, the first to be built to a great plan…it was designed FROM THE OUTSET as a chavtown. The very raison d’etre of the development corporations was “throw up some quick cheap boxes and stuff the poor and dispaced people in them”. Fact. Harlow is the granddaddy of them all. UberChavsville. I hereby nominate it as PEARLY KING of chavtowns.
What did they think? That these forelock-tugging flatcapped salt-of-the-earth cheeky chappies would inhale some clean air, spot a few of their first ever trees, lean back in their own postage-stamp gardens in their own NEW town and think: “Gawd bless ya, Harlow, me old son! I’m going straight from now on!”, maybe if they hadn’t crammed them together worse than bulimic sardines, made them so goddamned small, made them almost inaccessible other than on foot for the sake of “good design”…built in muggers paradise subways, shady paths, poorly lit alleyways between estates…maybe then they wouldnt have built a chav-producing machine.
Thet forgot the old adage “You can take the chav out of the estate, but you cant take the estate out of the chav”.
And the NAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!! “Little Cattins” WTF is a “Cattin” ??????? Hell’s Chance of working it out! “Brockles Mead” (known locally as “The Bronx”)…”Wedhey”…not “Wedhey Street / close / avenue” etc just the enigmatic and lonely “Wedhey”…or “Taylifers” or “wankbollocks” or “felmongers”…OK I made one of those up – the rest are real. The corporation must have been on Mescaline when they assigned the numbers…how about this for an ACTUAL sequence of houses which follow one after another on a main road: 258, 261, 259, 260. I kid you not. Whats worse is that their address isnt the road they are on, its the estate…things is they arent part of the estate…they are on the main road and architecturally different. the “idiot board” at the entrance to the estate, some 400 yards away…shows houses up to 257….find THAT, mr Pizza delivery boy!!! And believe me, that is only one of HUNDREDS of such insanities.
I’m not going to talk about the chavs, you all know what they are like…there is a grim universality of attire and attitude in chavdom as they all aspire to be individuals….Im interetsed in the abject failure of a social experiment which has pretty much defined the environmental conditions for becoming a chav sausage machine.
I’d enter the XMAS lights competition, but I couldnt afford enough film, or a wide enough lens…have you seen Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation? Thats nothing! But hey, who cares about the cost when you’ve bypassed the meter? That cousin of his lives in almost every house in Harlow. Harry Enfield MUST have done his reserach for Wayne and Waynetta Slob here. I heard the council were thinking of padding the pavements to avoid being sued over all the scraped knuckles…..
What worries me is that they havent learned…Church Langley – one of the newest developments – has a higher housing density than a Guatemalan shanty town. The walls are about the same thickness too – when two chavs finish a shag in “Davenport”, two others light up a fag in “Elwood”. Yes, sadly those names are real. Where’s “Jake”, thats what I want to know ?????. As if to seal the town’s misery…its NEWEST development houses the one and only **thank god** Jade Goodie. Now if THAT doesnt say it all, and make Harlow chav Mecca, what else could?
Vote Harlow…or it’ll f*****g glass ya