An seemingly attractive place to move or retire to, with good schools, direct access to London and a desirable reputation, Hitchin has also become quite the venue for new talent to showcase their abilities, rock bands queuing up to play at Club 85, the local ‘alternative’ club and The Phoenix, a typical rock-and-roll-till-I-die style pub, bringing in custom from keen youngsters and old regulars alike. Hitchin is also the host for ‘Rhythms of the World’, an annual festival celebrating the joys of world music.
However, underneath all the pleasantries lies the potential for ‘delightful old Hitchin’ to become a stomping ground for the next generation of chavs. I’m too not familiar with Hitchin nightlife, although I have been to The Corn Exchange. Over-rated and over-priced, on my first visit I witnessed a fight and more public displays of affection than if I were to enter a brothel. The high street between the hours of 12 and 2am on a Friday/Saturday night is awash with chavs, throwing food at eachother, mouthing off, fighting, attempting to seduce eachother and other such activities. The high street itself is fairly average, a scatter of olde-worlde charm can be noticed here and there, with it’s cobbled walkways and Tudor-style buildings. But the amenities are basically the same as any other small town, Hitchin boasts nothing special to suggest that chavs do not inhabit the area.
Currently Hitchin appears to be a town divided, the chavs residing toward the back of Hitchin, hidden from the views of impressionable visitors. When spending time in Hitchin, chavs are mostly seen but not heard, unless I just haven’t been listening. I often find that should I need to visit, the babble of chav voices is a lot less distinct than in Stevenage. This leads me to believe that it is the pretentious, inflated residents of Hitchin that will spawn the next generation of chavs, passing on their better-than-thou attitude not unlike the attitude adopted by many chavs. Small-minded and critical, the population of Hitchin seems blissfully unaware that the demise of their town will ulimately be due to no-one else but themselves.