Having had the pleasure of working in Lewisham for a couple of years, I am only too aware of its potential as one of the biggest chav-magnets in London.
Located handily on the mainline railway into London, it offers a final chav staging post for the residents of Chatham, Gravesend, Bexley and the Medway towns before their usual haunts run out, giving way to the City of London.
The “Lewisham Shopping Centre” (an imaginative stab at naming the place then) serves as a focus for all kinds of panhandlers and pasty-faced chavs sheltering from the elements. All the usual commercial suspects are represented in Lewisham; Primark, Macro, Half-Price Jewellers and Argos. There are also the obligatory “sports” outlets selling white trainers and nylon clothing but suspiciously bereft of more ‘active’ goods.
Most interesting are the independent retailers dotted around on the high street, selling counterfeit couture from the likes of D & G and Louis Vitton (sic).
Moving out onto the pedestrianised area you can enjoy chav-dom in its purest form. “Lewisham Model Market” traders selling fake Duracell batteries and stolen mobile phones. Pram-faced chavs arguing with their blokes (who all seem incapable of growing a proper moustache, unlike their female sparring partners).
The real action is enjoyed from a ringside seat in one of the local boozers. Wetherspoons serves cheap, strong lager and is therefore frequented by the largest number of chav families, innit! Yates’s is right next to the newly built police station, and I don’t think that was an accident. Stay in any Lewisham pub after 5pm and waves of chavs come in from KFC to spend their benefits on alcopops and Lambert & Butler fags.
Be warned – you can normally hear a chav before you see one in Lewisham. They are incessant texters who have not worked out how to turn off the keypad tones on their Nokias.