Romford is commonly referred to as ‘slag town’ and i’ve heard that a number of times when people have asked me where i’m from. The thing is, it’s hard to dislike Romford – it’s a slice of fried gold next door to Dagenham and gangster paradise Ilford. But, it’s notorious for a lot of really embarrassing and stupid things – notably its chav form. Slag Town, and I heard it from a Dagenhamite once, is a haven of orange tinged cockneys. Girls walk around with dodgy make up and highlights with the typically Romford talk ‘me old mucka’ and ‘wa’s goin on son?’. Unlike other outer London Boroughs, Havering is surrounded by cackholes like Basildon and rough Essex-boi areas like Loughton and Debden. Literally everyone in Romford wants to be Danny Dyer and you see flocks of angry young men with comb overs and polo shirts heading towards Liquid and Envy on a Friday night ready to get ‘gattered’ or find a girl and ‘bang her’.
The fact that Romford has so many clubs, three shopping malls and buses coming from the darkest pits of east London means that it attracts more trouble than it already has. A new wave of immigration has meant that slowly the place is becoming Dagenham 2.0 with fried chicken shops opening on every street.
Romford is one of those areas where if you look at someone on the street, you WILL be challenged. The number of times I have been threatened by a yute on a pushbike and a hoody is big big big and it isnt uncommon to see a 14 year old girl with a ponytale and tracksuit top holding a baby in one arm and a fag in the next.
The neighbourhoods vary… Avoid Harold Hill as a new ghetto boi area with a large ethnic community and its neighbour Harold Wood as the chavvy, ford fiesta infested alternative. Both are seriously rough. Gidea Park used to be affluent but with a spout of council flats has become really run-down. Collier Row? If you want to see some geezers on push bikes mug an old man…
Again, Romford isn’t the worst. Its notoriously rough but loveable, especially the accent and the fact that West Ham will unite EVERYONE in the area but don’t think for a moment that its an easy ride, because its Romford Town and your risking an argument or trouble by going there.