St Andrews… Andrae Sancti… ancient and royal city of crumbling windswept spires, spiritual home of golf, and the site of Scotland’s first university since 1410. One of the last bastions of elitist port-quaffing empire types, and the very last place on earth you would expect to find evidence of that social phenomenon known as the chav (or ‘ned’ in this area – non-educated delinquents, non-executive directors etc.).
Yet even in the ‘Auld grey toon’, their influence is being felt. The chief gathering point for them seems to be the amusement arcade on Market Street; curiously they seem to prefer blocking the pavement outside to the establishment itself, which has some nasty rumours attached to it (mostly involving the red lights which emante from within after dark). The Victoria Cafe also attracts them in small numbers, but remains pleasant enough despite this. There is also a reasonable ned presence in the neighbourhoods of south-western St Andrews, known collectively to students as ‘the Badlands’; however the author, like most of his peers, ventures there too little to have an authoratative opinion on the area. St Andrean neds tend to be of a milder nature than in other parts of the UK, perhaps because they are too few in number to challenge students as the dominant social group in the town. As well as the essential items of fake Burberry, including caps and scarves, neds also require a slightly deranged stare and light stubble, be they male or not. A ridiculous swagger and impenetrable accent is also desirable.
Despite their small numbers within St Andrews at present, neds are steadily strengthening their position, presumably with reinforcements from Dundee, where their kind make up roughly 92% of the population.