I lived in Stevenage for just over 30 years. I went to school, worked and ‘got around’ the town on a daily basis and got to learn the lay of the land and how it changed from an early age. Growing up in St. Nicholas, the Oval was a don’t go area, the ‘oval mob’ were always violent and you would hear of the other gangs around the town e.g. the glebe, with similar problems. Then they opened up a halfway house for teenagers and it just got worse. I don’t live there anymore, thank christ, but I hear that the problems in the same areas have exacerbated with drug dealing and weapons.
The town center was an eye sore way back in the 80s as a teenager and I hear they have barely done anything with it and it just looks the same. I rented a flat in Stevenage and upon moving it was quite with kindly pensioner neighbours and within 12 months they were replaced with a barrage of teenage single mothers who had no respect for noise levels, leaving their crap in the hallways and knocking on my door to ask if they could borrow money (drugs).
Stevenage is a town where you generally just keep your head down as when you walk about, eye contact is not encouraged. At the time when I decided to leave the chav social infection was well underway and websites like chavtowns and chavscum would always list stevenage in their top 10s. I remember moving to a country village and was just so nice to have kids their greet you with pleasantries instead of foul language/threats when you wouldn’t give them money or a cigarette etc. like you would always endure in Stevenage.
Stevenage is like something out of a song by The Smiths. It’s a grey, depressing, ugly, negative place that the local authorities have given up on decades ago. The town and its occupants get their claws into you and its hard to get out. The place and the people just get under your skin and you just want to down prozac every day to cope with living there.
Stevenage is not a town filled with happy people, merely people content with a certain way of life. A life without civility, respect and prospects. People who say things like ‘I love it, much better than e.g. Luton’ is like comparing 2 dog turds and saying one is slightly less offensive in smell than the other.
I now live outside of England and have a great life, a happy marriage and a state of mind that makes me very grateful for who I am and the values I hold dear. NONE of that would of been possible or achievable in Stevenage. So for anyone who replies with ‘good riddance’, ‘happy to see the back of ya’; the last thing I did upon leaving that evil town, was to park my car on the A1, get out of the vehicle, give the finger to Stevenage once and for all, and then drove away to get on with the rest of my life. I ‘beat’ Stevenage.
Leaving was the best thing I ever did.