Ah, Sydenham. Where to start…
Well first off, its a bloody confusing place because there are 3 parts of it, all of which are quite randomly scattered and chavved up in very different ways. Generally they are known as Upper Sydenham, Lower Sydenham and Sydenham Hill.
Right. Upper Sydenham. It’s a very very old town – existing as a village during the time of the three digit number AD. And even now it looks that old – and not in a historic way. Get out of Sydenham station and look around, and if you can spot any shops that look like theyve been cleaned in the last month or so, award yourself a prize.
Take a stroll down the uber depressing Kirkdale and look especially for the totally randomly placed casino – a chav hotspot as it’s right near the supermarket (Iceland, need I say any more), and also a complete mystery, do small casinos really belong in grubby outer london suburbs? I’ve never thought so really…
There isn’t really much else to say about Upper Sydenham chavwise, because there isn’t much left of it anyway. The back streets such as Newlands Park or Lawrie Park Road are now accepted as part of Penge (so stay clear of them – see my article on Penge for full details). Whatever the case though, Upper Sydenham is not in any way “Upper”.
Sydenham Hill then. Posh mainly, so not many chavs. To buy a house in Sydenham Hill costs a fortune, but there are many flats on the hill itself which sometimes house truly dangerous people. Most of the youth from these estates attend Kingsdale school, which is something I won’t go into on this site incase someone sues me under serious libel charges. Most young people (i.e. Homo Sapiens, not Homo Chavensis) from Sydenham/Dulwich will be able to explain to you. In any case, I don’t even want to think about it.
Finally, Lower Sydenham. Chav Heaven. Bordering on with the equally scabious Catford and Lewisham, Lower Sydenham is comprised of a roundabout, a few gas cannisters – and Savacentre.
Now, on an earlier entry I complained about the nature of shopping in Thornton Heath Tescos. The Savacentre effect is much the same, with added reverberation because it’s so vast. It was a revealation when it was first built, and now it’s just a method of torture. Screaming babies, screaming parents and screaming chavs – all I can say is thank god for online shopping.
Getting out of Sydenham, however, isn’t too hard. You’ve got 2 choices really, trek to the secluded and randomly placed (hence generally chav free) Lower Sydenham station, and catch a train back to London, or jump off the bridge on top of a fast train from Sydenham station. Your call.