I remember my early years in the town of Stanford-le-hope in Thurrock, we lived in a lovely modern new build home, and when I was 4 years old crime and chav levels became out of hand, and we moved, right to the top of essex to a small village right between Colchester and Ipswich. I grew up there, I learned to speak properly, pronounce my t’s and h’s. I began senior school, one large senior school to serve 7 villages, we were a close knit community, and it consisted mostly of elderly citizens and middle class workers, like my family. I left primary with “honors”, and I loved secondary school. In my second year of senior school, my parents separated due to relationship problems, my father moved to a house down the road and me, my sister and mother kept our house. We ran in to problems as my mum struggled to find work that would mould around mine and my sisters care. In the end, she resided, and we moved back to Stanford, where most of our family is.
Now, to be honest Stanford-le-hope itself isn’t to much of a dive, there is a moderate amount of council housing, but that’s to be expected, we are in south Essex, after all, but its the Towns surrounding that makes Stanford look like Mayfair in comparison.
There is now a train network, the c2c, running from Southend on Sea into London, passing by us, and to closer to London you are, the worst it gets. If I was hopping on the train to go to the Lakeside Shopping Centre to do some shopping, I’d get on at stanford to see normal working class people from the likes of Southend, Leigh on Sea and Chalkwell.
The train will start moving and we arrive in East Tilbury, a very quiet station, no one tends to get on. Then its Tilbury town, the complete wasteland of Essex, filled with housing association and gypsies. The sight out the window is horrible, ugly concrete buildings pasted over a otherwise nice marsh land, landen with the docks in the distance, and the forever blowing up power station. Its the people that are the worst, bright red haired, umbro tracksuit clad teenage girls chewing gum, pushing prams with young, whiney children in them and cussing to their still adolescent boyfriends, with their reebok trainers and fag in mouth, they interrupt the quiet atmosphere with their violent presence. Same goes with Grays, another dive town, but this time its not English chavs, its Immigration central, the platform is fit to exploding with countless nationalities, and jumping on the train babbling in foreign languages, the Tilbury residents making rude and racist remarks to the harmless people trying to find seats.
Next is Chafford Hundred, the home of Lakeside. Most people, including me, get off here to go into lakeside, after several flights of stairs and a long walk, your in the department store House of Fraser’s, where the Tilbury residents immediately swarm to the designer racks, attempting to stuff t-shirts and hoodies under their jackets, and getting caught by assistants. As you loose the crowd, lakeside gets nicer, there is several nice shops, like French Connection, Zara and Wallis, and if your there on a weekday you escape the weekend crowds.
Back in stanford, you go to the school. The two school in the area; Gable Hall and Hassenbrook Academy are two rival schools, and the students do not mix. Although Hassenbrook was made an academy years ago, its slowly built itself up again to become a strict, hard working, no nonsense school. Gable hall however has had the polar opposite effect, ratings are down, students are getting more and more chavy and mouthy, and there’s been several reports of rape and pregnancy in the school. I came to the area and went to both schools, Gable first, and left because its awful. I am now taking my GCSE’s at Hassenbrook, and cannot wait to get out of this hole, I aim to become a barrister in high court, and get somewhere far away from thurrock, the area the government built with chavs in mind.