Sat merrily on the River Medway, this is the town that spawned Royal Tunbridge Wells – itself a new town built in the style of Milton Keynes on the site of some polluted stream in 1958. However, worryingly Tonbridge too has a bit of a chav problem. This despite an influx of young non-chavs moving down from London to escape paying 400 grand for a one bedroom ex chav flat in Lewisham, Eltham or other chav war zones in SE London one can care to mention.
Unfortunately the old ‘build it and they will come’ maxim has rung true here. The Southern end of the high street where a Lidl, Bookmakers, Kebab shop, Cheque changers, Mc D’s and a Pound shop all sit within 500 yards of each other is a chav paradise, particularly when you add the presence of a Railway Station( where better to hang out drinking cider with a bleeding nose shouting you caaants at commuters) coupled with a busy taxi rank( only a short waddle with your two trolleys packed full of foreign processed “food” from Lidl (“What are these facking fings – Zoodelstroodelshysters? “I don’t facking know…but they’re only 49p for a packet of ten… an they’ve got a picture of a teddy bear on ’em!”).
On school days young chavsters can be seen riding around on their push bikes (stolen) bare chested, Nike T-shirt tucked into their trackie bottoms, snapback in place and a Royal tucked behind each ear, trying to impress the hoards of non-Chav school girls who pour out of the local schools (best in the country apparently) on their way to the station, to be whisked off to their million pound converted oasthouse in the countryside.
See how the high forheaded banjo playing spotty herberts try to communicate, by swinging from lampposts and bus shelters, a permanent look of bewilderment etched upon their face as they try to work out where ‘that’ lot have been all day, and just who are these mythical beings called ‘Dads’ they talk about. Of course this daily interaction means that a small number of impressionable/rebellious non-chavs try to ape the chav look (no fakes here though). It can therefore be common to approach a bunch of loitering chavs expecting the worse, only for them to politely move out of the way and to catch brief snatches of their conversation involving, ‘lashings of ginger beer, Daddy’s portfolio and holidays in Tuscany’.
Older male chavs are always accompanied around town by two chavettes, ignoring the constant verbal and physical abuse, as they yearn for the day that a hole is torn unto the Hula-Hoops packet, enabling the chav seed to unlock untold fortunes in state benefits. These unfortunates can sometimes be seen left tied to the railings outside the Wetherspoons, whilst the master chav goes in for his 10am pint.
The north end of the high street past the bridge can generally be considered a Chav free zone. Pizza Express, ASK and Si and their lack of a magic ice-cream machine pumping out coloured lard to keep chavlings “facking” quiet, means that they are thin on the ground here. However there are the remains of Tonbridge castle whose grounds provide an irresistible playground for their activities, kicking bins over, WKD drinking, swearing etc etc. (These activities can also be witnessed in the outdoor swimming pool and the crazy golf course and the children’s playground and Sainsbury’s car park).
The linear nature of the high street forms an ideal Friday night race track on which the usual MAX’d Corsas, Mrk2 Golfs and other MOT failures cruise up and down. Yes, apparently it is necessary to have a ten point race harness on a Corsa, and corrrrr look at the petrol cap on that Clio 0.2d – you must be related to Jenson f*****g Button!
Meanwhile the rest stagger out of the Wetherspoon’s at closing time and make a beeline to the ultimate chav nightspot AMP. The “classier” ones arriving in a White Limo. Chav watchers should get a ringside seat by the public library for the usual clumsy fights, mating rituals and general vomiting. It’s better than watching Jonathon Ross.
Distressingly it is rumoured that the chavs anti-Christ supermarket Waitrose is to close and be replaced with an ASDA. Coupled with the Iceland store next door this could ultimately lead to the complete chav takeover of Tonbridge. Would the last person to leave, please turn out the lights.