Siberian mining experiment-come-‘New’ town, Cumbernauld, near Glasgow, was voted 2nd most crap town in Britain in the Idler magazine’s 2003 poll and it was in no small way thanks to the invaluable contribution made by the town’s Chav-majority that this ground-breaking (or should that be window-breaking?) feat was achieved. Like its sister (by different fathers?) new town of East Kilbride, the grim 60’s backdrop resembling a cross between the set of Alien and the collected works of M.C. Escher, makes an ideal Chav-habitat with shopping-trolleys, the discerning, dis-earning Chav’s numero uno choice of local transport, running wild through its Soviet style abandoned barracks-come-estates and easily lassoed.
In fact, such is Cumbernauld’s Chav allure, the town’s attractive beer can and bottle strewn flora and fauna was recently used for the pilot episode of ‘They’ve Got Me A Job- Get Me Out Of Here’ – a Chav version of the popular Jungle show featuring, among others, Michael Carroll, Brian Harvey and Wayne Rooney’s girlfriend Colleen.
Like Chavs from the rest of the UK, the only thing to be seen in this season (as the last 5 seasons) is the Burberry baseball cap and a Giorgio Tacchini shell suit – preferably in white. (Let’s see those socks chaps!) Ratners-procured Bling is, of course, compulsory.
Drinking Buckfast Tonic Wine (featuring the world’s greatest ever disclaimer, namely that ‘the name Tonic Wine does not imply health-giving properties’ ) is not only ‘de rigeur’ and supped for ‘kicks’ but has become so ingrained in local Chav culture that it has taken on a spiritual role transcending anything offered by church or state. (Sadly, females are limited to various brands of hooch or Kwik Save-label sherry, unless pregnant where they may be allowed a dram of Loch Tesco for its pain-numbing properties).
Chav temples include not only the mandatory bus shelters and high-rise stairwells but any dwelling or free standing structure which can be entered without keys. Tunnels and underpasses are hugely popular. Cumbernauld, therefore, deserves its spot on the pantheon of Chavdom and anywhere that even Irvine Welsh describes as ‘scary’ must be worthy of such an accolade.