essex rage.

October 23, 2006

Saw a bit of rage after the Tottenham-West Ham game on Saturday. I am now using the ‘pinboard’ as a place for these kind of short writings.

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I don’t hate Essex, but I do generally dislike Romford. Some people there are great, but it just seems to attract idiots with the wrong attitudes. This is a reprint of some thoughts on Romford.

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One night in Essex…

Through the station’s exit I see my first glance of the familiar sights: the pigeon shit, McDonalds, the pubs and bars and clubs and ah, yes, the cock(y) lads and the skimpily dressed gals. Taking a deep breath of Ford exhaust fumes, I walk down South Street, the main hub of Romford’s nightlife. I stop and look out into the night.
Types of Romfordian youth: the underage major and underage minor. Underage minor is roughly 14-16 and has told her mother she is at a sleepover. These girls are out to salvage their reputation at school and prove they can cut the mustard.
The underage major is your veteran who will have been going out in Romford for years. These girls will usually be loud, brash and will have struck friendships with bouncers due to reasons I wish not to mention. These girls are the benchmark for the underage, they are cool.
Next, the forever teenagers. The ones who haven’t changed since they matured enough to pass underage major, bin their fake IDs and become adults. They work jobs they don’t care about and meet their chums every weekend to drink away their wages, tongue some guy in a club and occasionally get the odd pump up round the back of the Wetherspoons.
These individuals work in the area and just love their nights out down Yates’ and Brannigans. Time & Envy too, which is so classy that a now very famous footballer once swamped its bar before his evolution into the respectable parent and England international he is today. The forever teens are veterans of this scene, and will put their bare flesh out to the chill of the night for as long as it can take.1.jpg
Next up, come the Chavs. These surprisingly cover a wide age range. In Romford, how can you notice who’s Chav and who’s not, when everyone wears the same clothes? Gold chains, polo shirts, tracksuit bottoms, burberry, Nickelson, Hackett. That’s the uniform. Yes, you can be middle aged and be a chav.
We continue our tour of the outgoing youth with the wide boys. These are the commuting bankers, who just can’t let the legend of Romford die. Rather than move on, these lads love to be the big fish in a small pond, and will splash their cash in the high-cost places like Time. They will only go out on the strip and love any excuse to splash out, impressing their mates with the size of their wad. You can speculate yourself as to why they live this way.
And finally, the out-of-placers. People, like myself, who can’t yet find a way out. Luckily, I did in the end, others love it so and wish to stay. An old friend of mine who I knew for years as a youngster has become a Tory councillor for Havering. If he thinks he’ll be able to change Romford, he’s mistaken.
So as night encroaches, the sky begins to crackle and the rain comes in. In most places worldwide, the rain is usually a time where people bring out coats and umbrellas. In Romford however, no-one wears coats, and the girls run from bar to bar in their sodden strappy tops and miniskirts and see through tops and nipples. The blokes walk slowly; they’re too hard for rain and would rather abuse the grunge kids walking past. Occasionally, they will see a big-nosed man and call him Jewish. Yes, that happened to me (I’m not by the way, which made it even weirder).
But after all this, is it still possible to feel warmth towards the creatures of the night?
Romford may be rude, brash, boozy and loud but doesn’t it have some charm? That depends. It’s the only place in the world Thatcher the milk snatcher gets mobbed by adoring fans when visiting its marketplace. It’s a place where an MP can be elected with a huge landslide victory, despite his belief in gun ownership, membership of the Tory’s banned Monday club and despite having links to a fascist youth organisation in Italy.
It’s a place where you can guarantee that there will be cheap, alcohol-pop fuelled women, dancing on poles in bars on the strip, giving it up to all and sundry.
It’s a place where a lad can get stabbed, just for sitting and waiting for a lift home.

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J.

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