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To think "Disgusted"; of Tunbridge Wells is alive and kicking

(76 Posts)
mumzy Sun 24-Jul-11 17:46:06

We went for a day out in Tunbridge Wells with dc and witnessed 3 seperate incidences of intolerance which quite took my breath away. Now on MN Tunbridge Wells is often a place where lots of families want to move to for the amazing town, countryside, schools etc, but the not so nice side is never mentioned.

Incidence 1: Went to a pub for lunch the only other people in the restaurant were 2 ladies one middle aged and the other elderly. As we approach the only table big enough for us all, which happened to be the one next to them, the elderly one starts a hacking cough we sit down anyway. Then a family arrives with a toddler whereby the elderly lady starts telling her friend about the dreadful behaviour of children where she lives in a very loud voice. Afterwards I discuss this wth dh and he said he also felt that she didn't want the children in the same room as her.

Incidence 2: Went to a hotel for afternoon tea following a walk, sat next to a family with their elderly grandfather who proceeds to tell them in a loud voice about his holidays abroad where he met some "negros".

Incidence 3: Had dinner in a bog standard restaurant in a village just outside TW. Getting late and just wanted dc fed and home. Restaurant is very slow and we have to ask for everything: menu, to place order, get bill. Whilst we were waiting forever for our food to arrive the dc play races in the garden as we had decided to sit there for dinner being easier outside than in with dc. After a while the waiter comes along and tell us to keep dc quiet as the manager was getting annoyed. Now there was noone else in the garden except us, the children weren;t shouting and all the other diners (middle aged elderly or with adult children) were inside the restaurant. On paying the bill we spoke to the manager about this and they denied all knowledge of having asked the waiter to say anything [sceptical]

AIBU to assume this sort of intolerance of children and casual racism is actually quite widespread in TW having encounterd 3 seperate incidences within a 8 hour period.

LineRunner Sun 24-Jul-11 17:47:57

You eat a fair bit, I'll give you that.

Macaroona Sun 24-Jul-11 17:48:38

Line grin

Cattleprod Sun 24-Jul-11 17:50:20

Bloody hell you eat a lot!!

But yes, Tunbridge Wells people (some of them anyway) are a funny old bunch!

mumzy Sun 24-Jul-11 17:50:23

we like our food LR grin could I just add that the family with the elderly grandad just carried on as normal when he told them about the "negros"

LineRunner Sun 24-Jul-11 17:53:08

Mumzy, I have been cringe-makingly embarrassed by my own relatives and friends over the years who have behaved as you describe above. <shudder>

I think it's widespread in all corners.

Still admiring your appetite! Respect. grin

AnalAboutCleaning Sun 24-Jul-11 17:55:10

I think an elderly person using out-of-date terminology is pretty understandable, really. If that's the worst he said it's unlikely he's actually racist - just not aware that the term that was considered polite in his youth isn't so any more.

You sound more judgy yourself, tba.

MrsKravitz Sun 24-Jul-11 17:55:34

You think thats bad?

My PIL went on a cruise and came back with the amazing tale that their dinner companions each evening where a mixed race couple who they nicknamed chocolate drop and lollypop.

DavidDickinsonsTan Sun 24-Jul-11 17:56:02

hilarious line grin

worraliberty Sun 24-Jul-11 17:57:52

Well 'incidence' 1 I really can't see anything wrong with...and how dare the poor lady have a cough grin

'Incidence' 2 is cringeworthy but was it meant in a racist way? You say he was elderly...and up until the late 1960's the word 'Negro' was fully in use, even by black people. So perhaps he's just not 'with the times' rather than actually racist?

'Incidence' 3. Your kids could well have been too noisy for the diners inside but that doesn't explain why the Manager knew nothing of what he was supposed to have said to the Waiter?

cjbartlett Sun 24-Jul-11 17:57:57

Think child intolerance is all over not just TW

catgirl1976 Sun 24-Jul-11 17:58:16

My DH is from Tunbridge Wells. I had never been until I met him and always thought it was meant to be some lovely place, but I now have PILs there and have to visit at least once a year and I can tell you it is an absolute DUMP. My MIL would have liked us to move there but it is horrible. Run down, plenty of crime, rough and not somewhere I would want to bring up children. My DNs live there and I worry a bit for them tbh.

mycatoscar Sun 24-Jul-11 18:10:36

really catgirl? which part? we live in t wells and whilst it's not perfect it's not a dump!

we do however have our fair share of old men and ladies who say rude and inappropriate things, and plenty of grumpy waiters too lol

sounds like you had a bad day OP we aren't all like that though and there are some lovely places to visit.

HairBearz Sun 24-Jul-11 18:11:50

Was all this today? Suppertime soon then wink

To be honest, we can't afford to go out for one meal let alone three, so I can't compare. I think TW is a bit up it's own arse though.

mycatoscar Sun 24-Jul-11 18:11:55

was the afternoon tea at the spa btw? was it nice? am always wondering if it's worth the money

catgirl1976 Sun 24-Jul-11 18:14:07

The town centre I think is very hmm. I find the whole area pretty rough tbh. Not meaning to be insulting - the surrounding countryside is absolutley stunning and there are some very nice villages but other villages like Crowbrough etc nearby are again very rough areas. Tunbridge is nicer than neighbouring Tonbridge and Southbrough but still a bit too rough around the edges for me.

OP - It may have been my MIL in post 1!

paulapantsdown Sun 24-Jul-11 18:14:52

cor ... 3 meals out in one day!?
Don't worry, it will all feel better when you go out for supper in the pub tonight!

MumblingRagDoll Sun 24-Jul-11 18:20:54

I want to go there now! Just to record what happens!

mycatoscar Sun 24-Jul-11 18:21:39

well am sure wherever you live is ever so posh and lovely cat girl, I'll just carry on slumming it ;-)

HairBearz Sun 24-Jul-11 18:23:12

I wouldn't be offended by the word negro tbh, given the circumstances. If he was speaking in a very derogatory way, using other adjectives, then it would be different. I grew up in the era of Love Thy Neighbour and white and black races made fun of each other. Incidentally, I didn't realise that the actor who plays Patrick in Eastenders was in it. You learn something new everyday

mumzy Sun 24-Jul-11 18:28:38

Tunbridge wells itself was lovely and apart from these incidences we enjoyed ourselves. Unfortunately afternoon tea was not at the spa but a place near Nevill park. I must admit at some point I thought I had strayed into a 1930s Agatha Christie novel, I felt I was in a time warp with the attitudes I encountered. As for all the meals, we do like to eat out a lot it probably our biggest indulgence.

TheMonster Sun 24-Jul-11 18:30:52

Maybe you have really loud, annoying children and you should be looking after them instead of eavesdropping grin

mumzy Sun 24-Jul-11 18:38:41

BOE no-one has ever complained to me that my dc were loud and annoying. If diners talk in a over loud hectoring manner as the elderly lady and man was doing, and they are sat on the table next to you, it's quite difficult not to hear their conversation

MumblingRagDoll Sun 24-Jul-11 18:38:53

Hairz but older people can learn new words you know, being old doesn't excuse racism or wankery.

khaliwali Sun 24-Jul-11 18:40:43

Parents can be very embarrassing. My mum comes to stay with us in Dubai and is transfixed by the ladies who wear a full veil, the type where their whole face and eyes are covered. She forgets that they can see her and tends to go and peer at them and then start spouting on about Iran and the terrible oppression of women that she has read about in the Guardian. Mainly it is met with good humour and once a lady removed her veil and assured mum that she was perfectly happy and was an investment banker with 200 men working for her!

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