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to feel embarrassed about the town I live in due to colleague's comments

(224 Posts)
tuggle Thu 02-Jan-14 16:39:34

I have name changed.

A new colleague who I find quite boastful mentioned she lives in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. I mentioned I lived in a town in North West Kent. She screwed up her face and said;

"When I think of this town I picture caravans. Isn't there a lot of social issues?"

I found myself justifying why we chose to live there rather than telling her where to go. I am no good at comebacks or confrontation.

I knew she was being rude. She is a snob and I admit has a very comfortable lifestyle.

biggles50 Wed 28-Jan-15 14:35:22

You should do an impression of the awful racist character on little Britain. Remember the one who would nearly vomit if someone mentioned a non white etc. I would have started to gag "yes (gag) caravans (gag) working class people (gag) Sorry I'm going to puke". Laugh at her. She sounds ridiculous.

stupidlybroody Tue 27-Jan-15 19:21:31

Pffft gravesend us classy! I live in the arsehole of Chatham...and I have no shame whatsoever.

I have a laugh about some bits with other mates from Medway but I won't stand for comments about my home town from people who aren't from there.

I have a good job, work in London nearly ready to move out and I'm going to stay near my estate, if not within it. I love the people and community and some silly reputation isn't going to make me feel Shit about where I'm from.

If you're comfortable and happy where you are then fuck 'em. If she has to make snippy comments about where you live, clearly she's trying to compensate for something.

hestialou Tue 27-Jan-15 19:07:07

I don't get what is great about Tunbridge wells, its ok but really what stands it apart from other town, apart from the house prices. If you are happy in your town hold head up, and talk about the good things of you town xx

maz210 Tue 27-Jan-15 18:49:33

That area is very good for martial arts clubs, my husband and kids do judo in Sidcup and Brazilian jiu-jitsu in Dartford, lots of options around.

My kids are only 6 and 7 but I'm already worrying about how devastating it must be when they fly the nest. Luckily with housing being so expensive around here that probably won't be until they're 30. Hopefully I'll be sick of them by then!

Gruntfuttock Tue 27-Jan-15 17:22:18

My daughter has an Oyster card already thanks. maz. At the moment all the jobs available in that area in Sainsbury's are management ones, which she's not qualified for, but as I told her, this probably isn't the best time of year to be looking. She'll keep trying, and I really hope she's able to find a decent place to live (house-share) that she can afford. I know I'll worry about her, particularly that she might be lonely, not just her physical safety (she's very good at various martial arts), but I feel very lucky that she's stayed at home as long as she has. We get along very well indeed, whereas I left home at 16 and lived alone for about 20 years. My husband and I will miss her very much, but she understandably wants more out of life.

maz210 Tue 27-Jan-15 17:09:10

No problem, there's a Sainsburys in Bexleyheath too but it's a small one.

I'd definitely recommend Bexleyheath for her then, if she's young she won't be bothered by the nightlife or might enjoy it herself. Crayford might be a bit easier on the purse though.

There are fairly frequent buses to the station but as the kids all get free travel they get filled up very quickly. My mum said they have PCSOs and a queuing system in place in Bexleyheath for as the schools come out now. It did use to drive me a bit spare when I lived there - I worked in Bromley so got the 269 for the hour long journey, except I often couldn't get on it because of the sheer quantity of Townley Grammar girls who got on at the library and went two stops(!) down to the school. And this was in the days before kids got free travel in London, many of them used to actually pay cash fare rather than do a five minute walk. In the end I found it easier to walk down to the grammar school myself and catch the bus outside there when all the kids had got off!

If your daughter doesn't know warn her that she needs an oyster card to use buses in London now, they don't take cash fares anymore. She can sort one out easily when she's there but didn't want her to get caught out.

Gruntfuttock Tue 27-Jan-15 16:20:18

Oh thank you so much for such a detailed reply, maz210. I certainly know about the walk from the shopping centre to the station! When we went to look at it we had quite a bit of shopping by the end of the day, but there was no chance of getting a bus to the station because there were several thousand schoolchildren at the bus stop. That was a painful walk for an old dear with a bad back I can tell you! Are the buses to and from the station not that frequent?
My daughter is currently working at Sainsbury's so we thought it would be easier to get a transfer to another branch of Sainsbury's as it will be a bit too difficult to get a brand new job as well as a place to live when she lives so far away and can't get to interviews. Then, once she's settled she can look for another job if and when she wants to. She's only working part-time at the moment as that was all that was available. She just takes all the extra hours she's offered and saves as much of her pay as she can. We thought of Crayford as there's such a big Sainsbury's there, but she can easily get there from Bexleyheath if Crayford's not as good a place to live. We thought Bexleyheath was nice because it's on the outskirts of London, but as you say, excellent transport links. Obviously with the Oyster card she can use buses as well as trains easily to get about.

maz210 Tue 27-Jan-15 16:03:27

Hi Grunt

I lived in Bexleyheath for about 8 years in two different one-bed flats that were both quite close to the high street. My mum lives there and so does my brother, his daughter goes to Townley Grammar. The same brother also used to live in Crayford and my husband has worked in Crayford for 15 years.

I liked Bexleyheath but mainly for the accessibility for work (and the shops). It's got everything you could possibly want but it also has a LOT of night life. We lived a few houses down from one of the pubs originally and then moved to the roads behind the bowling alley which were much quieter. Even so you often had a lot of drunken youngsters around and we moved out into Kent when we started a family as we wanted the kids to grow up in a smaller community and not have drunk people being sick in the front garden at the weekends

We did experience quite a bit of crime there too, my husband's first car was stolen by joyriders, his cousin once had someone smash all the windows in his car when he was visiting us. Mostly criminal damage or drunken anti social behaviour.

However, Crayford is worse. Bexleyheath is definitely considered a "nice" area locally and Crayford isn't. Personally I don't see what's so bad about Crayford, although the north (near Thames Road) is the rougher part. The Sainsburys there is great though! It's more industrialised and the area does reflect that but I wouldn't have a problem living there in future (apart from the fact I'd be devastated to leave my village!).

Why is your daughter looking at Bexleyheath in particular? Is it for the transport links? Worth bearing in mind that the station is quite far away from the high street in Bexleyheath, I wouldn't fancy that walk every day. My mum lives quite near the station, it's very nice there but very expensive. I would be able to afford my 3-bed house if it were in Bexleyheath!

LoisWilkersonsLastNerve Tue 27-Jan-15 16:02:27

I live in a notoriously 'bad' area and get these comments all the time. Someone actually said to me they felt awful that I had to live there when I was so 'decent'. Yuck. Her face was a picture when I said actually I chose to live here! Love it!

Notrevealingmyidentity Tue 27-Jan-15 15:59:37

Someone else near ls12 you say ? Me too !

maz210 Tue 27-Jan-15 15:49:03

I've just read the whole thread and found that as I was born and bred in Sidcup (including attending the grammar school there) I must have a hideous accent :D

I shall tell that to my husband originally from Woolwich/Thamesmead as he thinks my accent is quite naice :D

Gruntfuttock Tue 27-Jan-15 15:44:29

maz210 "Personally, I used to live in Bexleyheath, which is more prestigious but was far rougher, a complete no-go zone on Fridays and Saturdays nights."

I'm very interested in opinions about Bexleyheath. My daughter is still living at home (on E Sussex coast) but plans to move to Bexleyheath (or poss. Crayford area) as soon as she can manage to find both a job and a house share there. She's nearly 24 btw. We've visited Bexleyheath and it seems OK. I'm originally from Abbey Wood, but left in 1968, roughly when Thamesmead was being built.

FriendlyLadybird Tue 27-Jan-15 15:15:38

I grew up in Orpington. Is it really 'acceptable' these days? The High Street's awful.

I always thought Gravesend sounded rather nice.

RandomNPC Tue 27-Jan-15 15:13:36

I live in a city that loads of people take the piss out of. I don't give a toss, I love it, and it generally shows then to be quite witless.

MrsTawdry Tue 27-Jan-15 15:11:17

I live in the "rough" part of a very nice small city. In reality, the "rough" part is like a bloody holiday village and those who've led sheltered lives wouldn't believe it if they ever went to a really rough place.

I judge as I find OP...and anyone who is rude enough to denigrate my home is not worth speaking to again. Ignore her from now on.

maz210 Tue 27-Jan-15 15:05:53

Sorry, forget message, didn't realise this was old, or had nine pages! I must have missed it at the time.

There's nothing wrong with Gravesend, your colleague is obviously a snob!

maz210 Tue 27-Jan-15 15:03:41

Which town OP? I'm in West Kent too and we get similar about our village - it's considered a bit rough compared to nearby villages because of it's small small council estate (that I live on!).

Personally, I used to live in Bexleyheath, which is more prestigious but was far rougher, a complete no-go zone on Fridays and Saturdays nights. By comparison we think our village surrounded by fields and lovely North Downs walks on our doorstep to be a dream come true.

Perhaps it depends on your perspective, or maybe I am just glass half-full?

I have found though that the areas of Kent to have high levels of travellers do seem to get a negative press. We have quite a few travellers in our village and in the local primary, they're a part of our community and I've never heard anything negative about any of them. But I think this general attitude perhaps accounts for some of the prejudice you've seen in your colleague, maybe due to fear? Really not sure!

Summerisle1 Tue 27-Jan-15 13:31:04

I'm very meh about Tunbridge Wells anyway. Has ideas very much above its station.

I wouldn't be defensive about where I lived. It is her problem, OP, not yours.

I'm willing to bet you can at least do proper shopping in Gravesend too. Unlike where I live which might be rather lovely to look at but is fuck all use for anyone other than the DFLs who have invaded and applaud the "vintage" shops full of distressed buckets, organic candles and twigs and pebbly shit.

dillite Tue 27-Jan-15 12:59:33

I knew it would be Gravesend! I'm here too, and it really isn't that bad. It's better than Chatham. My street is very safe, I can keep my door wide open in the summer, which I do. I do miss having M&S though, I actually cried when they closed shop.

Although I do feel uncomfortable walking in the dark in some places, but I just get a bus these days.

And seeing that my rent has gone up by £200 in 4 years it can't be that undesirable either.

emlia1980 Tue 27-Jan-15 11:38:16

I am interested in that people say Folkestone is a shit hole. We are looking to move to the west part, (nr sandgate) which appears very nice!

scantilymad Sun 12-Jan-14 14:35:02

Sorry. Conclusions not convulsions. Lovely. :D

scantilymad Sun 12-Jan-14 14:34:07

The lady may have a lovely lifestyle but that doesn't seem seem to be reflected in her manners! As long as you like where you live OP then just smile and ignore. We live in a lovely, albeit tiny house in a lovely close in a not so lovely part of a big seaside town. The area may be "rough" but we have great facilities all in walking distance. So long as my family are happy here then so am I.
Some of my happiest pre married days were in a tiny studio flat in SW London. The area had a bad reputation but I met loads of lovely, diverse and interesting people. I think lack of knowledge/life experiences makes people draw odd convulsions sometimes!

IDugUpADiamond Sun 12-Jan-14 13:17:19

OP, your colleague is quite obviously rude and insensitive but all of you posters dissing TW in return are no better.

NearTheWindmill Sun 05-Jan-14 19:26:29

Not quite Reculver but walking towards it having turned left wink. When I was a little lass the locals said the wail on the wind was from the babies the Romans or their poredecessors sacrificed in the foundations. Now they say it's the raucous lot who descend to the caravans from April until October.

DownstairsMixUp Sun 05-Jan-14 18:30:40

Reculver nearthewindmill pain in the ass to get to by public transport but we go there reguarly in the summer.

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