Life in Horsham - Does it have a Zenophobe problem?

(20 Posts)
Ninja04 Sun 27-Oct-19 17:58:05


Just wondered if anyone could tell me what it is like living and working in Horsham and especially how foreigners are treated? We are thinking of moving to Horsham for my partner due to abuse she is suffering where we currently live in Guildford.

My partner has worked everywhere as a chef from pubs to fine dining restaurants. In more than 12 years in London she suffered no bullying or any other form of discrimination, but in Guildford, she's had a lot. The trouble is she is not English and speaks with a fairly strong accent. She is having a lot of trouble with the petty nationalistic zenophobes around here. She was even told by a kitchen porter she asked to get her something "But I'm British, I don't have to do anything."

We've heard a lot of good things about Horsham and wondered if this might be a better place for us (I would continue working in Guildford).

I have been absolutely stunned the treatment she has received in what is seen as an upmarket place like Guildford. I don't have any problems here, but then that is maybe because I am an English man.

Things have got so bad, we are also considering moving back to London, though neither of us like living there because of the crowds of people and lack of countryside.

Thanks for any insight you can provide, but please don't make this a Brexit discussion. I just want to find a place we can live without either of us suffering abuse at work.

OP’s posts: |
Pepperpot99 Sun 27-Oct-19 18:02:53

It's 'xenophobe' actually.

Has your partner taken any of these racists to task? complained to HR? I hope so.

I'm a Londoner and would agree that places like Guildford are very White and MC, with an older demographic which could well signal more xenophobic attitudes.

0blio Sun 27-Oct-19 18:06:59

with an older demographic which could well signal more xenophobic attitudes.

And you are showing your ageist attitude!

Cyberworrier Sun 27-Oct-19 18:13:40

Your poor partner, how unpleasant. I have family that live near Guildford and always thought despite it being a very conservative county it was fairly outward looking (and remain voting). However, my husband went to the pub to watch the football a couple of times while we stayed recently and was shocked by the xenophobic ‘banter’ between other customers.
I’m afraid I don’t know if Horsham would be any better. Has this been in more than one restaurant/workplace in Guildford? Is it worse in Guildford than other non-London places, or is this your partners first experIence of working outside london in the UK.
If you still need to work in Guildford, could your partner look in surrounding towns and villages? I’d really hope not everywhere in that area would be so xenophobic...I imaginE commuting from Horsham to Guildford would be exhausting.

titchy Sun 27-Oct-19 18:15:21

I suspect the demographic of Horsham is pretty similar to that of Guildford. Can you look round other towns that have more of an ethnic mix. Woking springs to mind, or somewhere closer to London.

Pepperpot99 Sun 27-Oct-19 18:15:35

Great contribution Oblio

I guess you live in Guildford. Did the truth hurt?

Grasspigeons Sun 27-Oct-19 18:27:56

Im sorry to hear the problems your wife is having. I gutted really. I work in guildford and thought it was getting more diverse and welcoming. Your wife must dread going to work. I cant imagine Horsham is much diffferent in maybe a bit more middle class? I know guildford is seen as middle class but it does have two sides and a big student population.


MsMarple Sun 27-Oct-19 20:48:00

I don’t know about the demographic in Horsham, but come and look at Purley/Couldson. There are loads of green spaces around, massive commons as well as small parks, but a lot more diversity than deepest Surrey!

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sun 27-Oct-19 20:51:26

I'd have said Guildford would be better than Horsham, having lived in both... I'm so sorry for your partner thanks

InkyFANGERSInkyFace Sun 27-Oct-19 20:56:20

I don't know that Horsham will be much better.

I can't believe the things she has had to cope with. That's awful. flowers

GrimalkinsCrone Sun 27-Oct-19 21:08:53

Crawley has more of a mix, but overt racism is on the rise everywhere.

ChampagneCommunist Sun 27-Oct-19 21:49:54

Godalming is smaller and has quite a lot of nationalities living there. Not heard of any problems

Ninja04 Mon 28-Oct-19 06:54:16

Thanks everyone for your supportive comments and many apologies for my poor spelling. My only excuse is I was somewhat stressed writing about this and paid more attention to the words I used than the spelling of them.

From my experience of living in Guildford (about 2 years), there are two types of people here - one the educated middle class (often middle to old aged too), who have been absolutely fine (where I was perhaps expecting more issue) and the uneducated working class, who have been the problem (usually young to middle aged). If you work as a chef, you don't tend to work with the most educated people. Of course being educated is no prerequisite for being a decent polite person, so I hate to divide people up like this, and there have been exceptions on both sides, but the groupings do seem to be fairly true. And markedly more so since the Brexit referendum in all places we've been.

To answer the question put by Pepperpot99, my partner doesn't feel her English is good enough to complain (I have offered to come with her and articulate her complaint, or provide a written complaint). However, she comes from a culture where you get on and work rather than complain about things. I know quite a lot of people from her nationality. When they have had periods of being unemployed here, not one of them has claimed a penny in benefits; they are all too busy looking for a job to go scrounging for money (as they see it). If they don't earn enough in one job, they take on two. To me, these are exactly the people we need in this country, as so many have forgotten how to work hard.

And to answer Grasspigeons: Exactly my thinking! She's only had issues with a certain type of people here and I wondered if there would be less of them in Horsham.

Thanks too to ChampagneCommunist - we thought about Godalming, and I have heard Spanish and Polish spoken in local pubs, but it is quite a bit smaller and quite expensive for property (even more so than Guildford I think).

We've also looked at places like Aldershot (which seems to be dying), Ash (too noisy - you can hear the A331 everywhere), Farnham (too small), Woking (maybe, but a bit commuterish - will there be any work during the week rather than evenings and weekends???), Dorking (just can't afford it), Cranleigh (too small).

She has so far worked at about 10 places in Guildford (she's worked mainly as an agency chef) and had the same issues at nearly all of them - the British staff are almost all bullies and the foreign staff have all been subservient keeping their heads down and getting on with their work, desperate not to lose their jobs. Thankfully my partner will not put up with this situation and will stand her ground and give it back if anyone gives her trouble, but it takes its toll. It's not as if she is a bad worker - most places she has been have offered her a permanent job, as she just wants to get on and work, not to be chatting all day (partly I suspect because of her level of English).

OP’s posts: |
SeaSidePebbles Mon 28-Oct-19 07:11:48

No, Horsham won’t be any better, if anything, Guildford is the better one of the two.

GoldLeafTree Mon 28-Oct-19 07:16:06

A PP mentioned Purley but when I went there to visit in-laws last year I saw racism towards one member of staff by two others, very loudly Infront of passengers. I was completely shocked and nobody else seemed to bat an eyelid and DP told me it was common there.

Thecazelets Mon 28-Oct-19 07:27:46

So sorry your wife's experiencing this OP. I grew up in Horsham and the demographic is similar, so I'm not sure it would be a solution if this is happening in Guildford.

PullingMySocksUp Mon 28-Oct-19 07:35:35

What geographical constraints do you have? Could you go a bit further, like Brighton?

MollyButton Mon 28-Oct-19 07:44:32

I would say Guildford is far better than Horsham or Godalming. Woking would be better again.
But if this is mainly a problem where she works - rather than in general - then maybe rather than moving she should just change where she works eg. work in Woking? A lot of people in Guildford in low wage jobs come from outside the area (eg. Aldershot or Ash). I also wonder if a permanent job might give her more security to get this kind of thing stamped on?
Maybe she needs to be bluntly honest about why she doesn't want a permanent job? To encourage them to take steps to make her working environment more acceptable.
I wouldn't move until you were sure that it wasn't a case of "out of the frying pan into the fire".

musicinspring1 Mon 28-Oct-19 07:44:39

If you need to work in Guildford I would look further down theA3 towards Tolworth .... not Necessarily tolworth itself bit around that area. Personally I would rather live somewhere more diverse and then drive 10/15 minutes for countryside 🤷‍♀️

0blio Mon 28-Oct-19 13:30:19

<sigh> No, 15Pepperpot99 I don't live in Guildford - I don't even know where it is.
I do know bloody ageism when I see it though.

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