When I first moved to Catford, almost 30 years ago, there were some nice shops like; Marks and Spencer, Rumbalows, Comet and a large Wolworths along the High Street (Rushey Green). We had a few nightclubs and a cinema.
Over the years we lost our small boutiques and the large chains moved away and cheaper chains moved in. When the cheaper chains moved away the area seemed to take a turn for the worse. Many of the pubs closed down and pound shops opened, the area became cheap and cheerful.
The area is supposed to be going through a period of regeneration that will hopefully see it restored to its former glory or near enough. The Town Centre will be pulled down and new homes, office space and shops will be built there. The former Catford Greyhound Stadium that stood empty for many years will be the site for 500 new homes. It is predicted that this regeneration will bring more than a thousand jobs to the area.
There is more to an area than the potential to bargain hunt, so it’s just as well that Catford has many good restaurants along the High Street. We also have three great parks, Mountsfield, where our annual People’s Day is held, Forster Memorial and Ravensbourne where Mayor Boris Johnson took a dip in the river.
We also have good transport links, with two stations adjacent to each other. Catford railway station is on the route between Blackfriars station and Sevenoaks via Bromley South, and Catford Bridge railway station is on the Mid-Kent line to Hayes from Charing Cross and Cannon Street stations. Our bus routes are pretty good too.
The area is mainly made up of residential homes with a few small estates. The biggest estate is actually the Corbbet Estate which isn’t as you’d imagine an estate of tower blocks and low rises. In 1896, property developer, Archibald Cameron Corbett bought 278 acres of land and built houses in Catford and Hither Green, that area is known as the Corbett Estate. It’s a nice quiet area but depending on where you live, it could be a 10 minute walk to the bus stop. There are also no pubs in the Corbett area as Archibald was a Quaker who placed restrictions on the area having public houses.
If you are thinking of moving to Catford and like to drink socially, living nearer to the Town Centre with its restaurants, transport links and pubs may be your best bet. But up on the hill (as I like to call it), is a nice place to raise a family and it’s only a 25 minute walk to the Town Centre.
Is Catford safe?
This is a question that is asked a lot on forums. All I can say is Catford is no different from a lot of London towns. There’s good and bad in all of them.
I almost forgot to mention our famous cat: