Catford is being slated as the “arsehole of Lewisham” on the Sydenham Town forum as follows:

“Quite why this benighted cesspool of Lewisham has thus far escaped documentation within these hallowed pages is perhaps a question only the chavs that ruined what was once (so I’m told) a respectable part of the borough, would be able to answer; if it was texted to them in fluent f_ckwit, and they could be arsed to consider it.

The sub-species of Burberry-clad oik that exhibit an inherently crappy dress sense, taste in music (or lack thereof), penchant for bling and fake wannabe Lenny Henry accent remain solely responsible for the aesthitec dereliction of Catford. Lewisham used to be a fairly respectable, if somewhat humble, corner of South East London, but the advent of the Catford chav invasion has lowered the tone quite considerably. Catford has more than its fair share of pound, chicken and mobile phone unlocking shops: probably more per capita than anywhere else in Western Europe. The local school is a sight to behold, as the young mothers (only in the biological sense of the word) queue to collect their malnourished and often inbred offspring”

The post goes on to describe a chavs mating ritual.

Here’s my kneejerk response:

“I live in Catford and I agree it’s deteriorated over the last 25 years. Not just in terms of the people but the quality of shops. We used to have a Marks and Spenser, Woolworths, Comet and Currys on the high street and one by one they disappeared to be replaced by cheap shopping experiences. Now Catford is just a place the more affluent in the borough pass through on their way to Bromley or Lewisham.

Regarding the people who live in Catford, I personally believe it has a lot to do with the closing down of Carrington Hostel in Deptford and the demolishing of many Tower blocks in Deptford and New Cross. The Council regenerated the North of the borough by dumping the drunks and problem families in the south.

And yes; they chose to move to Downham and Bellingham to be close to their extended families. But some of them actually moved to Sydenham (the Bell Green estate to be exact), bringing with them their drug needles and antisocial behaviour.

Not every piece of detritus walking the streets of Catford is a resident. People passing through bring their disgusting behaviour with them. Catford’s low cost shopping experience is attractive to many on tight budgets, not just oiks.

I don’ think there are many places in the borough that don’t have an oik element. It’s possible that given the proximity the Sydenham oiks meet up with their mates in Rushey Green.”

What are your thoughts? Are our problems any worse than other parts of the borough?

To lighten the mood I took a “chav test”. I suspect there’s a bit of  “chav” in all of us, I’m 30% chav.  Whatever!

Leave a Reply

28 Comments on "In defence of Catford"

Leave a Reply

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Deptford Dame
Guest
Deptford and New Cross also have more than their fair share of ‘problem’ residents and cheap shops (and density of betting shops, which you don’t mention but I understand is also a problem in Catford). Most of the ‘regeneration’ is taking place on brownfield land, rather than involving demolition of tower blocks, in fact I can’t think of any that have been demolished, perhaps the one you mean is on the riverfront in Pepys estate that was sold off to private developers? It certainly doesn’t involve the kind of wholesale social cleansing you seem to suggest. Catford’s shopping experience is not helped by the fact that it has a bloody great one-way system running through the middle of it, that public areas seem shabby and have not been improved for… Read more »
Catfordgrrl
Guest
Our drunk quota appeared to increase when Carrington House closed as the drunks got their care in Hither Green. Admittedly that could just be my perception. I really used to view Catford through rose tinted glasses back then. I know Deptford is competing with Catford for the amount of betting shops on the High street at the moment, but it has improved a great deal in the last 25 years. The regen I’m talking about started 20 odd years ago when the tower blocks were being knocked down on Milton Court estate. A lot of families were moved to Catford and Sydenham. I thought that when the council built Laurence House, they would actually pump some money into making Catford a more attractive area but we just go more betting… Read more »
Barnes
Guest

I just wanted to point out the previous two blog entries are Catford mugging warning and Catford gun incident.

Editor
Guest

The phone muggings aren’t limited to Catford and I think we can agree that crime happens all over the borough.

Barnes
Guest

Indeed. I was taking the Michael, a little.

There are worse bits of Lewisham and London, there are better bits. Catford’s just an odd little island.

But since when has Sydenham been so outstanding?

CatfordGrrl
Guest
LOL. I agree Catford is a bit of an island. It’s easy to idealise the places where we live. Because we choose to live there it must be the bees knees, right? I think the Sydenham folk are wearing my old rose tinted glasses. When I lived in Sydenham as a kid I thought it was paradise. Some of the houses are huge and beautiful. Wells Park was my favourite place. Then I moved to Brockley and had the same feeling. Gorgeous huge houses and Hilly Fields Park was and still is my favourite park. When I had to commute to Sydenham for work it lost it’s shine. Despite knowing all the routes to get out of there, you just can’t avoid being stuck in traffic come rush hour. I… Read more »
Tigs
Guest

A lot of decent businesses closed down when the red route was imposed on central Catford. This has just added to the concept of Catford beng somewhere you pass through without stopping.

Frankly, as someone living in central Catford, whilst I don’t view it through rose tinted glasses, I feel far more intimidated walking through Lewisham late at night than Catford. And I find the streets of Lewisham far more filthy.

Catford resident
Guest
I’ve just bought a house in Catford and I love it here, my partner and I are very happy to raise our family here. I looked at Brockley, Sydenham and Ladywell among other places. While they do have one or two fancy looking cafes I found them to be occasionally overpriced and pretentious places, but generally as run down as miserable as anywhere else in SE London. Catford, however, has won my heart. Particularly: – Broadway Theatre. This is a really great venue. – Ladywell Fields – Great restaurants (you won’t see them if you’re just driving through): indian, chinese, italian, japanese are some of them. And yes fried chicken is what you want sometimes (and everywhere in SE London has fried chicken) – Great transport (direct trains to charing… Read more »
Dram
Guest

A year later but…..I’ve recently been looking at houses in the Corbett estate. Lovely, big Victorian terrace houses surprisingly cheap. Or at least surprising until I went to Catford.

I’ve lived all over London in some of the most deprived places – Whitechapel, Stepney Green, Hackney, Dalston, Brixton, Peckham. None of them gave the sense of depression that Catford gives. Everyone looks miserable and it’s not surprising. Catford manages to be uglier than Elephant and Castle. Which is going some.

Really quite an unpleasant vibe. No decent cafes, bars or independent food shops. No scene. Nothing positive.

As a prospective buyer moving from Peckha, Rye, I’m totally put off Catford which is a real shame because the houses are very well priced.

DJAM
Guest

Unfortunately I recently made the mistake of purchasing a house in this shithole. My life has measurable worsened since this event. I am surrounded by astoundingly rude neighbours, have been subject to a campaign of intimidation for parking in the place and have to wade through drifts of rubbish to get to the station every morning. My next door neighbour insists on preparing the food for his catering business in his back garden, consequently sending a beacon to any local rodents, attempts to discuss it have been met with a barrage of racist and homophobic abuse.

As previous posters have mentioned it really is a drab, boring area with few amenities (those that exist have normally been vandalised by the local, knuckle dragging scum)

In brief, STAY AWAY FROM CATFORD!!!!

Matthew
Guest
I have to agree with Catford Resident above. I live the upstairs of a converted Edwardian villa in the Culverley Green conservation area. The vast majority of the housing on my street and the surrounding streets are beautiful period properties with large gardens. The roads are 20mph, well lit with white light streetlighting, wide and treelined, the parking is free, and the atmosphere is extremely agreeable. I actually find living here is quieter than living in the Surrey countryside where I grew up. I don’t live in Catford for the shopping – I live here for the relaxed and spacious way of life and easy access to the city. If I want to shop I simply get in the car (or take the bus at the end of the road)… Read more »
Melissa
Guest

I am thinking of buying a house in Farley road, Catford. Im not so sure now. My 13yr old would have to navigate her way to the station from there early in the winter when its dark.. Is it safe? I have yet to visit the area but have seen there is a Nandos with undesirables next to it on goggle maps.

We’re coming from the Islington end of Stoke Newington, its nice there but there are rough parts of the borough just up the road. Would i be better off staying put?

Tim
Guest

I must send the Sydenham writer’s piece to Owen Jones author of ‘Chavs’. It exhibits all kinds of dated & unpleasant class prejudices. I’ve lived in Catford 3+ yrs & can’t say I find it any worse than any other place I’ve lived in UK e.g. Stockport, Manchester, Leeds, Walsall, other parts of London

Lulalee
Guest

” I have yet to visit the area but have seen there is a Nandos with undesirables next to it on goggle maps”

Can you define ‘undesirables’ please?

Melissa
Guest

They looked like drug dealers to be frank. And I know what a drug dealer looks like I see them daily in stoke newington. It’s not a stereotype or indictment, just an observation

Lulalee
Guest
Where exactly did you see this? I’ve looked on googlemaps streetview at that location and there are barely any people near the Nandos. Don’t know how you know what a drug dealer looks like without basing that on any sort of stereotype to be honest? So you are saying that from a still photograph, you were able to ascertain that these unknown people were drug dealers? That aside, there are drug dealers where ever you go, people want drugs and there will always be people there to supply that demand. I don’t think that is any more of an issue in Catford than anywhere else to be honest. Re you question; yes, I think it would be safe for your daughter to walk from Farley rd to the train station,… Read more »
Lady Pikkle
Guest
I just moved to Catford from Harrow on the Hill, as I needed to relocate to the south of the river to be near work. It certainly has it’s fair share of problems and I agree it is a pathway to “nicer” parts of the borough, however for commuting and value for money it cannot be beaten. What is quite interesting is the sense of community that exists there, after growing up in the ” relatively” affluent borough of Harrow and living there for nearly 30 years, I can safely say that I never felt as included within a community as I do now living to Catford. Aside from the general problematic person, which you will get anywhere your neighbours speak to you, they tell you what’s going on in… Read more »
Gerald Fagan.
Guest

Catford, I lived there a long time ago, all of my childhood and much of my youth was wasted trying to make sense of this atavistic swamp.
The strangest thing for me was the sheer criminality of the place, I remember even your clothes hung out to dry would vanish overnight.
I would take particular delight at Spike Milligan saying “and it’s still bloody awful in Catford.
All too true I’m afraid.

Cat Cat
Guest
I live in Lewisham and is moving into Catford because my childrens’ school is in Catford and the transport link into central London is great. One cannot stop thinking having read all the comments above about the deterioration over the last 25 years, and Lewisham and Catford although has better transport links into central London and great victorian housing stock has a different feel to posh Bromley, Beckenham, Sydenham, Greenwich, Blackheath…. why !!!!! Why Lewisham look and feel like this and neighbouring boroughs look and feel nicer?? Why??? I may have an explanation. Having spoke to a builder friend who has been working in SouthEast London for the last 20 years, told me. He does contact the planners in the council for all sorts over year, extensions, change of use… Read more »
Living in Catford and proud of it
Guest
Living in Catford and proud of it

As the discussion is called “in defence of Catford, I would have expected to see some positive comments rather than people slagging it off… I’ve been living here for over 16 years and am happy here. Yes, it’s a shame about the decline of Rushey Green and it would be nice to have some nicer shops. But on the plus side, I’ve got easy access to 5 parks where I can walk my dogs, there are many nice people in my neighbourhood and transport is good. There’s a sense of community, which you can see at events such as People’s Day or the protests against the plans for Lewisham Hospital. Why not focus on the good things?

Thinking of moving to Catford
Guest
Thinking of moving to Catford

CatCat – Why do you think that the existence of houses providing support for people who have experienced mental health difficulties is a sign of council corruption? Bad stuff happens in life and sadly anyone can end up in a situation where they require such housing. Lets just hope the neighbours are a little more understanding than you and can appreciate the contribution that even a person living in ‘a mental health care home’ can make to their community, given the opportunity. Additionally, you will find such accommodation in every borough, as there is a need for it everywhere.

C
Guest

There is nothing wrong with housing the mental ones in the borough if done sparingly. But there is already 5 or 6 care home set up one just Culverly road itself. There is over a dozen of care home type set up in that one small area alone. It’s too much on one residential street… And that little area. The balance is tipping over… Not healthy . I found out they have turn down that one mental care home application after the councillor and the residents association commented. In Catford defence, this maybe a good start and the signage on shop front are showing signs of being tidied up slowly since the paving is done on Broadway walk.

Ben Culverley
Member
” In defence of Catford ” Interesting to dig back into this rather hilarious quip by the puerile Sydenham Town Forum posters. They see Catford as the ‘ arsehole of Lewisham ‘, yet this is the seat of the Lewisham Council office and Civic Centre. I see Catford as the Cat’s meow rather than the Sydenham’ fixation on the dog’s derrière. Historically, when I moved here, the murderers of Stephen Lawrence had brashly spoken ill of Catfford, due to their unpleasant racially inclined prejudice. Young people have fewer opportunities in inner city towns and if they are dissed as ‘ chavs ‘ and delinquents by Sydenham forum warriors, well, this speaks more about their middle class bourgeoisie and pretentiousness rather than young people. I’d rather live with young people than… Read more »
DJAM
Guest

Hi Folks,

As a quick update:

I have now been subjected to 5 years of racist and homophobic abuse by a neighbour. While the police have been understanding and served the guy with a harassment order, both the council and his housing association have refused to take any action as he keeps shouting racism and both organisations are terrified of such an allegation. So I am left with a house I cant sell and cant live in but for which I must continue to pay.

If you wish to avoid a similar outcome, stay away from the areshole of the UK that is Catford, its only fit for scum.

Regards,

DJAM

Lulalee
Guest

Sorry you have had that experience.

You cannot be so naieve to think that this is the only place in the UK where you might find an arsehole for a neighbour?

DJAM
Guest

Hi Lulalee,

No, you get arseholes everywhere, likely at much the same rate.

However over 4 countries and 6 cities I have not to date encountered either an individual who is as much of a bully as my neighbour or a local authority so intransigent in their approach to dealing with this manner of anti-social behaviour.

It is my understanding from speaking to other local residents that this intransigence characterises the local authority’s approach in a number of regards and I feel that this disinterested approach is implicated in the general feel of Catford.

Regards,

DJAM