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Another view

I’ve probably given you the impression that it’s all Miss Marple and stone circles and villages fêtes, haven’t I? Like most things, it’s a lot more complicated than that.

Take this view. The white strip at the bottom is Camber Beach, the only white sand beach in this part of the country. It’s a beautiful thing; its been used dozens of times as a movie backdrop (most recently, George Clooney and Matt Damon filmed there this Spring).

And that thing in the upper right corner that looks like fly eggs? That’s holiday caravans. Read: trailer park. Low rent, but at least it’s seasonal trash. The houses around it are poorer, and year ’round.

It’s a rough little town, Camber. About the poorest in the county. And I can think of half a dozen up and down the coast nearby that are like it — grubby places next to lovely places.

There’s a particularly seedy, sea-sidey kind of poverty here. White. Drunk. Violent. Loud. Cheap. Young men with fighting dogs on short leads, lots and lots of tarty girls. The seaside attracts them, of course, but we also have it on good authority that the social workers dump problem families in the same neighborhoods, over and over.

Which explains all the junkies in Hastings.


Comment from tomfrompv
Time: November 23, 2013, 12:58 am

At first glance those trailers look neat and proper. Like fly eggs as you say. You can’t get a street view though, so who knows what its really like “on the ground”.

The street view of the multi-family houses show cars and stuff. But paint must be rare in those parts. And why so many cars? I thought Brits were all into mass public transit and such. Don’t any of those Lads know about Global Warming?

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: November 23, 2013, 1:15 am

I guess that’s the job with the English Tourist Board blown.

Comment from Oceania
Time: November 23, 2013, 1:36 am

Global warming doesn’t exist.

Comment from P2
Time: November 23, 2013, 4:19 am

Looks like Felixstowe that’s been put in a dryer & shrunk a bit

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: November 23, 2013, 7:38 am

Last May, I attended a talk by the author of the book that George Clooney movie is based on.

It’s a pretty cool story.

Comment from jic
Time: November 23, 2013, 10:20 am

“I thought Brits were all into mass public transit and such.”

Unless you live in London or a few other major towns and cities, public transport is a pain in the ass. Especially if you have to do anything a significant distance from a main road or train station, or need to be somewhere before 8 in the morning or after 6 at night.

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: November 23, 2013, 7:52 pm

Only teenagers and pensioners ride on public transport. Teenagers because they’re too young to drive, and pensioners because Nanny pays for them with my money.

Everyone else goes by car.

White, drunk, loud, violent, cheap. Add to that functionally illiterate, unemployable, and obnoxious and you have the male youth. The female youth are basically the same, except they wear enough makeup to make some third-rate pornographic actress think it’s a bit much.

They’re righteous trash. The UK is the cultural Marxists’ Petri dish, and they’re what grew in it.

Comment from m
Time: November 23, 2013, 11:47 pm

Do you call the housing around the trailer park council housing or is that something else?

That trailer park can be seen in part thru streetview if you land on the road around it (Lydd Road). Really spartan place from that view.

Comment from AliceH
Time: November 24, 2013, 12:10 am

— grubby places next to lovely places–

I’ve noticed that a lot in the U.S. At least, places that are beautiful to me, like the Ozarks, the Appalachians, some strips along the Chesapeake, just to name a few. Look closer to hand, though, and it’s full of what look like junk yards that are really front yards. It’s very very weird.

And, to my eye, the reverse is often true as well. Really expensive, luxurious living places are all flat, gray, cement paved lots with litter everywhere, and views of the sky or horizon blocked by parking garages and highway overpasses.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 24, 2013, 12:32 am

Some of it will be council housing, m. Most isn’t, I think. Council housing in the city is fundamentally identical to The Projects in US cities (except whiter). Council houses outside the city are often sprinkled into middle class neighborhoods, which was a sucky awful thing to do to people’s house values.

We looked at a house we really liked, but it was surrounded by Beirut-on-Sea.

The most dangerous places I have every lived (or lived near) were rich neighborhoods abutting poor neighborhoods. Right there at the cusp, it’s the Wild West.

Comment from m
Time: November 24, 2013, 1:39 am

Thanks for the explanation. Do they have something like section 8 housing over there? Or do those knuckleheads actually come up with rent?

“The most dangerous places I have every lived (or lived near) were rich neighborhoods abutting poor neighborhoods. Right there at the cusp, it’s the Wild West.” – That’s been my experience also. (long term urban dweller here)

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: November 24, 2013, 1:52 am

Crabs have been known to ride pubic transport.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: November 24, 2013, 4:39 am

It’s surprisingly barren and windswept in that part of the world, especially Dungeness. I assume you’ve been on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch miniature railway? Pretty pointless, really, but I like things like that.

One big problem with these coastal towns is employment is often seasonal. Where I grew up the place was dead from September to April. Not much to do for a certain segment of the populace except get up to mischief.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: November 24, 2013, 7:34 am

Its surprising how similar the UK and US are in this regard. I live near Torrance, CA. If you recall the Dorner story (ex LAPD cop goes Rambo, kills other cops, gets killed himself) – the Torrance PD were the folks who shot up two cars driven by innocents thinking they belonged to Dorner.

On the face of it, the Torrance PD acted insanely. For Gods sake, the people in one truck were Asian ladies out delivering newspapers. The guy in the other truck was an old geezer who had just been waved on by another cop. Their pickups were just riddled with bullets.

BUT, the City of Torrance is said to be between “the hill” and “hell”. The hill is Palos Verdes, an insanely rich enclave. The “OC” was filmed there, those are PV houses. Hell is Hawthorne, Inglewood, Compton, etc. Gang infested ‘hoods with graffiti, pit bulls in every yard, cars stripped in alleys, etc.

So Torrance is the battleground. Just as Weasel says about the UK. Living with the rich folk is fine. Living with the poor is fine too. But live in Torrance and its like a constant battle between gangbanger and the cops. And both come out swinging. So stay out of their way!

That Dorner thing got national attention, but it was really “same old, same old”. Torrance has stories where old guy breaks into a senior community, guns down some nurses, then kills self. Or police chase banger into shed, he emerges with rake, police drop him with 370 rounds. Or banger robs jewelry store, chased by cops thru child care area of mall, both sides trading shots until bangers are killed. We even had an alcohol counselor caught driving in Torrance with some pedestrian embedded in her windshield – the pedestrian was yet another gangbanger but the counselor was drunk herself!

Its a pretty city too. If you recall that show 90210 — the opening scene was NOT Beverly Hills — it was …. Torrance High. Just don’t buy a house there.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 24, 2013, 3:20 pm

Love Dungeness, David. It is a very, very strange place…very bleak and weird. We’ve often dreamed of spending a season out there…those funky little tar coated fishing shacks are, like, quarter of a million and up now.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: November 25, 2013, 5:09 pm

Boy Howdy. It’s something about water – rivers, deltas, beachfront – that attracts oddballs. Then, the government pays to put a roof over their head. Having just moved from the Central Valley to ‘Coastside’ near Half(baked)Moon(bat)Bay I’ve seen it first hand. Silicon valley commuters next to farm-worker Section-8 type townhouses. I couldn’t believe they were low income at first. They look like brand new condos. We are in an older community north of HMB proper, but there are still year round weirdos. Not just the salty types that work at the harbor, but just generally creepy people. Our best guess is Grandma paid off the mortgage 30 years ago and all they have to do is keep up the tax payments. Serious lowlifes living in $750k houses…and we will probably end up buying next to one of them. It just goes with the territory – if you want to walk to the beach, and still be able to commute to where the money is, you have tradeoffs. I’m teaching the kids how to spot loonies and avoid them, it’s all I can do.

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: November 29, 2013, 4:51 pm

So what you’re saying is no Lord Peter Wimsey or Bertie Wooster? You still have the village constable on a bicycle though, right?

At least you can console yourself with amusingly named foodstuffs. Things like Tinky-Widdles or Wombat Balls on Toast or Missus Fleming’s Mistake. Hmmm, did I make those up? Prove I did.

Comment from somatodrol e verdade
Time: October 21, 2014, 12:00 am

WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for somatodrol

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