Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cut one head off, and it grows another.

On odd occasions, as the end of the week approaches, I start to rack my brain to think of something to post on the Maggot Sandwich. If it has been a quiet week, it can be a real challenge to come up with content that will entertain, and hopefully inform as well. This was not one of those occasions - I was strolling through Erith town centre on my way home from work on Friday, saw the notice above, and the thought immediately formed in my head "sometimes, the Blog just writes itself!"

The photos above (click on either for a larger view) were taken by me yesterday in Erith town centre. The dark doorway to the right of the upper picture is the entrance to what used to be Tease, formerly T's nightclub, the notorious chav infested dive of a venue that was closed down about three years ago, after years of casual weekend violence, drug dealing and general nefarious shenannigans. The place is located above Farm Foods (for when Iceland is just not quite chavvy enough) and is adjacent to the rebuilt town centre, which now includes a large number of residential apartments above the shops. If you look closely at the photo of the new club licencing application, it states that the new club wishes to open seven days a week from 10pm until 7am in the morning! Bearing in mind that Erith is a depressed, scruffy and sometimes dangerous south east London suburb, rather than a trendy destination in the West End, can anyone see a demand for an all - night venue? Anyone able to stay up raving all night during the week would have to be without a job, and thus unable to afford to go out to such places in the first place - leaving aside any criminal enterprises (and don't think I am implying that anyone without a job is a crook - I am not). Clubbers would leave the building just as workers such as myself were passing on the way to the railway station - I can envisage much conflict if this ever comes to pass. Incidentally, I notice that the planning application has a  posting date of the 15th of July; I walk past the place daily on my way to Erith station, and to my knowledge the notice was only posted on the door late last week - an error or a deliberate omission by the applicant? I will be contacting the planning department of Bexley Council for more details on the situation. I have a gut feeling that it may well be the same people who tried to illegally open GC's Nightclub in the Fraser Road industrial estate around a year ago - something that was successfully blocked by the News Shopper, Council, Police and a small amount of input from Captain Tweed. I don't object to a night club in Erith at all - it's not something that interests me personally, but I am sure there is a market for one. I am just cautious about the whole enterprise, as unless it is done correctly I can see a return to the levels of town centre lawlessness and brutality we used to witness when T's was open. I walked past the place on New Year's Eve 1998 when a drugged and drunken nutter tried to mug me with a carving knife. Fortunately all ended well, with the malefactor being promptly hauled off by the Police for a night in the cells and an appointment with the beak in the morning. Nevertheless it was a traumatic experience, and not something I would want to go though again. The problem is that any place that serves alcohol (specifically lagers such as the ubiquitous Stella Artois that aggravate the nervous system) and open late into the night are going to attract nasty elements - Erith has a higher than average quotient of scumbags and ne'er do wells to begin with, and to further concentrate them after filling them with noxious and gassy aggression enhancers is really asking for trouble.

Can someone please enlighten me as to why there is still a hard copy print edition of the Yellow Pages? Yet again I find myself ripping off the plastic wrapping before dumping the directory unread in the paper recycling bin in Morrison's car park. What a waste of resources and effort - the online is an okay alternative. I wonder how long it will take them to realise that a hard copy edition should nowadays be an opt - in arrangement, rather than a blanket door - to - door physical spam as it currently is.

No further information following the attempted burglary of Vinton Metals early last Monday morning; I hope to speak to the Police to get an update in the next couple of days.


The photo above is taken of the promenade along Erith river front, showing some of the apartments that overlook the Thames; I must give some balance and show there are some pleasant parts to the town - it is not all doom and gloom here, after all. Just don't look over the railings and into the mud at low tide - it is a shopping trolley spotters' idea of paradise.

Ian has started his own blog now. He's still getting a handle on the whole blogging concept, but I don't think it will be long before he has a great online presence. You can read the View from the Hill here.

The gold stall still seems to be doing sterling service (ouch!) in the Riverside Centre; I watched a consumer documentary about the whole gold phenomenon the other day; apparently most of these gold purchasing organisations are only giving around 50% of the actual value of the metal, and the street based vendors are apparently some of the worst. The advice seems to be if you really want to get rid of your precious metals, shop around and don't be tempted to take the first offer. Personally these online gold buyers that send out post free packets for you to send in your gold for valuation and purchase by them are a burglars' wet dream. I predict the level of property theft will only increase because of this - I reckon Monday's copper burglars have most likely already branched off into this line of crime.

The video this week is something topical; it is an edited home movie taken by some visitors to Erith; they document their walk along Erith riverside to finish up at Woolwich. It certainly gives a good idea of what the area adjacent to the River Thames looks like - pretty much the best part of the town. See what you think and feel free to post a comment below.

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