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The Tower Bbc1

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I live in Deptford, and was there when the BBC were filming it; let me tell you few things about Deptford: It is a wonderful place, river, Georgian frontage, easy acess to over-priced studios in Canary Wharf, a catamaran to the City, views across to the ghost of the Cutty Sark at stifling Greenwich, and, people don't judge you. They're in no position to. Insanity is all about. So in this sense SE8 is an urban free for all. Creativity abounds, but there's the rub. Another thing about Deptford - they do ISSUES on a grand scale. They oft back losers, not winners. And there is, up til now, a lot of money to be made in povery, social issues, illiteracy (better be careful here) innumeracy and the general lack of alignment with the world and its demands. So, what did the BBC focus on? The junkies, the crack heads and the wide boys. Deptford is picked clean of any of the grace and dignity it has mustered over the last decade. I recall the refurbishing of that tower block. But more particulary I recall dodging the falling fridges, black bags, nappies, and so on when traversing its piss drenched windy quarters on my way to the 18th century local resource centre. (Another complete and utter waste of an opportunity)No one wanted to live in Arragon Tower with its mice and cockroaches. The council tenants wanted out. If the flats were going cheap a few years earlier, then so be it. Grab it Thatcher style. But the truth is, they hated the place. It was Pepys, and a sink in the great grimy Barclay Homes arrives, wadded up and wants to buy. Overnight, residents are at one, the fridges, like reason, defy gravity and cease mid fall, we all LOVE Arragon Tower. We want to live there(not me, I live down the way). So you get the picture. Deptford will elevate as much as it can allow itself. Depftord High St will deelop and prosper into softness when it allows itself to be part of a good thing and outlive its hard and often scurrulous history. My belief is that we will become less peripatetic - we will have to choose a place and stick to it - that transport links will crumble due to excessive cost and breakdown in infrastructure. We will reform into small connurbations and be locally run. House prices will have a dire and significant change in 2010, for some reason, and I don't why.(weather?) But I think we are heading for a re-evaluation of how we view our homes and our local environment. Civic pride revival, and the great urban regeneration funding scam will be a thing of an feckless and expensive past.

here's a bit of creativity from Deptford

Red jacket on.

To the river, the cranes of Aragon Tower on the left

Past the new builds: Deptford's Neo Glasgow school.

On the second floor of post-tenement irony, soft grey bulk in a window

pressed against the glass, a woman holds her baby.

Pale dough cheek and winter glass.

A kiss in the frame of new builds,

Hope, and brushing her baby against her skin. Back wide and happy.

Red jacket on.

Black boys kiss their teeth and sing low.

Don't understand the architectural hymn and make up their own

Praising space and acoustics of breeze blocks.

Red jacket on.

I dream of bikes, of American beach bikes, of not being hungry.

By my side, wind dances on the curl of the river.

Water curls like 50s hair held neat by a grip. Moon high. Ripples combed.

Coiffure fetched up along with long stemmed pipes.

Narrative unfolds across on the opposite bank.

They should have left Canada Tower to its singular erection -

Now it's crammed uptight with short-arsed, square-shouldered bankers

And we have lost our vicarious view.

Red jacket on

On my way to the place I have lived longest since . . .

The hoarding of the old tower block are graffited

But Deptford's new penthouse will be accessed from another county.

Beached. Fetched up, bloated corpse of council wretch.

Or hanging, swaying in the ancient breeze on Peninsula Way SE - Chip &pin.

‘D'you know your number?’

Red Jacket on - plump with feathers, it keeps me warm while I dream of not being hungry.

White, middle-class woman in promising Deptford. Going home and dreaming of not being hungry.

Deptford’s a whore.

Her eyes are smeared with boot polish from Canary Wharf’s nouveau shoeshine

And she’s coloured her hair bright business.

She smiles a lot, but her teeth, though bleached, are rotten.

Staggering away, then towards, she proffers a can or syringe, and bows low as I pass.

I can feel her sneer, because she knew Grinling Gibbons when he made voodoo dolls for the sailors

And Kit Marlow before he got an agent. And whispers: ‘Nothing ever gets better than it was.’

So now has shares in Atavistic Gilt.

Red Jacket on.

Smoothing nearer home. In Deptford Wharf, some

neighbours have turned their car on and are dancing to it. Stop. Noise off, sudden as lights.

Distant lullaby of sirens. Poverty, prospect, quick enterprise,

the washed-up rumours of European funding, all twist silently in the latch.

Final trickle of commuters from the ferry at S.E.16’s Greenland Pier,

spill like mercury from a broken barometer.

But they go the other way.


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Great first post storm. I was working in Deptford for 5 yrs & agree there is a lot of creativity there.

You may not be aware that there is already a thread on the series on this forum, so you may wish to cut & paste you post on there or ask mods to merge them if you feel relevant.


Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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nice insight. dont mean to sound funny but the post was a bit hard to read, you might get more people taking an interest if you break it up a bit - paragraphs, etc :). Up to you.


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