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LIVIN UP NORF' (sixties style)

John Leo Waters has added another interesting and socially significant article to the site on the subject of growing up in North London: Livin Up Norf

"Any mention of London's East End to those not familiar with the capital immediately conjure up pictures of Whitechapel alleyways stalked by Jack the Ripper and Ron and Reggie. Either that or bald headed geezers accompanied by shell suited harridans walking about shouting about 'sorting' life's problems. South London brings to mind a no – go area for taxi drivers consisting of vast tower block council estates inhabited by unruly 'yoof's' who speak in a language only they can understand.

West London is synonymous with Heathrow Airport, Sloane Rangers and Notting Hill's leafy lanes inhabited by foppish dandies who are season ticket holders at Chelsea FC.

North London, however does not immediately bring any such vivid scenes to mind.

What is North London? Where is North London?"

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  • Did any of you guys used to eat at Arthur's cafe on the Kingsland Road? I used to do deivery driving all over London and that one was the best by a mile. A few weeks ago I did a bit of unpaid roadie work for my son, who's a bit of a musician. He was playing a gig in Shoreditch... I was amazed and delighted to see that Arthur's was still there.

    • I know Arthurs cafe and have passed it many times. I only lived about ten minutes walk from there. It is a bit of a landmark because it's been there forever. I know that it was popular with people using The Waste street market. I am not one for eating or drinling in cafe's except Pie and Mash shops. But it is brilliant that this link with the past is still thriving.

  • I live in North London now. My family is from Shoredich (Hoxton) which is technically North London, N1. The London being spoken about here has gone. I can't compare this North London with the one in which JLW grew up or Hosxton,Bethnall Green and Stepney with the manors I remember. 

    Spent a good deal of time in Finsbury. Drinking in Central Street at Sunday lunchtime was like keeping company with a Who's Who of top old villains all telling one and other lies, it was brilliant. I am from immigrant stock, been here over three hundred years now and lost the accent . The game was up twenty years ago in London. All the people I knew now live in Essex and became middle class overnight.

    • Well Frames you are right on the money with your comments. Money being the defining word. Unless a postman today lived in social housing, there is no way he could afford to live in Central London. I feel outraged by what is happening to ordinary,  decent working people today. Not least because even other working class people don't seem to care.

      We all celebrate the wayTeddy Boys, Modernists and Mods was a working class,  social improvement following austerity following the War and rationing etc. and now we we seem to be heading backwards. The difference being that there is no outcry. In fact people are being demonized for not taking non existant jobs. Even the fact that most people on Benefits are at work seems to be ignored. In cae the scream goes up keep the politics off this site, I am not making a political point. Both major parties are culpable. Can you think of Politicians, Lawyers and Estate Agents without feeling contempt?. I can't.

      It is people that make and define any City be it London or anywhere else. I have no doubt that my complaint could be echoed all over the UK. I compare my choices and opportunities as a young man with what is going down today and depressed and angered equally. By the way JLW did you no that The Whittington is now leased, and when you enter it you are on private  land. What is going on?

    • I rarely go down the old manor these days - its too bloody depressing! The whole area seems to have been taken over by  'upwardly mobile wannabees'! Whole communities have been destroyed and moved out to make way for the yuppies apart from a few 'sink estates' which have been left to fester until the powers that be decide to move in and reclaim the land for 'new housing'. I am a season ticket holder (partial anyway!) at the Arsenal and there is nowhere more reflective of the shift in the population than there. Every week half the crowd seem to be made up of people who feel it is the 'thing to do' to be seen at the Emirates and take up seats that the true grass root fans cannot access (too bloody expensive anyway!) - There is supposedly a waiting list of 40,000 for season tickets! I wonder how many of those know their arse from their elbow when it comes to the game?

    • We must sound like a pair of Old Bast****d's. I can live with that. I would rather be an OB that cares than a Young B that doesn't.

    • Alright you OB's the jig is up and I am now looking forward to my 70's. It's in the Daily Mail so it must be true. A (youngish to you) OB that cares… ;0)

      ps I'm really enjoying reading 'Sawdust Caesars' at the moment with some great contributions from young, middle and top end mods. John Leo amongst one or two others being outstanding. A well recommended read and a big pat on the back to Tony Beesley for putting it all together.  

    • Don't be impatient G you'll be there before you know it. I would have taken better care of myself if I had known I was going to get to my age. One of the simple pleasures is waking up in the morning and realising you didn't die in the night. I resist the pleasure of reading The Daily Mail but I'm sure it was a good article. I like older women now, there very grateful lol.

    • Lol! I'm not a newspaper reader as a rule. I whipped this off the mother in-law who's an avid express and mail reader. She loves to frighten herself into life everyday with the threat of disease, ailments and immigrants. I'm very patient J, just saying it's nice to read something positive about being a senior citizen ;0)

    •  I know that G and I took it in the spirit it was intended. For those who may anxt about getting older, personally  I find that apart from the obvious and inevitable physical differences,  mentally I don't feel any different. I think that the contribution from some of the older guys, indicate that I am not alone on this. We have always been cantankerous lol.

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