“Crap town” Teddington lays down the gauntlet

Your Local Guardian: Street scene: What do you think of Teddington? Street scene: What do you think of Teddington?

Teddington fought back at a book that pokes fun at their town this week.

Light-hearted book, Crap Towns Returns, identified the country’s 50 least desirable locations and named London as the worst place to live in the UK with Teddington taking some of the blame.

The book, a self-styled “genuine rough guide” to the UK, featured two contributors who nominated Teddington for inclusion.

The first, known as Steerforth, grew up in Teddington, which he described as “completely soulless” and a “very dreary, overpriced suburb”.

He since said his comments were a deliberate attempt to provoke a reaction and get people talking about what makes a town succeed or fail.

The second contributor, Fred White, has lived in Teddington for 22 years and said it was full of “corporate middle-managers with their fertile wives who appear unable to get to Starbucks without the aid of a 4x4”.

He said: “Given the dosh these fools pay for a Victorian semi with rising damp it’s no wonder there’s not a single decent restaurant around here. I assume most of hubby’s salary goes on servicing the mortgage and the school trips for their overweened little darlings.”

The controversial comments caused a stir in Teddington, which was shortlisted in the top 10 high streets across the country by the Telegraph last year.

John Turner tweeted: “We know how lovely it is and what a great place it is to live.”

Richard Keogh tweeted: “Clearly have never set foot in the town. We should invite them for lunch at Retro or any of the other great places. Idiot.”

Totally Locally Teddington celebrates the independent shops and businesses of the town and owner Tracey Wardhaugh defended its honour.

She invited both contributors to challenge their beliefs and enjoy a meal at one of the Teddington restaurants taking part in the forthcoming fiverfest fortnight, even offering a free glass of prosecco if they went to Shambles.

She said: “With its prime location next to the River Thames on one side, Bushy Park on the other, outstanding Ofsted-rated schools, leafy avenues, a buoyant property market and a thriving town centre filled with unique, independent shops, it was no wonder proud Teddington locals reacted with a mix of surprise, indignation and amusement to learn that Teddington had been featured in the latest edition of Crap Town Returns.”

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9:51am Thu 30 Jan 14

Steerforth says...

Did I say "Completely soulless"? That seemes a bit harsh. Perhaps I'd been drinking.

Of course, Teddington is 'nicer' than many London suburbs, with well-built Victorian housing, the second largest park in London and Teddington Lock. That isn't why it was mentioned in the book. The fundamental problem with the town (and many other London suburbs) is that a child who grows up in Teddington today will not be able to afford to live there as an adult, unless they come into a small fortune or the property market changes radically.

I think Teddington was picked on because it has been cited as a "property hotspot", so it's become emblematic of a problem with the housing market. Mortgages are three to four times a salary. The average home in Teddington is around 30 times the average salary. There's the rub.
Did I say "Completely soulless"? That seemes a bit harsh. Perhaps I'd been drinking. Of course, Teddington is 'nicer' than many London suburbs, with well-built Victorian housing, the second largest park in London and Teddington Lock. That isn't why it was mentioned in the book. The fundamental problem with the town (and many other London suburbs) is that a child who grows up in Teddington today will not be able to afford to live there as an adult, unless they come into a small fortune or the property market changes radically. I think Teddington was picked on because it has been cited as a "property hotspot", so it's become emblematic of a problem with the housing market. Mortgages are three to four times a salary. The average home in Teddington is around 30 times the average salary. There's the rub. Steerforth

2:39pm Thu 30 Jan 14

helen59 says...

Teddington is a fantastic place both to live and shop. In fact you can even purchase a property in Teddington with its previous residents buried in the back garden !! - or so I have been told !!!
Teddington is a fantastic place both to live and shop. In fact you can even purchase a property in Teddington with its previous residents buried in the back garden !! - or so I have been told !!! helen59

4:33pm Thu 30 Jan 14

ken elmes says...

Teddington one of the greatest towns in Greater London (Middlesex) I’ve lived here 79 years and enjoyed every moment. If the author thinks it’s that bad, why are the average house prises among the dearest in London.
Teddington one of the greatest towns in Greater London (Middlesex) I’ve lived here 79 years and enjoyed every moment. If the author thinks it’s that bad, why are the average house prises among the dearest in London. ken elmes

10:00pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Concerned_Resident says...

Teddington's main distinguishing feature is that it seems to have a disproportionately high number of places to get drunk! It almost feels like every other shop on High Street and Broad Street is able to sell alcohol.

I'm inclined to agree with the fertile wifey comments though. Come 10.00am, they roam around in droves whilst the cleaner and the gardener work their magic in maintaining the 'perfect' household.
Teddington's main distinguishing feature is that it seems to have a disproportionately high number of places to get drunk! It almost feels like every other shop on High Street and Broad Street is able to sell alcohol. I'm inclined to agree with the fertile wifey comments though. Come 10.00am, they roam around in droves whilst the cleaner and the gardener work their magic in maintaining the 'perfect' household. Concerned_Resident

1:02pm Tue 4 Feb 14

kingstonpaul says...

Steerforth wrote:
Did I say "Completely soulless"? That seemes a bit harsh. Perhaps I'd been drinking.

Of course, Teddington is 'nicer' than many London suburbs, with well-built Victorian housing, the second largest park in London and Teddington Lock. That isn't why it was mentioned in the book. The fundamental problem with the town (and many other London suburbs) is that a child who grows up in Teddington today will not be able to afford to live there as an adult, unless they come into a small fortune or the property market changes radically.

I think Teddington was picked on because it has been cited as a "property hotspot", so it's become emblematic of a problem with the housing market. Mortgages are three to four times a salary. The average home in Teddington is around 30 times the average salary. There's the rub.
While the subversive-lite, sixth form humour of Crap Towns brings a smile to the face, nominating London as a 'worst place to live' is just so last decade. Look, with 8 million souls knocking around the place, of course it'll have its sh*t side. But London is beyond comparison, and the notion that it can/should be compared with classic Crap towns like Hull, Corby, Merthyr is laughable.
Also, you need to get out more if you think that Teddington is emblematic of London's housing problem. With nothing in Gereater London for under £200K, I think we'll find there's vast swathes of the capital unavailable to our kids.
[quote][p][bold]Steerforth[/bold] wrote: Did I say "Completely soulless"? That seemes a bit harsh. Perhaps I'd been drinking. Of course, Teddington is 'nicer' than many London suburbs, with well-built Victorian housing, the second largest park in London and Teddington Lock. That isn't why it was mentioned in the book. The fundamental problem with the town (and many other London suburbs) is that a child who grows up in Teddington today will not be able to afford to live there as an adult, unless they come into a small fortune or the property market changes radically. I think Teddington was picked on because it has been cited as a "property hotspot", so it's become emblematic of a problem with the housing market. Mortgages are three to four times a salary. The average home in Teddington is around 30 times the average salary. There's the rub.[/p][/quote]While the subversive-lite, sixth form humour of Crap Towns brings a smile to the face, nominating London as a 'worst place to live' is just so last decade. Look, with 8 million souls knocking around the place, of course it'll have its sh*t side. But London is beyond comparison, and the notion that it can/should be compared with classic Crap towns like Hull, Corby, Merthyr is laughable. Also, you need to get out more if you think that Teddington is emblematic of London's housing problem. With nothing in Gereater London for under £200K, I think we'll find there's vast swathes of the capital unavailable to our kids. kingstonpaul

10:34am Wed 5 Feb 14

sweeneyted says...

It seems to me there are simple solutions to the problem of a lack of affordable housing as suggested in previous posts.
1. Re-value all housing for council tax bands and raise charges accordingly.
2. Charge Capital Gains Tax on all property sales (40%).
3. Develop Bushy Park for housing. Nearly 1 million extra homes are needed for people who wish to live in London, while this enormous space could contain 50,000 homes. Instead we have a giant dog toilet and a playground for the middle classes to push their over pampered brats around on bikes.
4. Turn all allotments into housing developments.
As the Lib-Dem councillor for Fulwell and Hampton said 'Teddington needs to be scruffier".
Lets turn Teddington into a place for real people
VOTE LIB-DEM in May
It seems to me there are simple solutions to the problem of a lack of affordable housing as suggested in previous posts. 1. Re-value all housing for council tax bands and raise charges accordingly. 2. Charge Capital Gains Tax on all property sales (40%). 3. Develop Bushy Park for housing. Nearly 1 million extra homes are needed for people who wish to live in London, while this enormous space could contain 50,000 homes. Instead we have a giant dog toilet and a playground for the middle classes to push their over pampered brats around on bikes. 4. Turn all allotments into housing developments. As the Lib-Dem councillor for Fulwell and Hampton said 'Teddington needs to be scruffier". Lets turn Teddington into a place for real people VOTE LIB-DEM in May sweeneyted

5:44pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Steerforth says...

"While the subversive-lite, sixth form humour of Crap Towns brings a smile to the face..."

Meeow!
"While the subversive-lite, sixth form humour of Crap Towns brings a smile to the face..." Meeow! Steerforth

10:40pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Smithm21a says...

Teddington used to be a great place... It has gone downhill lately. I blame this partly on a loss of identity since the pillar and respected community enthusiast Jake Redmond moved to Shepperton.
Teddington used to be a great place... It has gone downhill lately. I blame this partly on a loss of identity since the pillar and respected community enthusiast Jake Redmond moved to Shepperton. Smithm21a

10:46pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Smithm21a says...

If you would like to come and thank this great man for all of his community work and his charitable work to society I believe it is his birthday on 22nd Feb in the Red Lion, Teddington from 4pm...
If you would like to come and thank this great man for all of his community work and his charitable work to society I believe it is his birthday on 22nd Feb in the Red Lion, Teddington from 4pm... Smithm21a

6:57pm Thu 13 Feb 14

keithrider says...

Boring and pointless
Boring and pointless keithrider

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