This post has been inspired by my one and only comment (so far!) which mentioned the arrival of those wonderful community enhancing chains we call costa coffee or starbucks, either you want them or you dread their possible arrival. I think the people of Deptford would be torn. I am dead against it and here is one reason why:
Deptford High Street is London's best place to shop, according to a mathematical formula devised for the Yellow Pages business directory. It reveals that it is the city's most diverse and vibrant high street. The formula, which defines High Street Diversity, is based on basics, choice, and mix, and takes into account the type of shops available. The south London high street beat more well-known places like Oxford Street and Kensington High Street.
Thank you the BBC. Basically Deptford High Street is great because there are hardly any chain shops/cafes. The ones we do have are pretty bloody poor. We have the glorious Percy Ingles, class in a cake. You will find other Percys in Lewisham, Peckham, Stratford and two around Whitechapel. You will not find a Percy on Kensington High Street. Our other chains are obviously Percy's biggest rival Gregg's and of course no impoverished South East/East London High Street would be complete without an Iceland and a Peacocks. There are however other chains past and present that have added a certain charm to the area; Goddard's and Manze's pie and mash shops and Kennedy's butchers. Real London innit. I think the main reason for this crazy formula working it's magic is the presence of the following:
A Singer sewing machine shop (why?)
The Deptford Plaza (sells African DVDs)
The many Halal butchers
Housewives Cash and Carry (I know, I couldn't believe the name when I first read it)
A very nice greengrocers that also sells lots of plastic flowers
Balloons of London
Many shops that sell fish and other stuff (like phones that I mentioned before)
A Vietnamese and Chinese food shop
West African bakeries
Some very dodgy looking clothes shops
A small DIY store
A secondhand furniture store with a cafe behind it for old people
Many pound shops that all sell exactly the same
A non-halal butcher
An egg shop!! I think it sells oriental paintings too?
So that with a load of dodgy pubs, an arty cafe, nail parlours and some Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants amongst many I have left off I think we have a pretty diverse high street. Pair that with the market and we are going super-diverse!!
As my father pointed out to me recently when I was informing him of Princess Beatrice familiarising herself with nearby New Cross as a new student at Goldsmiths, Deptford has always been a royal slum. With it's proximity to Greenwich and the river maybe he is right but I shall be looking for for royal connections for my next post. If you have any let me know please.