Lewes Forum thread

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Economically enforced geographical mobility (2)

On 18 Aug 2011 at 12:31pm Zebedee wrote:
Continuation of 'Meridian Row' thread below...
kevsy said:
'so you think it isn't healthy and positive for people to marry people that aren't from the town you were born in. I'm not trying to put words into your mouth, just trying to understand the consequences of the debate we are having.
I for one think it is perfectly natural for a child to want to move away from their parents, the fleeing the nest is an important part of life, it doesnt make the strength to family any less strong. You don;t have to be round for Sunday lunch and bring your washing round every week for your family to be strong and supportive.'

No kevsy I don't. As I said earlier 'obviously diffusion of the population also has it's benefits but at the moment the balance is completely wrong.' Not only is the balance wrong at the moment but people are being 'forced' to move away from their family. This is a different matter from an individual taking a choice to move away. As you said, some will want to move away... but likewise some will want to stay. It's just that they can't because they can't afford it. In this way a much larger percentage of children leave their place of upbringing, 'whether they want to or not'.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 12:41pm bastian wrote:
Those of you who have been following this discussian will not be suprised by the depth of feeling involved.
to those who consider the subject to be national,you are correct but this is a Lewes forum so I am addressing it from a local point of view.
to zebadee...thank you for seeing my point.
to the people who contribute but do not read back over other peoples posts that I am answering...please do because then it all makes sense..you will find that there was asuggestion that commuters deserve the property because they work hard for it.
Now...community is very important and it isn't just about picking up your dog poo.It has alot to do with your neighbours and your family as well as events and social wellbeing.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 12:43pm sally wrote:
seems we have a healthy proportion of budding wickerman wannerbies in our midst. Bastian et al - say it aint so......
On 18 Aug 2011 at 12:51pm Zebedee wrote:
Might be an idea to read the thread sally
On 18 Aug 2011 at 12:59pm bastian wrote:
poor lamb,I think she's lost.
None of this would be an issue if the money involved was not so crazy.
and sally,it's wicca....
On 18 Aug 2011 at 1:16pm Kettle wrote:
Thanks kevsy - that is pretty much what I mean - Also that I had to make sacrifices to buy a house in a nice bit of sussex - I do see communting as a sacrifice. I would like to have spent more time doing other things.
Also - I do really take exception to the old grauniad chestnut that people should stay and improve the areas that they are in rather than moving to somewhere that is already ok. It's one of those theories that sound ok if you aren't the one having to stay somewhere awful or that you just don't like.
As for staying near family - a disadvantage in a lot of people's books. Sometimes better to have a bit of distance.
I think it's great for people to move around. Glad Lewes attracts people from all over. The important thing is that people make a contribution to the town they are in.
Finally - pulling someone up because they don't know how to spell 'wicca' is like discussing how many angels fit on the head of a pin: an irrelevant quibble about something that doesn't matter.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 1:18pm Zebedee wrote:
kevsy, it's 'natural' that some want to move away and some don't. As things stand at the moment in many places virtually all the younger generation have to move away, either that or or stay living in their parents house.

It is hard on established communities and those families that have lived in towns and villages for many generations. As house prices rise the richer, more geographically independent commuters (or types) move in and the poorer established families are gardually forced to move out. A sort of homogenisation starts to take place with the town being populated more and more with a single class and type of people, a type who have much less grounding in the town they've chosen to live in, most obviously because they don't work there and don't exist in it for a large proportion of their time. Local links, relationships, histories, familiarity and knowledge gradually disappear. This inevitably changes the nature of the town and the wider area.... much for the worse in my humble opinion. Somehow a historically derived depth of character is lost, and replaced by a shallow inconsequential now-ness devoid of the long term, complex and intricate links with the location and place that existed previously (sorry not got that across very well).

I've seen this happen to Brighton and was just one of the reasons I moved out. Over the course of about 20 years as house prices rose ever higher it lost its soulfull character, it's vaguely decadent eccentricity and became a sort of Islington-by-the-Sea, a much more homogenized, manufactured and chain-ridden place. Luckily for Brighton it retained the North Laine, still an area of charm, eccentricity and individuality...

Many small pretty villages in places such as Cornwall and Dorset have suffered much worse. These used to have thriving communities with actives schools but due to incomers buying houses for what are considered by locals amazingly high prices the original inhabitants have been forced out and the villages have become little more than dormitories, shells that only come alive in the summer... and then with the same predictable and priviledged Boden-clad kids, Fat-Face fathers and knick knack shop yummy mums.... the commuters, the business people, the city people, the people divorced from place, the rootless.

I think it's a real shame and in the end, not very good for anyone. Gradually polarisation is setting in. Where we used to have towns and villages inhabited by a wide range of types of people we are now seeing towns and villages that accommodate only a certain types of people, narrow stratas, the poor 'working class' towns where there is cheap housing, the middle class towns (like Lewes is becoming now), the commuter towns...
Of course this then becomes quite self-perpetuating as the increasing difference in the quality of schools between the have-towns and the have-not-towns begins to further differentiate the inhabitants and their offspring.

Still, things will change.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 1:40pm kevsy wrote:
Fair enough, Zebedee, I agree with much of the first bit of what you say. It is tough on those people, but it isnt the end of the world. And moving out of economic necessity - may just be the thing that allows them to see more, do more and ultimately feel better for it. Again, wild speculation on my part, but many of those that have emigrated today not always through choice would not choose now to go back to their birthplace. Think of the people of Irish origins that were forced out of Ireland, many go afford to go back home but have moved on and most are happy for it.

I also do not agree that it inevitably leads to homogeneity, quite the opposite, economic migration can often lead to a more varied community, for example I have a author and and singer moving in next to me from Brighton. So lets not think it is only bankers (god forbid) moving into Lewes.
That said the Evening Standard did run a piece on Lewes as a great place to live yesterday, giving Lewes Estates number with photos of Keere Street so stand by your beds.
I actually think that no movement in and out leads to homogeneity, with people reverting to type and developing a set of unwritten rules about what is acceptable and what isnt. Anyone seeing the Village SOS program last night will know what I mean.
As you say - things will change.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 2:14pm Zebedee wrote:
And kevsy, I agree with what you say, especially this:

'economic migration can often lead to a more varied community'
'I actually think that no movement in and out leads to homogeneity'

I think the crux of the matter is the amount of mobility and the type of mobility. At this moment there is too much movement in general to be healthy and it is 'mostly' of one class moving in and too much of another class moving out (or rather the children of one class being forced to move out). And this is facilitated and encouraged by the fact that we think it's a good idea that the prices of our homes are decided by the (not terribly free or fair) 'free-market'.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 2:18pm kevsy wrote:
good glad we got that settled. anyway back to work, got a mortgage to pay don't you know
On 18 Aug 2011 at 2:35pm bastian wrote:
interesting that you consider it special to have an author and a singer move in next door...what kind of cultural snobbery is that?
why is it not special to have bus driver or a station master living next door.pleas
be careful of how that appears.There are so many people that have amazing stories to tell of Lewes ,they are ordinary folk,and what is wrong with that.You cannot and should not sanitze the population.
Zebadee,you are a better orator than I.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 2:37pm MErcian wrote:
All this "geographic mobility" is nothing new. I was reading the 'streets of Lewes' book idly in a cafe one day and I remember this sentence sticking in my mind "Streets such as Grange Road were laid out in Victorian times for the growing number of gentlemen who had business in London are were able to travel there by the railway."
Lewes is 50 miles away from one of the world's largest, most prosperous and important cities. It can't live in a bubble.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 2:37pm MErcian wrote:
Plus I've met a lot of people who moan about 'DFLs' and so on who are themselves the children of people who were evacuated here during the war.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 2:43pm Kevsy wrote:
There is nothing wrong with a bus driver moving next door - is just that if I said that I would be lying - because there isnt a bus driver moving next door to me. If there was I would have used that as an example. My point was that they aren't all bankers.
As an aside - I would have rather a bus driver moved in as i think i would have more in common, i think we are getting away from a point. And I think you are trying to make a point that really isn't there.
It seems your input is often as much about a conversation you are having with the fairies in your head as with the people who write on here.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 2:43pm Mercian wrote:
And I wish people on this forum would stop using Islington as a metaphor for trendy London. Islington is the 14th most deprived local authority in England; some 53% of residents live in deprived areas - it also has the second highest number of children living in poverty of anywhere in England.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 2:45pm Kevsy wrote:
As someone currently working in Angel Islington I can confirm it is no bed of roses.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 3:02pm Kettle wrote:
and a final one from me
Zebedee said
'Luckily for Brighton it retained the North Laine, still an area of charm, eccentricity and individuality...'
When I was growing up in brighton the north laine was a different place. It was a working class, mainly residential area where there was a butcher's shop, a grocer and other small local shops. Then the council decided that the area was a slum and were going to tear it down - like they did with the similar streets on the other side of trafalger st.
However the 'north laine' was saved and students began to move in because it was cheap. During the late seventies a couple of this little 'individual' shops appeared - once again because it was a cheap area and people could experiment. More people were attracted to the area - and realised that you could commute from there ...Hey presto - it became the area that you think is so individual - full of middle class people who bought their houses from the orginal inhabitants.
Having said all that - I think the area has lost it now with all the chains moving in - but I wouldn't have it go back to how it was in the early 70s. If people had stuck to your theory it would still be like that.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 3:06pm Kettle wrote:
Really, finally, bus driver or author living next door. Well I would prefer that the nicer person lived there, but come on now, of course being an author is a more interesting job.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 3:27pm Zebedee wrote:
I left Brighton seven years ago and rarely go back. When I left the shops in Gloucester Road etc paid their rent to the council so I assumed the shop buildings were owned by the council. I am not up to date, but even when I left there were signs of the beginnings of homogenisation. It appears that the commuters have now moved into the North Laine too, and so the local aspect lost.

It does seem to me that what you are saying echoes my point though.
I'd not like to go back to Brighton in the early/mid70s either. I remember the bleak seafront and the almost unused Belvedere and Fortune of War, the virtually derelict and dead Kemptown, the violence.

But I also remember the Crypt, Peter and The Test Tube Babies, The Zap Club and the Wild Wigglers, the fights in the King and Queen...

Brighton in the 80s and early/mid 90s was great.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 4:43pm bastian wrote:
kevsey you do not need to be rude to people that you disagree with on this forum.By the way I haven't mentioned bankers in any of my posts,or Islington,bit of a chip there I think.
Brighton has had its reputation for many years as an alternative town inwhich anything goes..but since its arrival as a city it has taken on the attutude of a city,I expect that is why so many people who have come down like it.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 4:54pm kevsy wrote:
I was replying to MErcian reference to Islington, and the use of the word bankers was a metaphor for the suggestion that all incomers were homogenous DFL's driven by money.
Fair point about the rudeness but your habit of picking on a comment and extrapolating a point where a point didnā??t exist rather than responding to the main thrust was getting up my nose.
On 18 Aug 2011 at 5:28pm Kettle wrote:
The point about the north laine was that it got better when it was more mixed. I share your memories of b'ton, including peter and the test tube babies, the vault etc, and how much fun it all was to be young there. I also remember the awful bleakness until a little bit of london money made its way down there.
Why are commuters always stereotyped? I am from brighton but commuted so that I could pay for a house there. I am not from islington or anywhere like that. I am from central brighton and rather than moaning about not being able to afford to live there as an adult I got on a train every morning.
Yes - a Brightonian. There were a lot of us doing the same.
Still - I don't blame anyone for wanting to leave somewhere they dislike and move somewhere better.
BTW - bastian - how many authors do you think there are who train to become a bus driver in their spare time?
On 18 Aug 2011 at 6:58pm Clifford wrote:
'Mills worked as a bus driver for twelve years. The Restraint of Beasts has turned him into a well-known author and a 1998 finalist for the prestigious Booker Prize. It may soon become a film. His second novel All's Quiet on the Orient Express will be published shortly.'
On 18 Aug 2011 at 7:19pm Kettle wrote:
Does he still work as a bus driver?
And Charles Bukowski worked in the Post Office. He gave that up the moment he could though!
On 19 Aug 2011 at 8:26am DFL wrote:
Homogenous ? Me ? Really ? I never noticed, please don't tell the wife, I'll never hear the end of it !!
Some interesting posts here, apart from the odd numpty who strays from the objective. Personally, I've worked and lived in all parts of the world, including London, and there's nothing like the freedom to travel, work and live where you are able to (able to being the operative here). And now I've settled in Lewes, and enjoy the community immensely, and frequently venture off to Blightown to sample the food, culture etc. I consider myself very fortunate.
Being able to afford to live in any particular place is of course at the centre of this debate, and Lewes is not alone in this issue. I hail from the land of Celts where once a house could be bought for £500 or less (1970s), but now commuters have encamped and house prices are rediculous...but the community survives, as witnessed by my infrequent visits.
On 19 Aug 2011 at 8:27am bastian wrote:
kevsey, discussian is made by extrapolating a point and it helps people to think before posting.
clifford...there as ever...well done
On 19 Aug 2011 at 8:54am DF Where? wrote:
I have lived in Lewes for 12 years but came here via Lincolnshire, Sheffield, Johannesburg, Durham, Carlisle and Ipswich. Each time I made a profit on my houses by doing them up and I was able to afford to come to Lewes but even now I am saddled with a large mortgage and will need to work well into my retirement (by commuting to London daily) to pay it off. Lewes is a great polyglot of a place which adds to the edge it has. I wouldn't have it any other way. When I lived in Suffolk, the indigenous locals made it very clear what they thought of incomers and so we should not be surprised if this attitude is alive and kicking in Lewes. Water off a ducks back to me.
On 19 Aug 2011 at 9:40am kettle wrote:
DF Where - good for you. The more interesting people care only about what you are like - not where you come from. Anything else just smacks of prejudice.
Bastian - I don't know what you are congratulating Clifford for - unless you have missed the point. No one says that interesting people don't have to do cruddy jobs - they just usually stop doing them the moment they don't have to do them any more. Which points to the fact that even they don't think the jobs were all that good.
Again - how many authors do you think really want to be bus drivers? Seriously...
On 19 Aug 2011 at 6:47pm bastian wrote:
I am so glad that the commuters have replied to this thread as it gives them plenty of rope.
On 20 Aug 2011 at 9:52am Kettle wrote:
Do you want to explain that Bastian.
Probably not...
On 20 Aug 2011 at 1:37pm young person wrote:
I also dislike the way places lose their charms as they fill with newcomers however it is not inevitable that places get ruined in this way. The majority of happenings etc in most UK towns and cities come from the people who moved there and not the established community. Lewes is no exception. Brighton's music scene has collapsed somewhat however.
It also often swings the other way too. For example the sword dancing traditions from the northeast have been saved and carried and appreciated more by students and settling community than locals. 60 years later, the same community is thriving centred around the same Newcastle Pub!
However Newcastle is opposite to Lewes in that young people move there because it is cheap and rather than move out because they can't afford it. I can't see myself ever being able to afford a house in Lewes.
On 20 Aug 2011 at 5:58pm bastian wrote:
which takes us back to what the original thread was about..new culture is no substitute for afforable homes.What ever it is that well paid incomers think they bring with them to enrich our town they just don't seem to see that thier exciting way of life,diversions and entertainment bring with them a price that squeezes the young out,usually into the sort of places that the incomers didn't like and don't want to live.I think our youth have taken enough bashing of late,many will not afford to go to university now and so will never own a house and may well have to live at home because the rent is so high which leads to overcrowding...we do not all live in big houses,Lewes houses are often 2 bedroomed...I can't see how the youth of today will manage to bring up a family in their parents two bed semi.
On 22 Aug 2011 at 2:32pm Fair Meadow wrote:
Affordable homes are indeed a big issue. And there's a nice abandoned site just below County Hall that could very usefully be pressed into this service. Rather more productive use than more amateur allotments.
On 22 Aug 2011 at 5:47pm bastian wrote:
go for it
On 22 Aug 2011 at 7:21pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
"many will not afford to go to university now and so will never own a house"
Wtf? Are only graduates allowed tpo buy property, then?
The days when a degree was a guarantee of a good job are long gone, I'm afraid.
On 23 Aug 2011 at 11:21am bastian wrote:
you are quite right,people shouldn't need a degree to own their home but it is not so easy to fall into a good job either,I didn't use the word" allowed",that sounds like a ban ..I'm afraid there is no guarantee of a good job for anyone how ever positive their attitude,not only that but mortgage lenders are not so inclined to lend to people who are on short contracts.

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