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"Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?"

Monday, 30 June 2014

Clapham comes up smelling of Bread and Roses (sort of)

Having consistently slagged off my own neighbourhood in this blog, I decided - over a lovely £3 pint of Guinness at the Bread & Roses pub in Clapham Manor Street - that in all fairness I should praise the good aspects of this fair borough.
Poetry guaranteed to lift the spirits even after the grimmest Northern Line commute -  thanks to the cultured staff of Clapham North tube station
Poetry guaranteed to lift the spirits even after
the grimmest Northern Line commute
 -  thanks to the cultured staff of Clapham North tube station

There's the first and one of the best things about the SW4 area - this pub is just as good as it ever was, and by that I mean it feels to me just the same as it did in 2004. In fact, not even the prices seem to have changed much, and while the street it is in has undoubtedly seen a five-fold increase in house-prices, the local people seems just as mixed-up and crazy and strange as ever they did.

With all the high-visibility gentrification and ruggerisation of this area, of yummy-mummification of
twixt-commons nappy zone, the banker-wankers of old-town, and boot club anti-tummification of the common itself, you can be forgiven for forgetting that Clapham is still a deeply diverse place, it still has a great clump of deep roots, as deep as the deep shelters at Clapham South where the first post-war West Indian migrant workers were supposed to sleep.

Lots of good reasons to like the place, starting as soon as you exit the Northern Line at Clapham North and read their daily quote chalked up on a board as you head for the ticket barrier.

Whoever chooses these has some genius, setting you in a frame of mind to appreciate the true spirit of this once radical borough. Remember this is where the Clapham Sect met to push through the biggest humanitarian reform in British history - abolition of the slave trade.

Hard to imagine it now beneath the onslaught of Range Rovers and yummy mummies and chaps in rugger-shirts, this place til quite recently was favoured by the left-leaning, the bohemians. Hence the HQ of the Socialist Party of Great Britain in Clapham High Street, the trade union HQs in Old Town, the former squats in Rectory Grove.

All going or gone, now, but before it all disappears completely, do something!