Metro writes longest resignation letter in history

One of BC's neighbours is a former writer for Metro. No wonder the guy got out.

Metro's editorial team have put their heads together and come up with this list of London boroughs, ranked from worst to best, in their opinion. Lewisham comes 28th, beating only the boroughs that got no votes - including Kingston, Havering, Bexley and Redbridge.

Now, not even Metro is taking this list seriously, but house prices being equal, it would be hard to make the case that Lewisham deserves to be ranked above Camden, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster or even Southwark. Beyond these ones though, Lewisham can hold its head up alongside a host of other boroughs:

  • Hackney? Cool, but dirty and often inaccessible. See also: Haringey
  • Richmond, Wandsworth and Merton? Handsome but stiff and monocultural
  • Barnet? Far too far out and not worth the bother
  • Tower Hamlets? Too many flats, too many elaborate road systems
  • Hammersmith & Fulham? Surely London's most overrated borough
But the clincher is that Greenwich made it to number 3. As a Greenwich native, BC has a foot in both camps and can safely say that Lewisham is the much better borough. Greenwich Park is majestic, Greenwich town centre is nice early in the morning before the tourists get there. Westcombe Park has stunning streets but no transport connections and the Standard is an embarrassment.  Their bits of Blackheath are nice, but ours are nicer. Beyond that, it ranges from adequate to awful, with terrible transport links. No one who knows anything about the borough would rank it third.

Lewisham is an underwhelming place to visit, but an amazing place to live.

Most importantly, BC has just spent the last week outside the London bubble and therefore feels obligated to point out that all 32 London boroughs are the real winners.

Thanks to Patrick for the heads up.

32 comments:

Joe said...

I agree with much of what you say about Greenwich, but... The Standard is not so bad is it? It's much better value than expensive, over-rated and traffic-filled Blackheath Village, much of which is in Lewisham Borough. And there are not so many small, independent shops around these days - it's nice to have somewhere that's not just either another outlet for Tesco, Iceland, KFC etc, or full of overpriced restaurants.

As for its part of Blackheath, I actually like the Greenwich side with its rare wildflowers, gorse and rough edges, as much of the Heath used to be before it was levelled after WW2. I think the Greenwich side works well to compliment the Lewisham side, which, whilst having some nice, wilder areas too, has more open amenity spaces for sports etc - and taken together as a kind of patchwork they make the Heath special, especially for SE London.

Woolwich is also in Greenwich Borough and has DLR, trains and the ferry plus loads of buses, as does Greenwich town centre (except the ferry) - not much worse than Lewisham town centre really. It is true that parts of Greenwich have relatively poor transport links, though,and there can be a lot of tourists - a mixed blessing, as the Market for example is pretty densely packed on Saturday afternoons.

Still, perhaps 3rd is too high a ranking, what with increasing pollution levels, possibly set to get worse if Silvertown crossing is built, construction work everywhere, excessive vehicle traffic and ongoing loss of green spaces with the council looking the other way. And Lewisham does have some very nice and intelligently planned parks like the one behind the hospital. Whilst I think you're too harsh on Greenwich as a whole, it's highly likely that you're right about Lewisham being better than Greenwich to live in, as opposed to visit.

Monkeyboy said...

I was born, lived and schooled in Haringey, I'm an econmic migrant daan sarf. never did me no harm.

Brockley Nick said...

The Standard is OK as a place to shop for bits and pieces. As a place to go out, it's no fun at all. The last time there was anything fun to do there was when the kebab shop had Golden Axe.


It's easy to poke fun at Blackeath's pretensions, but it's still got a range of decent pubs, some perfectly good restaurants and some interesting, if twee, shops. Plus, it has not one but two duck ponds.


Crossrail will be a game changer for Woolwich, but at the moment the train journeys are long and unreliable and the DLR is a very slow way to get anywhere useful.


Still, you're right, it's a perfectly good borough. I just think that people struggle to differentiate between Lewisham and Greenwich the boroughs and Lewisham and Greenwich the town centres.

Brockley Nick said...

You are dirty and inaccessible.

Joe said...

Yes, Blackheath does have two rather nice duck ponds! And, yes, some nice restaurants for special occasions. But the heavy traffic, the prices... I think it depends what you're looking for. I suppose I was looking at the Standard as a place to buy stuff/day to day rather than for nightlife/going out, which for me usually means going into town.The blog just said how terrible the Standard is, it didn't specify if
that was about entertainment or everyday shopping, aesthetics or
whatever else.

As for Woolwich, I always use buses and there are so many and so frequent that I find it conveient, but of course it's not for everyone and can be crowded. True about needing to differentiate between the town centres and boroughs as a whole, but the back streets will always be just that and I can't think in that regard transport is that much different in Lewisham compared to Greenwich? Both are big areas if we leave out the town centres, so maybe unless you've thoroughly explored and lived in both it's difficult to compare and the blogger doesn't say much about the less well known areas. But an interesting discussion, anyway! Cheers.

Joe said...

Sorry, Nick -just realised you are the author, right? Then forgive me referring to the blogger instead of you! I've been awake for hours, honestly I have.

Hugh said...

Precisely what effect will this have on local house prices?

Max Calò said...

Estate Agents in Lewisham are in total panic.

Brockley Nick said...

Sell Hither Green futures. Go long on Waltham Forest.

AliAfro said...

Brockley's 'hidden gem' status is secure for now...

Gu Est said...

now that we finally go a lift at the station. This is unfair! can we start the petition to separate from Lewisham and join the royal borough of Greenwich. Thanks

Monkeyboy said...

best council logo though...if a bit fascist http://www.civicheraldry.co.uk/bg-haring.JPG

brockleyer said...

Can we rename Borough of Lewisham as Borough of Ravensbourne? The river goes pretty much straight through the middle of the borough...

terrencetrentderby said...

The Greenwich Union is a great pub and beats anything in Brockley.


Brockley is 10 min from London Bridge though and has a good regular service, and erm Hilly Fields is quite nice.

terrencetrentderby said...

I always imagined you were from Norwich or Ipswich, not sure why?

Brockley Nick said...

It's not great at all. It's fine. Not as nice a place as Jam Circus, The Royal Albert, New Cross House or any number of other local pubs. It's not even as good as the pub next door - The Richard I

Dave said...

I think you mean the "Tolly"

Anon said...

Lewisham will always be harmed, for want of a better word, by the conflating of Lewisham, the overwhelmingly sedate and leafy borough, with Lewisham, the traditionally stabby, massive-roundabout-and-police-station-y town centre.

The same way as if Greenwich was known as the Borough of Kidbrooke

terrencetrentderby said...

I know, the very name "Lewisham" does besmirch the borough somewhat. Call it the Borough of Blackheath and Greater Brockley

AliAfro said...

That all sounds a bit defeatist to me...

Lewisham (town centre and borough) still has a way to go, but on balance, it does seem to be on the up.. Streat-feast, town centre refurb, potential Bakerloo extension, Renaissance and Catford dogs, Overground, Pub refurbishments, Brockley Market, Ladywell fields etc etc.

Maybe Lewisham (town centre) used to hold Lewisham (borough) back and maybe it still does, but that doesn't mean it will always be so...

wandsworth emigre said...

Tooting & Mitcham are far from mono-cultural

Anon said...

Of course, but the only one of those items that may have filtered out to non-Lewishamites is the Bakerloo extension....set for 2030.


The reality is that Lewisham is on an upward curve for those living there, but for better or worse the *perception* of Lewisham will remain for some time.

Anon said...

Is it 32 or 33 boroughs in London?

Max Calò said...

As does the 136. Borough 136. Very post-modern.

Peter Tooke said...

31 London Boroughs, plus the City of Westminster and the City of London Corporation. Usually referred to as 33 London boroughs. FACT!

Mark said...

why, is it the longest resignation letter in history?

Brockley Nick said...

"Greater London is made up of 33 separate municipalities – 32 London Boroughs and the City of London Corporation." FACT

AliAfro said...

Well at least you've softened your position on the timescale for negative perceptions to remain from 'always'' to 'for some time'...
But I think you brush over the positive impact of the bits that were mentioned - plenty of people from outside Lewisham went to Streetfeast, continue go to the market, or have moved into the new developments, or homes near the Overground... All those people talk to their friends and perceptions change over time - Just look at how perceptions changed regarding Clapham and Balham, then Brixton and Peckham. Plot those on a map and you can extrapolate a nice straight line pointing at Lewisham as the next in line for a positive perception shift.

Tabitha said...

I don't think it can be called the Tolly anymore - have you been in recently? Possibly the worst pub re-fit I have ever seen. No character left at all...

Dave said...

It will always be the Tolly it relates to the time way ,way back when it was owned by Tolly Cobbold brewery in east Anglia , at that time John Cobbold was also chairman of Ipswich football club

Robert Sheppard said...

Yes indeed, Nick and Peter, you are both right surely? As someone who has worked in London local government for nearly 30 years I can tell you that the City is in practical terms and common parlance the 33rd London borough. The only real difference is the anachronistic governance set-up. Anyway I think we're all 'on the same page' now.

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, we've both worked very hard. And in a way, we're both winners. But in another, more accurate way, I am the winner.

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