Not So Spotless

Version 1.

Medway. My home conurbation that squats on the greasy bank of the titular river. Established by the Romans, site of a ‘magnificent’ castle and cathedral, the home of Dickens and Billy Childish. The site of the first youth prison, Borstal (so called because it was built in Borstal village in Rochester), Gillingham Football Club, the Dockyard (where they built HMS Victory), Medway College of Art (Tracey Emin studied here) and the Strand, a marvellous leisure park consisting of rusting swings, an outdoor swimming pool and a miniature train. Lovely.

Like most English towns, this semi-rural group of market towns is a two-faced bitch. It plies its historical re-enactments and ancient buildings with all the vim and vigour of a member of the WI on Adderall posing nude for charidee; but should you make the mistake to venture out after dark it shrugs off this genteel middle-England mask and reveals a lethal truth. The Medway towns turns out a rough lot, all tooled up and ready for the off. You’d be surprised what one can conceal in a knock off Louis Vuitton clutch bag and don’t even think about the menfolk. Frankly if you are stupid or tasteless enough to go to any one of the grotty pubs, foul restaurants or filthy, sticky nightclubs you will get your head kicked in or contract a social disease or both.

You’ve been warned. If you do find yourself here and want to go shopping, you’re fucked. Rochester High street is packed full of teashops, pedlars of antiques and hairdressers. Chatham High Street and the Pentagon Centre are full of pound shops and mothers cursing at their little children. Allders is in receivership. Marks and Spencer and all those other high street favourites have moved out to Bluewater, the shopping and leisure centre of your dreams. And it’s here that you will find the more mobile residents of Medway, blissfully consuming in the perpetual sunshine of the sterile mall with a tight little smile on their faces.

Version 2.

The Medway Towns are rotten. Everyone has fucked off to Bluewater.

Heidi James-Dunbar

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5 Responses to Medway

  1. Rochester’s saving graces are the man of kent, the deaf cat and the schools, that is all, Medway isnt a place, there are towns nearby to each other but these are not yet cogently a whole.matt

  2. Graham Munn says:

    I once saw a Woman positioning her two year old daughter over a storm drain, in the High Street because she was too lazy to find the appropriate Bladder relieving facilities…..No-one battered an eyelid….Welcome to Chatham!!

  3. Maid of Kent says:

    I moved to medway from a really truly crap town in Scotland on the west coast where heroin addicts and stabbings as well as naff football violence and poundshops are also a’plenty. You really should go visit Kilmarnock, you’ll run back to Medway on the first decrepit Russian sub you can hitch a ride on. I have also lived in Tonbridge when I first moved here. If I compare Medway with Sevenoaks and Tonbridge and other ‘posh’ areas of west kent, I can say that at least you can have a laugh in Medway. The house prices are great, access to London is great and the traffic is better that anywhere in Kent because of the easy access to motorways. Oh and you can actually shop in a supermarket that is ‘local’ and not sit in single file fume central to get to the busiest and crapest Asda in Britain. Coming from a truly crap home town in East Ayrshire where there is one job currently advertised in the local rag, big up the fucking Medway.

    The New Maid of Kent

  4. joel Louis says:

    What about the wonderfully filthy town of Strood? I had the misfortune of working in Gillingham for a while, and so travelled there by train from Wateringbury and could not believe the transformation of people Maidstone, onwards to Strood. What seemed at first like ordinary folk getting on the train at Snodland had somehow been turned into delinquent piss-heads as soon as they neared Strood station. All getting off the train with their half-drunk cans of Super strong lager and with foul mouthed language to match.

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