Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Sweet Suburbia

Yes, I've got a new camera. And yes I've had a little play and photographed the town centre on a sunny winter's day. But it came out too good. The sky was too blue, the William Morris Fountain was working and didn't contain washing up liquid, the passers-by looked just too damned handsome. So I've fucked it up a little.

I know you serious photographers are into flickr. But however much I've tried, they won't seem to give me a password that works. But by accident I found yahoo photos on my email account and now I've got somewhere to host them and to do marvellous effects like the one above.

The neon lights are always bright on Broadway
There is almost magic in the air

OK, it is Bexleyheath Broadway. But there is almost magic in the air on those days when we are treated to live entertainment as we traverse the pedestrianised theatre.

The Morris Fountain in the foreground is literally dwarfed by the world famous clock tower a mere twenty yards behind it. And the clock tower has been the focal point of Bexleyheath since the thing was constructed you really think I give a shit?

Behind and to the right of the clock tower is TK Maxx. To the right of TK Maxx is a path which leads you past Marks and Spencer on the right, and Poundstretcher, Wilkinsons, and ultimately Sainsbury's on the left. If you were standing where I'm standing you'd be just in front of the new Starbucks and a mere matter of a twenty second walk to Ann Summers. Fifteen seconds if you're in a hurry.

But I was going to tell you all about the entertainment scene, wasn't I?

1. Between Poundstretcher and Sainsbury's car park there is often a lone Peruvian Pan Piper. He plays along to a pre-recorded CD. He plays the lambada if you're lucky, Sting if you're not. You may lambada past him in your thong or your plus fours or both if you wish. If Sting's playing you may consider just how little time we have on this earth and maybe cover your ears with your hands and SCREAM.

2. The main stage is the area you see between TK Maxx and the clock tower. And it is here you may see the Glam Rock line dancers, women of a certain age, moving like an arthritic Nan's People, getting it on to T Rex and Cockney Rebel, all in aid of a local hospice. My personal favourites, although I stress my mum is not part of this scene. Yet.

3. As mentioned in a previous post, in the same area, maybe a little closer to TK Maxx, you may see the Mark Kermode lookalikes, The Rockabilly Foursome, rocking their way through Rock Around The Clock, spreading the message of the late L Ron Hubbard: Say NO to Drugs, Say YES to Life. A choice between L Ron Hubbard and Philip K Dick? It's unlikely that anybody in the town centre has heard of either. And why should they?

4. Finally, a special treat (possibly for Mother's Day, I do hope so). "Isn't he lovely? Like an Italian Russell Watson!" It's the young opera singer with crumpled suit and velvet voice. Even the hardest of hard faces softens as he gets in really close to the microphone and belts out those opera classics from Italia '90. Old biddies have been known to miss their bus home.

Luckily, we live a mere 12 minute walk from here and could stay for the duration of any of these performances. If we wanted to.


  1. there is a tk maxx in bexleyheath?

    willing to consider there is a god

  2. Yes. There's a Millets as well.

  3. Nice picture, but am shaken that we have both used the suburbs in our latest posts. I dare not even look at your dream blog.

    Lordy, I loathe Sting.

  4. My original title was This Is The Sound Of The Suburbs - then I saw your post. Hence The Skids instead.

  5. Richard10:28 PM

    The best street entertainment I ever had in Bexleyheath was on the bit where TK Maxx now is. You used to be able to drive up around that bit, which was an island upon which stood a tile shop and small car park. On the other side of the street was a FADS. Driving past on day I saw a chap trying to strap a 5 litre can of white paint he'd just bought in Fads to the back of his shiny new motorcycle. Does the next bit write itself? Oh, how we laughed.

  6. It's changed so much if you asked me where TW Records used to be I wouldn't be able to tell you.

    Not that I used to go there. Always preferred Cloud 9.

  7. TW Was on that bit of Mayplace Avenue that lead up to that island, the bit they dempolished when they built the new police station. Wasn't it? I might be wrong. Or was that Cloud 9? Dunno, never went in, always broke.

  8. That was TW. The same advert for TW was on at local cinemas for about 20 years.

    Cloud 9 was a lot further down the Broadway, owned by a friendly man who never had much in but could order anything.