Sunday, 22 October 2006

The Horrors of Hackney?

So far, I've enjoyed getting to know the area around my new parish, much of which is in the London Borough of Hackney (the arms can be seen above). It's a very mixed place - rundown estates alongside smart squares - but I was surprised to see the following on BBC news:
Hackney has accused television producers of "middle class snobbery" as it hit back at a survey branding it the worst place to live in the UK. The London borough came bottom in the Channel 4 survey of the UK's 434 local council areas.

But the area's directly-elected mayor, Jules Pipe, rubbished the survey, which is based on crime, environment, lifestyle, education and employment. Past shows had said Hackney was a great place to invest in property, he said. The borough replaced Hull, which was ranked the worst place to live in last year's survey.

"Of course Hackney has problems, as do all inner city boroughs, but it is an amazing place to live. It is diverse and exciting with fantastic architecture, a vibrant arts and cultural scene, and a bright future as an Olympic borough.It's got a great atmosphere, a bohemian feel, fantastic markets and nightlife. Schools are improving and, all in all, it's a great place to live."

Well, I haven't yet discovered the 'Bohemian lifestyle' or plunged the hidden depths of the 'vibrant arts and cultural scene,' but I'd certainly be keen to defend Hackney. With its considerable history, community spirit and warm-heartedness, I'd certainly much rather be here as a priest than many other places, which might seem superficially more attractive.

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Anonymous Dave Hill said...

Father, welcome to the best and worst borough in the world. I've lived here since 1983. My wife and our children (though not me, I'm afraid) worship at St Scholastica's church in Kenninghall Road. Please visit my blog often! I will be sure to visit yours. There's quite a lively bunch of fellow Hackney bloggers. I'll be glad to introduce you to them if you'd like. Best Wishes, Dave.

3:09 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

Thank you for your welcome, Dave! I'm glad to hear that Hackney is a borough of bloggers.

3:37 pm  

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