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The International Writers Magazine:The Face of England today

Chessington
Rebecca Taylor


Chessington - Definitely not the world of adventures! When I normally say Chessington, people get excited and start to engage in a long winded conversation generally based around how when they were five they went to the theme park and adored it. My normal response is ‘ Really? I have always thought it to be rubbish.’
Chessington itself is a pretty horrendous place to live. Two train stations divide it into North and South and which part you come from determines the characteristics of who you will become. Chessington North has a simple parade of shops with the typical newsagents and a Sainsbury’s local. Here is where at approximately 10 o’clock at night, the crowds of yobs dressed head to toe in their finest Adidas tracksuits loiter. Sometimes you get the occasional polite asbo who just pesters you to buy them cigarettes, however you do get the odd ‘Give me your wallet or I’ll smash your face in’. In Chessington North this is the norm and if you’re clever enough you will just do what they want. See, I am quite fond of having a face.

Chessington North also has a small church. You would expect every Sunday to see a small gathering of elderly churchgoers, however after 18 years of living there I am still yet to see even one person, let alone a priest. Beyond the church are a couple of pubs. ‘The Bones-Gate’ is a particular beauty spot on a Saturday. You see, as I previously mentioned whilst the groups of delinquents hang outside of Sainsbury’s local, the delinquents parents hang outside the Bones-Gate. Here they drag on B&H Gold whilst drinking a Stella. A lot of pubs in Chessington don’t allow glass outside pubs, just in case you use it as a murder weapon when you see someone you hate, or when your bored and make someone to hate. In Chessington North brawls and drunken behaviour is the norm. I guess you just have to make sure your not there or if you are, peg it when the CPO’s turn up.

Now, over in Chessington South it is a slightly different story. Here there are no pubs, no Sainsbury’s, no newsagents. There are however some points of interest which I feel as a Chessington citizen I should highlight. Chessington South hosts (in my eyes) the most hideous school ever, known as Community College. Your children will possibly come across illegal substances, pregnancy and STI‘s, or even attacks. Of course the school did receive a huge grant from the Government recently, so the school facilities are improving, but it’s the students who are the issue. See at C. C. C. this is the norm, regardless of whether you want to participate or not.

However Chessington South is the wonderful home of the world of adventures. Attracting thousands every year, this is probably the only thing that would ever make people want to visit us. Of course it is nice having a huge theme park on your doorstep as well the zoo, as on a boring day there is always something to do. However this too has its downfalls. The traffic is always chock-a-block in the summer when its their prime season. Plus it means there are lots of random faces and conspicuous characters lurking around. I shouldn’t really moan because at the end of the day, its nice to have some kind of public interest.
So yes, that’s Chessington. Charmed?

© Rebecca Taylor October 2007
rebeccataylor99at hotmail.co.uk

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