Just recently we had an attempted burglary. Either that or an opportunist
ad hoc slice of desultory criminal damage. Suffice it to say that in the early hours the
window was smashed to smithereens by a large heavy instrument and I stumbled downstairs
next morning to find a force nine gale whipping through the house.
It was a small but blessed miracle that half the neighbourhood hadnt climbed in to
avail themselves of the few pieces of workable high tech equipment I possess. But they
probably couldnt be arsed. So imbued am I with the Stokey sod it
mentality that, though I vaguely recall hearing the ear-splitting sound of smashing glass
and high decibel f-ing and blinding, I yawned, turned over and marked it down to the usual
nocturnal jolly japes.
Next day the folks next door shuffled awkwardly and refused to meet my gaze, sheepishly
admitting that they too had blearily thought Oh well, there goes another bit of the
neighbourhood. The nightly smash, grab and leg it events which would
bring the entire population of Stoke Poges onto the streets in their jim jams are but the
mere hooting of owls in N16. The local glazier duly arrived in a large gleaming Mercedes
to price the damage, saying I should write to Diane Abbott demanding reinstatement of the
birch. I sat with a rictus smile, nodding like a toy dog in the back of a car at the kind
of diatribe which made Norman Tebbit sound like a Big Girls Blouse, only avoiding
the eulogy on if Ronnie and Reggie were still running things... by
I then rang the cop shop to get an insurance claim number, not out of any misplaced
fantasy about forensic teams and a new frock for Crimewatch. PCs Cynical and Over-
Brylcreemed arrived, swiftly clocked that I wasnt a crackhead, and proceeded to tell
me I must be off my chump to live in Stokey and that they all galloped back to leafy Essex
at the end of a gruelling shift. OK I thought smugly Yeh...borrrring but I did
get to ruminating on whats the precise effect of living amongst this daily
undercurrent of lawlessness and simmering mayhem? I for one have never walked Stokey High
Street without the accompaniment of wailing sirens and squad cars doing 60 miles an hour.
I was actually shocked to hear of a recent stabbing at a Stokey school. God knows why. The
person telling me thought I was being prissy. Can the human brain take this on a long term
basis without being shredded to confetti or having sensibilities hammered and inured to
chaos and distress? Loonies roam the streets bellowing paranoid bollox, used syringes
litter alleyways, cars screech round bellowing out Rap, and thats just from Le Petit
Coin to the Vortex, and we blithely saunter through it believing were oblivious with
our dentures doing a St Vitus Dance in our heads.
Maybe my daughter and I could be murdered in our beds, the air thick with blood-curdling
screams and thudding axe blows while the neighbours meander out next morning viewing the
blood spattered windows to mutter oh dear. In my street nobody gives a
monkeys about Neighbourhood Watch. They couldnt even get a quorum up for an
inaugural meeting. We in Stokey pay a big price for this compulsive urge to be amongst
People Like Us and live life on the so called Cutting Edge. Im seriously beginning
to worry that the next edge could be my throat. I recently stayed with mates in Brighton,
hardly Sleepy Hollow, surrounded by their friends who were most definitely People
Like Me. The only difference to Stokey being the disconcerting lack of non-stop Anarchy In
The UK. Christ, I sound like bloody Anne Widdicombe. Now, about that birch...
the Community College
Including basic multimedia, photoshop, digital animation, using the Internet & web
The Music Business
All you need to know to access all areas.
For a career, to improve your skills and including making meals for children.
An introduction to First Aid and dealing with people.
Make your own
Designer wear you can afford!
For workers in community organisations.
Practical Construction Skills
Bricklaying, plumbing, electrical installation, motor vehicle maintenance, carpentry,
painting and decorating and mastic asphalt.
Art, Craft and Design
Batik, Screenprinting, Drawing, Mixed Media and others.
Learn to raise money for charities or voluntary organisations.
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESL)
An intensive course thats full of fun.
Reading with Computers
If you have problems with reading we have technology that can help!
At the Asian and Oriental School of Catering at the College.
To apply for any of these courses
and to find out more contact our Admissions Unit at the Shoreditch Campus, Falkirk Street,
020 7613 9123