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Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Beginning of the End

As much as I enjoyed the bulk of our time in the worlds friendliest street there were, of course, occasional bad times, due perhaps to the rest of the world being jealous of our idyllic lives and conspiring to ruin our fun, out of pure spiteful malice.

One such occasion was when the wasteland which acted as our playground, and which we so cherished, was cruelly ripped from us by the Dread Lords of property Development Hell. Yes, it was sold. To be built on!

Outraged, we were. Outraged, and vocal about said outrage. Also, 10. Apparently the desire of a bunch of delinquent youths to play on some condemned waste ground did not trump a development deal worth hundreds of thousands. I know, I was shocked too. Still, whining made us feel better.

May possibly have had a more worthwhile cause than us. Slightly.
Of course, as anyone who was ever a mischievous imp (badly behaved little shit) will tell you, there are other ways than verbal to register disgust. Like, and I'm just brainstorming here, wholesale vandalism. As the nights drew in we would sneak from our homes (say we were going out), approach the building site with all due stealth (run across the road) and bring down the mighty wrath of the righteous (tear open a few bags of cement before getting bored and playing Somme in the foundation trenches). Oh, as covert resistance went, the Maquis had nothing on us. Of course we didn't couch it in those terms, being uneducated louts.

Besides, The Next Generation hadn't even started on BBC2 yet.*

After a while a night security guard was assigned to the site. I'd like to tell you that it was because of us, but since we did about as much damage as a gnat trying to bring down Chessington World of Adventure, it seems far more likely to have been something to do with the older kids getting drunk and trying to hot-wire a jcb.


Our resistance movement had failed; the building work continued apace and soon enough, the wasteground was gone.

It may seem a small thing, but looking back at that time now, it's obvious to me that that construction project was the beginning of the end for that sense of community we all loved so much; the friendliest street in the world was doomed.

*Eh? Eh? Because Maquis. Oh, suit yourself.

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