The towns are in no particular order, but start with Chatham, alleged birthplace of the Chav phenomenon. This is amazing really – if you have ever been to Chatham, you’ll no doubt agree.
A couple of years ago the Observer newspaper wrote a piece about Chatham and the Chavs that inhabit the town: Meet the Chatham girls, known as “Chavs”, whose fashion sense and reputation for easy virtue have earned them a global following as worthy successors to their northern neighbours. For years, Essex girls, typified by actress Denise van Outen, held the monopoly on short-skirted peroxide-blonde stereotypes, prompting questions in Parliament and essays by Germaine Greer. But today the costume-jewellery crown has passed to their rivals from Chatham-young women, it is claims, whose forbearers were kicked out of Essex “for being too tarty”..
Chatham aside, other affected areas are Atworth, Abingdon, Littlehampton, Hamilton, Portobello, Newcastle, Greenock, Ambridge, Anstruther, Balamory, Bar Hill, Barrow-in-furness, Basildon, Bath, Bedford, Belfast, Bodmin, Bolton, Farnham, Borchester, Bournemouth, Dudley, Brighton, Broxburn, Cambridge, Carlisle, Catford, Chester, Chichester, Coventry, Cowdenbeath, Craigmiller, Crawley, Livingston, Croydon, Deal, Kettering, Derby, Dorking, Liverpool, East Kilbride, Eastleigh, Walford, Eltham, Peterborough, Londonderry, Plymourth, Skegness, Weston-super-mare, Leeds, Swansea, margate, Sheffield, Weatherfield, Glasgow, Grantham,, Cramond, Great Yarmouth, Hackney, Hastings, Scunthorpe, headley Down, Holby City, Holmefirth, Emmerdale, Watford, Steatham, Horsham, Kidlington, Sutton Coldfield, Trowbridge, Leicester, Leith, London, Maidenhead, Middlesborough, Imminham, Stoke-on-Trent, Newoport, Taunton, Cardiff, Reading, Southampton, newquay, Sun Hill, Oxted, Wolverhampton, Paisley, Las Vegas, Enfield, Port Talbot, Hull, Rainham, Ramsgate, Henley-on-Thames, Redhill, Saffron Walden, Portsmouth, Penrith, Folkestone, Sunderland, Darlington, Preston, Swindon, Thamesmead, Lewisham, Winchester, Wrexham.
There are certain towns that are more noteworthy than others.
Here are a few:
For most people, Hull is somewhere to get a ferry from and not to hang about in. However knowing that John Prescott and Dan from Big Brother come from Hull might make you want to stop for a look round the next time you belt down the M62. If that is not enough incentive, try stopping off at Burger King or KFC on Friday night. Hull has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the UK. It is good fun to watch teenage mums sharing their chips with their one month-old babies
The main shopping drag can be a bit patchy for Chav spotting in normal shopping hours. However with Poundstretcher on the other side of the river, a brisk walk is all that is needed to spot Somerset’s finest cider-swilling Chav specimens.
This far south is an affluent area and home to the well-spoken Chav (“What youoo fuckin’ looking at old boy?”). Having been ejected from their private schools because they were not up to A’levels, they have a certain posh charm but are just rich Chavs at the end of the day. The city centre pubs have theme nights – ‘Pint and a Fight!’- on Fridays and Saturdays. With more money than sense, Chavs have renamed the town Shitchester. Bless!
The capital of Essex Chavdom, this is a place so full of Chavos and Chavettes that non-Chavs will definitely feel out of place here. For the Basildon Chav, the centre of the universe at the weekend is the Festival Leisure Park. The local council call this an “entertainment super centre” but, as anyone who has been there on a Saturday night will tell you, it is far from super! Chavos and Chavettes from miles around come here and hang round outside as they are skint and cannot go in. Many people have visited this centre, seen the future of the country and subsequently emigrated post haste. This is really not for the faint hearted. Another place to avoid is the Wat Tyler Country Park. Wat Tkyler – for those of you who are educated – was the geezer who started the peasant’s Revolt in 1200 something. He ended up getting killed by the king of that time. The park is now a centre of special scientific interest and a place where peasants can fee truly at home. Avoid!
So what started in the Kent area of England ahs spread throughout the United Kingdom and shows no sign of stopping. It has even crept abroad to Dublin and certain towns in Spain. The Spanish connection is probably down to Brits, their children and the hoards of Chavs heading for sun and cheap Sangria every summer.
It is now nearly impossible to go anywhere in the mainland UK and not see Chavs. There is a rumour that the North of Scotland and the Islands off it are Chav-free. This statement will no doubt elicit a flood of letters from readers saying that the Shetlands are just a hot bed of Chavs. As part of my research for this book, I went to Inverness and Tobermory and they seemed Chav-free. I visited all the likely looking hang-outs and not one Chav did I see. I got so desperate to fine one that I chased what I thought at a distance was a Bruberry-cap-wearing Chav, only to find out it was some old age pensioner wearing a tartan tammy!
One of the favourite TV programmes for Chavettes and their young is Ballamory. This was filming while I was in Tobermory. (Well I thought it was worth mentioning, but my editor says I should get out more.)
As long as you are not in the North of Scotland you can become quickly acquainted with Chav spotting. It is amazing how fast you can become adept at knowing where to find them. As long as you remember not to make eye contact you should be fine (except if it’s pub chucking out time). Remember: do not try chatting up a Chav bird as this will lead to a good kicking (which in my opinion you deserve)!
So… the list you’ve seen here is not set in stone. If you have any towns to add, please send your suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org