These Are London’s Most Gentrified Boroughs… But Are They Really?
Another day, another ‘Most XXX Borough’ finding. This time it’s ‘Most Gentrified Borough’, a report from everyone’s favourite seriously-if-that-big-bloke-with-the-moustache-starts-singing-again-I’ll-throttle-someone insurance company, GoCompare.
Gentrification is, of course, a spectrum of things: for some it’s being alienated — possibly priced out of — an area you’ve lived in for decades. For others, it’s cocktail bars to drink in, and a job at a start-up company.
Well, this table of most-to-least gentrified boroughs certainly throws some curve balls. Wasn’t Richmond Upon Thames (second most gentrified borough apparently), gentrified back when Charles I established a deer park here? Flush with sweeping parks, golf courses, National Trust properties and pretty riverside pubs, it doesn’t scream ‘recently gentrified’. Not until Junkyard Golf takes over Fulwell Golf Club and scatters it with used car parts, anyway.
Similarly, Westminster (deemed fourth-most gentrified borough by GoCompare) — containing Marylebone, Hyde Park, Lord’s Cricket Ground, Oxford Street, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Tate Britain — isn’t exactly an edgy neck of the woods known for its for seitan smoothies. Yes, 13.2 coffee shops per 100,000 people is quite a lot, but then how many disc golf courses does it have?
The iffy placings are found at the other end of the table too. Croydon is apparently only the 30th most gentrified borough in London. The same Croydon that has a Boxpark, is home to arts and creative hub Matthews Yard, is getting a gleaming new Westfield, and has a great throbbing pink hard-on for gentrification towering over it, in the form of Saffron Tower. Oh yeah, Croydon has a disc golf course too.