- September 13, 2016
Movin’ on out
When I was a student in London a few years before I started my course the physical college I would have been attending was sold off. The actual building. I even attended a life drawing class on that very site to bolster my A-Level Art portfolio. To sound less impressive – I filled up my sketch book with naked people and then panicked and pretended they were a study for a batik of ladies in the niff.
The point was, the building was in the expensive area of leafy-green Hampstead, and when the college that owned it merged with another college based in the East End everyone upped sticks, flogged the location and built a new building by the canal in Mile End. The Queen opened it, it was a lovely day.
Sell off the iconic building, sod the Blue Peter garden
Years later and the BBC essentially did the same thing. Why make programmes in pricey London when Manchester is just asking for hundreds of media-types to uproot their families and plonk themselves there? Let’s sell off the iconic building, sod the Blue Peter garden, and never mind the history.
And I feel that this is happening a lot. It’s just not affordable to work in the capital unless your business is making a lot of capital. Great news for places like Brighton, where the start-ups go to feel all groovy, but a bit soulless for what was once a bustling and diverse metropolis. It’s still bustling – just try the tube in rush hour – but that hotbed of originality is haemorrhaging its many flavours. Maybe that’s a good thing.
For too long everything has been about London. But like the British Empire that launched there, it might take London a while to twig it’s no longer king of the castle. Its jewels are coming to us. In fact, we’ve already got loads of its sparklies, thank you very much, mingling with our gems stunningly.