Thursday 18 August 2011 1.56pm
My partner and I moved from Clapham to Bermondsey Spa a few months ago because we were really drawn to the Southwark/Hyde masterplan, and we're now very happy residents on Spa Road.
Nestled between two listed buildings and with ready-mature trees, Spa Road was attractive to us right from the word go. During our first visit to the area, I loved the walk from the tube station, past The Gregorian and through the pretty churchyard, with the Dragonfly apartments in the background. The tidied-up railway arches felt new yet full of history, as the Spa Station photo-feature on the wall clearly documents. And of course, to the west of the development, Bermondsey Square
and Bermondsey Street
are only a short walk away, past that charming row of 18th century houses. A friend visited recently and I couldn't resist "showing off" the Saturday farmers' market, and she was most envious. ;)
One of the reasons why I sold my property in Clapham North is that the area has developed a relentless party boy/girl vibe in recent years. It attracts wave upon wave of 20somethings (a lot of Aussies, Kiwis and South Africans) who only spend a few years in the country before moving on, creating a very transient rental-ghetto feel. The 20somethings there tend to drink a lot on Clapham High Street, party a lot, so the feeling (especially on weekends) is one of a fraternity or sorority house. There is a lot of late night parties, litter, vomit on the pavement, pissing in the front gardens of the terraced properties nearest the high street - you get the picture.
My partner and I were looking for a change of scene - a place that was urban (because we're city mice at heart) and still had a high proportion of owner-occupation - people who are going to STAY, and be part of a community. It boiled down to "a tale of two regenerations" - Elephant & Castle v Bermondsey Spa, and in the end - because of the awards this area and Bermondsey Square
have won, and because ALL our friends said choose Bermondsey over E&C, we ended up here. I'm happy to report that my development has a good mix of nationalities, races and ages, and I've seen some young children, which to me is always a good sign. Also, three summer months have passed and so far - no late night parties, no drunken yelling etc. :)
I'm very excited about the possible Shard effect on this area. I do hope that it generates employment for locals, especially the younger generation, and that the area as a whole benefits without its original, historic charm being lost.
Any other Bermondsey Spa newbies out there? How are you finding it so far?