Ok there are some intellectually challenged people out and about in Borehamwood but generally its not as bad as its made out to be. I used to call it "Boringwood" but interestingly I had never been there.
I moved there 9 months ago to live with my boyfriend and I actually quite like living there. Fair enough, its not a palace but neither is it a ghetto .... I am originally from Edmonton which has seriously gone downhill, stabbings every other week, saliva and doggie doo doo all over the pavement, abandoned sofa's and broken down things everywhere you look ..... so life in Borehamwood is not so bad at all. We have the countryside on our doorstep, and Shenley Road has excellent charity shops (except for Norwood, that's rubbish!). Borehamwood also has the film studios, and a great little museum just off the main drag so it deceptively jam packed full of history.
Close to London but not London, On the cusp of the countryside - all in all there are worse places to be!!
what can i say? lived in borehamwood all my life so i'm not just having a dig at it from my ivory tower but...i left school in the late eighties and it wasn't such a bad place then...but that was an era when many girls thought that having a child at fifteen was a good idea, and let's face it, we are reaping what we have sown... because all of those illegitimate late eighties sprogs (the shazza's and chelle's)have turned into the cheap tracksuit attired scum we usually find ploughing shenley rd with a brace of bull terriers on a saturday lunch time...the sort of youngster that thinks if he/she can watch x factor and afford a carrier bag of cut price "uri geller" (stella) that they have made it in life.....then factor in all the non integrating eastern european immigrants and lack of schools that seem to have been the two pronged assault of recent social policy, then you have the perfect recipe for a ghost town that anyone with any money or sense will be leaving before their property is completely worthless. a quick test for any borehamwood resident! when was the last time someone who looked decent moved into your street? a long time ago i bet, when was the last time someone moved in near you and you thought " oh dear they look like trouble"... borehamwood is now just the refuge of the brainless chav underclass, drug dealers and eastern european crooks....
Having spent the weekend dog-sitting at my parents I felt it appropriate to share a review of the town i grew up in.. the one, the only BOREHAMWOOD.
Now Borehamwood gets a bad press. The two available reviews on Dooyoo paint a very negative picture of my home town, so I thought a balanced review of Borehamwood might be in order.
For those who do not know, Borehamwood is a town of about 35000 people in south Hertfordshire. Some of Borehamwood is in the borough of Hertsmere whilst a small part is in the borough of Barnet. It sits inbetween St Albans, Watford, Barnet and Mill Hill and although once a small hamelt of the larger village of Elstree, Borehamwood experienced huge growth with the advent of the movie industry. Many huge studios inc MGM and EMI based themselves there from the 1920's onwards which meant huge expansion of the sleepy little hamlet. However, the real growth in the town happened after the war. Borehamwood essentially became an overspill for bombed out londoners. Many of the east end were offered new council houses, or flats. It was in 1953 that my mother and her parents moved from Whitechapel to new council houses overlooking farmland. This is where Borehamwoods problems started...not with my mother moving there I hasten to add. But before I go into the negative aspects of Borehamwood, I shall indulge you into some its finer points.
Right on the A1, 5 minutes from M25 and M1 it is certainly well provided by road. The northern line is only one bus away and there is a Thameslink mainline which provides frequent fast services to Kings Cross which is only 15 mins away.
Borehamwood has a high street, Shenley Road, but still called by all locals as The Village or The Vill. It has a small but popular shopping precinct (hark at me all American) called Boulevard 25. There's a Next, Boots, Argos, Miss Selfridge and others include a Wickes where a spotty 15 year old me worked part-time many moons ago. There's a market twice a week in the high street and a huge Tescos on the site of the EMI film studio. Basically shoppers are catered for and parking is not a problem.
Film and TV
Only Ealing can claim to a richer film history than Borehamwood. Although nearly all the studios in the area have been referred to Elstree Studios due to the Borehamwood being three streets and fields prior to the studios arriving, nearly all the studios past and present have been in Borehamwood. As kids we used to climb over the fences of the studios to watch the films being made. Once, we were caught by the film crew of Willow who very kindly let us sit with the crew watching Val Kilmer strut his stuff. Another fond memory I have is when I was six, my aunt worked at ATV studios (now BBC Elstree) , and arranged for me to visit The Muppet Show and meet Jim Henson in his workshop. I was later to return to the same studio to be an extra in the 1987 bonfire night edition of Eastenders. Yes...that's where you know me from. My tv career has admittedly stalled since then but theres still hope. In all seriousness there has been a wonderfully proud film heritage of Borehamwood and just a few of the many, many superb films made there include The Shining, Star Wars, Indianna Jones, 2001 Space Odyssey, Summer Holiday,Clockwork orange Superman...... and Digby biggest dog in the world (showing my age there. TV programmes include Eastenders, Grange Hill, Big Brother, The Avengers. Holby City,Who wants to be a millionaire and many many more.
Although most youths in the area prefer the happy times had stood loitering outside the off licenses, there is actually a bowling alley, cinema and some gym/leisure clubs.
A few years and a few pounds ago I played for the local team Borehamwood Youth. Some notable explayers are Paul Merson, Me and Tim Sherwood. Currently Borehamwood are doing well non league and are the home to Arsenal ladies fc.
Other than the above footballers Borehamwood has produced Jaye Davidson the actor who received an oscar nomination for his transsexual character in The Crying Game and Marilyn once a 1980's pop star and partner to Boy George, now a drug addled mess living back with his mum. Quite eclectic I think.
Now do not be fooled by the above into thinking that Borehamwood is some idyllic paradise. Despite the surrounding countryside and greenbelt, despite the rich film history and despite it gave the world Marilyn Borehamwood has problems.
The first and in my opinion the all consuming problem is the people. And I don't say that lightly as someone that's lived the majority of my life there. Borehamwood was and still is an overspill of the East End. There was a lot of poor ill-educated people repatriated to Borehamwood, some by choice others because they were bombed out. There has always been a poor white trash element to Borehamwood since its inception and I can say that as im from the same stock. What we have seen is the results of the next two generations of poor white trash evolve into the foul mouthed ferral Chav that we know and love. The council absurdly thought that the best thing for the town was to close as many schools as possible, sell the land to build more and more houses on but leave only one school open for the growing numbers. The below average results of this school are testimony to the madness of that logic.
Crime is a problem. Although I would say that there are no 'no go' areas in Borehamwood, there are certainly some rough places and pubs. The Bull and Tiger (now The Directors Arms) had a car park that could only have been second to Kaboul in arms trading. The now closed Harrys Kebab seemed to have a fight inside/outside every weekend, and crime figures are amongst the highest in Hertfordshire, with drug abuse being high (no pun intended) on the agenda. There are very few bars/pubs that I would drink in and I certainly wouldn't recommend any of you to visit. Education standards are low and other than the cinema/bowling alley there really isn't much for the youth to do. Playing fields sold off and built on, community centres closed and very few trouble free bars/pubs. And that exacerbates the social problem within Borehamwood.
I enjoyed growing up in Borehamwood..plenty of fields and woods to build camps in, a genuine and still present community feel, and close to london and rolling countryside. The closure of the film studios hurt Borehamwood economically and until recently it was a town in decline. With any downturn in the towns fortunes brings problems and Borehamwood was not alone in this. Recently there has been a housing boom there and efforts have been made to improve the standard of housing there. A lot of immigrants have been placed in the dated and decaying houses and flats which has changed the already waning community spirit. Like any town it has good and bad bits. The boom in housing and its ideal commuter location has brought in some wealth to the town again and it is no longer the single mum capital of Hertfordshire (thanks Hemel Hempstead for that) I have a sort of pride in my home town,maybe more a nostalgia, as I like to remember the good things of childhood - all the kids of the street playing football till dark, knowing everyone, making camps in the fields now luxury two bed apartments, spotting your road in the On The Buses films...... but, after all is said and done..... I wouldn't live there again.
Thanks for reading.
First of all I would just like to say that I have been living here all my life and I reckon I?ve got experience of this town more than anyone who has posted their opinion. Point one, Borehamwood is not the favourite place for you to live as the high street and Leeming road which is a small street of shops always gets hundreds of teenagers gathering there at night always causing trouble. Recently a bus that passes through Leeming road has stopped its service through the road, take a moment and see if you can guess. Well the teenagers that hang around think that it would be funny to smash the windows of the buses every time they passed. Now if that doesn?t put you off I don?t know what will. The bus stops as well seem to get trashed all the time especially the one near Tesco?s, I believe that it has been rebuilt over 5 times in the past year. Also the town seems to be quite racist on the south side with Chinese restaurants being smashed up every day down Leeming road. This got so bad for the owner that he even pleaded for help in the local newspaper but they finally drove him out. This was all done when there was CCTV about as well so just imagine how bad this really is. The entertainment is crap as well because the so called new cinema will be closing down soon like the previous one because there are just not enough people attending. Oh did I forget to tell you that the cinema is not even opening in the morning or the cinema. The schools are just a joke really. Recently they have all combined to produce a super school known as Hertswood School. This has turned into a massive flop. It took around £20 million to build the school and has gone downhill ever since it started. We done some calculations and worked out that with that money everyone in the school could have had private tutoring. The film studios are probably the most decent thing in the town because it played home to BB3 and was so famous in the good old days.
One thing though is that the north side is much better than the south side.
I am very lucky to be writing this opinion on the basis that I work in Borehamwood, and do not live here, I don’t even live in the county, and if Borehamwood is anything to go by, thankgod for that!!! Boringwood as we call it is the capital of the uk when it comes to unemployment, crime, pollution and long queues in McDonalds. Located in south Herts, on the border with the London borough of Barnet, you might be fooled into thinking it is an attractive area, wrong! Calling this place a dump is a compliment; it’s more like a war-zone. Watford is a few minutes drive away, and if you’ve got any sense, then that’s were most people ‘hang out’. Also located right on the A1 motorway, the town is quite accessible to other nearby places like St Albans, Hertford and of course central London. There is the high street that surprisingly; does actually feature many shops and eateries. And this is fantastic if you’re a fan of Bob’s Kebabs or Dina’s Fish and Chips but not so great if you like a even half decent shopping experience. Infact the most interesting shop here, after the McDonalds, is probably the BP petrol station, where they actually have dare I say it – ‘fresh’ sandwiches and food in the same store! On the upside, there is actually a Woolworths and a Boots. There is even a large Tesco superstore which is always a local favourite loitering zone with the 15 year old yobs that I will move into later. The most amazing thing about Borehamwood is that its actually home to a ‘Holmes Place’ fitness centre. I can’t get over this because I have always associated these as being very upmarket and usually in posher areas, of which this certainly isn’t. Its located half-way down the high street near Natwest (oh and don’t go into Natwest expecting service with a smile, even the manager openly admits hes looking for another job!) If the presence of Holmes Place has unfortunately made you want to come here, then you might want to know that Borehamwood is also the home of Eastenders! Yes the soap is famously filmed here at the world famous ‘Elstree Studios’ (!) along with ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire?’ and ‘Holby City’. Its not uncommon to bump into Pat Butcher in the bakery, Pauline in the launderette or Sonia in KFC! Parking can be a bit of an issue here, the high street has very few places where you can leave your car for a long period of time, but if you did, it would have been broken into. Infact crossing the road is even a dangerous experience here, with the chances are you’ll be run over by a joy-rider. Oh, and it’ll probably be your car their driving! Recently, a new leisure centre has been built. The Venue, as its called is mainly a swimming pool with a few other facilities around it like a nice gym etc. I have yet to personally experience the facilities myself but iam told its very nice. I do wonder how they can justify such a modern complex in a town where keeping fit and healthy is below priorities such as ‘getting pregnant at 14’ (I think Borehamwood has one of the highest underage pregnancy rates in the UK!) Its sad that there are so many school girls pushing prams about and they probably didn’t even know who the father was. But then the average male teenager here would be far too busy stealing trolleys from the Tesco carpark or taking lighters from 7-11. Anyway, I do hope that everyone has a very nice, enjoyable time in Borehamwood!!