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"This probably wouldn't be of interest to you except for the fact that it lays claim to the world's first cash point!"
- Victoria Careford

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UK

Small town London
by Victoria Careford, 22, Enfield, London, England
Jan 30, 2000

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Enfield

"It's so nice!". This was the comment an Australian friend of mine made when we were walking through the winding alleyways behind Enfield Town.

Enfield is London's northernmost borough and living here, I feel I have the best of both town and country. The City is about a 25-minute train journey south and the countryside is just minutes away by car. There are two areas in particular which are great for long walks. One is Forty Hall and the other is Hillyfields, both to the north of Enfield.

Enfield is quite diverse in that there is a salient class divide between east and west. From tower blocks and a run-down shopping centre in the east, half a mile north-west brings you to Enfield Town (this is near to where I live). The shopping precinct here is noticeably more welcoming. Travel further west and you'll find yourself amongst large detached houses, each with several expensive cars parked in the front garden. Quite a few celebrities live here, although their names escape me at present!

So, we've got town/country, posh area/not so posh area and we also have old/modern. There is a little road called Gentleman's Row, which I have known to be described as "one of the most picturesque streets in London". The writer Charles Lamb lived at Number 17, Clarendon Cottage in the 1820s. A short walk brings you to The Town, as it is known locally. It has a cobblestone market dating back to the 1300s and behind the market square is the 11th Century St. Andrew's Church (the place of many Church parades when I was in the Guides!). Behind the churchyard are those little alleyways I mentioned. Barclays Bank is to the right of the market square. This probably wouldn't be of interest to you except for the fact that it lays claim to the world's first cash point! There are more historical facts I could fascinate you with John Keats, Guy Fawkes, Dick Turpin.. but I won't!

Contrast this with the 15-screen cinema being built, the nightclubs and leisure complexes and I guess you have a typical English town - a weird mix of old and new.

Actually, it's not all so great. The 15-screen cinema is being constructed on the site of the outdoor swimming pool and Enfield Football Club. The football club had a place called the Starlight Rooms where stand-up comedians and singers came to do shows. Anyway, this new cinema replaces the old ABC 4-screen demolished a couple of years ago (now a Tesco supermarket stands in its place). It was one of those cinemas where you sat wherever you liked and the ice-cream lady would come round with, well, ice-creams and Kiora orange drinks. Seeing it knocked down was really sad - I saw many films there whilst growing up.

I've lived in Enfield all my life and although I love to travel (maybe I'll tell you more about those stories later), I think I'll be here for quite a while to come.

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