“Chislehurst is no ordinary suburb.” Such was the opinion of Nikolaus Pevsner (1902-1983), the architectural historian. In light of its semi-rural setting and many impressive houses, his assessment sounds right.
But when taking account of the mess created by so many of its local people, it appears to be a very ordinary and typical suburb.
Most days of the week see me out collecting litter. There is never a shortage of it. Few people are innocent. As well as the casual, careless litterers, we have those who dump their domestic trash anywhere and everywhere. Some throw it into the Common verge, Kemnal Road being a particularly favoured spot. Park and chuck. Out of sight, out of mind, let somebody else clear up. Some favour unloading their trash at night, on the roadway. Anywhere will do If somebody drives into it, before it is cleared, too bad.
A relatively new phenomenon is using the High Street car park as a dumping site. The Waldo Road depot often has queues, so join the ignorant and anti-social by unloading your car at the High Street car park. There are large bins for cardboard/paper, plastic and cans and textiles.
When you have an Amazon delivery, which invariably comes with half a ton of polystyrene, plastic sheeting, bubble-wrap and cardboard (even a cast iron pot is wrapped as though it were bone china), don’t bother flattening the boxes or sorting the materials for recycling, just dump it all at the car park.
I took a picture of the mess I found there on 3rd August.
On 10th August the site was much cleaner. Then I thought to take a look behind the bins.
There was the mess unsorted household rubbish, broken furniture, bags of cans and bottles, all dumped by the feckless and ignorant of this very typical suburb.
Today, 10th August, I found something new: dumped garden rubbish. More often garden waste, including rubble, soil, tree prunings etc. finds its way to the Common, but today it was dumped at the car park. There are no bins there intended for garden rubbish and so it was not a matter of the bins being full. No; the car park is now taken to be a free access dump for anything and everything.
When travellers turned up a few months ago, parked on the Common at the top of the High Street, local people created mayhem until the Commons Trustees, Bromley Council and the police got them moved. I was one of those who then turned up to clear their rubbish and open-air latrines.
Travellers do, all too often, trash the sites on which they park their caravans and lorries. The sorry state of the High Street car park is not the work of travellers; it is down to the selfishness and ignorance of local residents. Let them not complain about travellers.
I would like to see CCTV installed, so that the guilty can be caught and prosecuted.
If any of the guilty would care to defend their right to trash the car park, let them contact me.
I will not be anonymous, so let them, too, identify themselves. Colin Yardley, email: [email protected]