Monday 27 April 2009

Deptford in the news again

The Daily Mail has followed up the story by the New York Times with a typically balanced article about 'Scruffy Deptford', the 'crime-plagued UK district'.

It seems the photographer timed a visit for a Saturday afternoon at about 6pm, when the market stalls had gone but the dustbin lorries had not yet arrived, and the reporter picked quotes from locals who don't enjoy living here. I also suspect that Heidi said a lot more than she is quoted with, and that they only picked out something that could be described as vaguely negative.

This kind of lazy reporting doesn't really surprise me from the Daily Mail - and to be honest, the more they dissuade their readers from coming here, the better!

*Later Monday evening
Hmm, the comments on the Daily Mail story have now been disabled and the headline changed to remove the reference to 'Scruffy' Deptford. It will be sad if my comment ('You're right, it's a terrible place. I recommend all Daily Mail readers to steer well clear of it.) never sees the light of day.

Don't worry - if you would like to respond to the Daily Mail about this story I recommend you do so here.

*Tuesday morning
Gosh, the story has been rewritten yet again! Those online staff must be short of work. Comments are back on. And as Caroline points out in the comments, the photo of the high street was nicked from Flickr with no credit for the photographer Celie.

*Even later on Tuesday
Watch out for further media coverage. I just saw a film crew in Giffin Square. Sigh.


eleanargh said...




is about all the coherence I can summon.

Anonymous said...

yet another reason to steer clear of the Daily Mail!

CarolineLD said...

Great minds and all that - I'd just finished my own post when I came over here! Hadn't thought of the upside, though.

Comments appear to be back (although moderated - none have actually made it through yet).

It's no wonder they couldn't say anything about when the photo was taken - they nicked it from Celie on flickr without even having the courtesy to give credit.

Deptford Dame said...

Thanks Caroline, when I saw the 'Flickr copyright' symbol I suspected it might be a case of simple theft. Tsk, it really is a truly shoddy affair.

The Grim Reaper said...

I must be thick, I did not realise that the Daily Moron was still going.

In that the NYT article was on 22 March and at least four of of saw it on the day, the mail is even slower than usual. Perhaps it is a good job they never saw the Feb 2001 Vogue Italia article promoting Deptford.

Andrew Ryan said...

"Deptford has been the backdrop to some grisly stabbings. In fact dramatist Christopher Marlowe met a horrific end there in 1593."

Ooh, a murder that took place over 400 years ago! Do we judge all areas by 4-century-old crimes?

A man in St John's said...

Perhaps a more positive media view of Deptford

Benji said...

Hello Dame

Author of piece here. Blimey, isn't the Hate Mail a wonderful paper? I enjoyed your comment, and the majority of the recent comments are along the same line... saying if you want olde England...piss off to to the Cotswalds etc. Well, not those words exactly. Sorry if I've caused a fuss. Not the intention at all.

p.s. I also mentioned the bear cafe and a la leke in the orig edit, but didn't make the cut.

Benji said...

Ag, can't resist.

It's important to note that things occasionally get lost in editorial translation when copy makes its way to the other side of the pond.

However, I stand by all the things that are in the piece. Also (in response to the trainspotine post)...c'mon, yes the Paradise Bar was a musical hub for a while, indeed I have spent lots of superb evenings thers, including my 16th birthday(!), but it had gotten pretty shoddy by the time it closed.

A few excellent comments from the Mail:

"Deptford and New Cross are vibrant areas suffused with cultural and historical interest, not unlike Manhattan's Lower East Side in their melting-pot conflation of cultures and demographics."

"I live in Brockley just up the road from Deptford. It has a rough edge but has some great venues, pubs and bars and a thriving alternative scene including arts and music....If you don't like it stay away, but if you want to venture out of middle England London with its comfortable coffee chains and bland pubs, then come on down!"

Finally, it's interesting to note that the two big papers that ran with this were the Mail and the Telegraph. Nuff said? And they ran with it with such dazzling immediacy too- a mere month after the piece ran.

p.s. I got asked to go on LBC and London Tonight to talk about this, but declined- didn't want to further the hoo-ha. Much better here... I pop in occasionally, and always enjoy what I read.

Deptford Dame said...

Thanks for the comments Benji. It has to be said though that the photo in the NY Times piece wasn't particularly representative or flattering of either New Cross or Deptford - not quite as bad as the Mail's but pretty close!

I heart cupcakes said...

I saw your comment in the Mail and fully agree.

I did find it amusing that a lot of the hateful comments were coming from areas such as Newcastle and Nottingham (crime capital of the uk)..not exactly tourism hotspots themselves.

Our area has always and will always have a thriving music and art scene that other areas could only dream of! We bought a house in New Cross 14 years ago to be near the Goldsmiths and the Dew Drop (RIP) as we were tired of commuting to the area for nights out!

googler said...

Hi, I came accross this blog while trying to find out about the fatal stabbing that occured today in "edgy" Deptford. It seems that the NYT article has caused an explosion of Deptford related news items to be found on Google. Anyway, my point; Deptford High Street has plenty of chains. The NY Times writer either didn't recognise them as such, or just chose to ignore them. Let me think... Aside from Iceland, we have two William Hills (and another round the corner on Evelyn Street just in case the other two are full), a Coral, a Ladbrokes, a "Better" (though in truth this is the only one I have ever seen. I just presume it is a chain.), and a MacDonell's (where I witnessed an armed robbery the other week, also quite edgy).
To conclude; Deptford High Street has lots of chain shops, but they don't qualify because they don't attract the kind of middle class punters that other, more bohemian, middle class punters want to avoid. What they do attract are the kind of mentally, socially and presumaby fiscally impoverished losers who, along with their feral progeny, make this potentially charming neighbourhod what it is; a dump.

Deptford Dame said...

Thanks googler - you're right, the number of betting shops on the high street is excessive and has been the subject of much debate over recent years (and also something I am intending to post on very shortly). I know that Sue ( has posted on the problems of licensing applications for betting shops in Brockley, much of it down to recent changes in the law. You can read an excellent post about it here (

Anonymous said...

I live in Deptford and would have to call it a dump.The high street is full of ancient looking shops which sell clothes and food,all under one scruffy roof.
Hoodies hang outside the endless chicken and chips shops throwing their filth on the ground.
Crack heads,drunks and hardcore gamblers stand outside the betting shops squandering their goverment checks and lets not forget the local drug dealers.......Yeah....Deptford is lovely!