My Reasons To Leave London

I have lived in London my whole life, except for going to university in Bath for three years. I’ve never felt a real connection to London and I have wanted to move somewhere else ever since I was a kid. Whenever I went on holiday to the countryside or abroad I always told my parents I wanted to move to wherever we were, each place had a much nicer atmosphere than London.  I’ve been to America four times now, from the Americans I have met and observed they are much happier and friendlier than us Brits, they seem to have a much more relaxed and easy going lifestyle. Us Brits are stereotypically known as miserable and pessimistic and unfortunately we do live up to that stereotype. I think living in gloomy London is to blame for it. I have made it my one main goal to move to the States one day, whether it is in the next 10 years or the next 30 years, I will get there. After reading some shocking news online I now have reasons why I NEED to leave London for good and I am pretty sure I won’t look back.

I spent most of my childhood playing video-games at Sega World in the Trocadero which is in the heart of Piccadilly Circus; I spent some of my weekends using my pocket money from my parents and grandparents there. As a kid who didn’t have many friends going to Sega World gave me a reason to get out the house and to let off some steam.  I remember the bright blue lights, the noises from the machines, the dark tunnel escalator which took you into the arcade and most importantly, the famous Sonic the Hedgehog statue outside the Trocadero. Being at Sega World felt like being in a sci fi movie and when I ran out of money I hated having to go home. Sega World was eventually closed down in 1999 with much disappointment from kids and adult gamers. Fun Land, another arcade at the Trocadero was built, this time with bowling and a sports bar but like Sega World it was closed in 2011. There has been an arcade at the Trocadero since Fun Land closed but with less games and activities due to some of the area being closed off for building works. It was recently announced that the Trocadero was being closed permanently as a new hotel is being built. However, another announcement was made shortly after stating that only half of the Trocodero is being torn down. I want to know which statement is true and if the latter is true, it will only be a matter of time until the arcade is gone and everything which is already there will be torn down. How many more hotels in London do we need? And there aren’t enough places for kids to go and have fun on weekends as it is. Youth centres are closing down due to the spending cuts and kids can’t go to parks during the autumn and winter months, it seems as if this government would rather have kids depressed with nothing to do which can lead to antisocial behaviour like turning to violence, alcohol and drugs.

Arcades are an important part not only of our childhood but also our adulthood, arcades give us an opportunity to unwind and allow us to be a kid again temporarily.  Japan, the heart and brains of video-games and technology has thousands of arcades for kids and adults; Japan seems to understand how video-games can be beneficial as it is one of the richest countries in the world with the most intelligent and successful people.  Two reasons why video-games are beneficial are because they can slow down the aging process, playing brain-teasing game for just two hours a week may help slow the degree of mental decay and video-games may help dyslexic kids read better, this is due to the kids’ attention spans increasing.

Not only all or half of the Trocadero it being closed down but so is my favourite West End pub, The Intrepid Fox. I first visited the grimy heavy metal pub the weekend of my 18th birthday and I absolutely loved it, I loved the gothic decorations, the loud music and the retro Addams Family pin ball machine. Although many people dislike the Intrepid Fox due to reasons like the grumpy staff who need a kick up their back side. The staff should spend some time learning manners instead of focusing their time on dressing like Marilyn Manson rejects,  the place being filled with more tourists than metal fans, not being able to move on a Friday or Saturday night, the music being so loud you can’t have a conversation with your friends and you’re afraid you may turn deaf and the unclean toilets which smell like 50 drunken metal heads have urinated on the floors and walls, but unlike some people those reasons don’t bother me all that much as I have gotten used to it. The Intrepid Fox used to be in Wardour Street but is now in St Giles High Street, the back of Tottenham Court Road.  From what I have read when The Intrepid Fox was situated in Wardour Street it used to have more customers and was enjoyed by more people due it having nicer staff and a less ‘poser metaller’ atmosphere.  The reason why the Intrepid Fox is being closed down is because of the construction of the railway line Crossrail. Not only has the construction forced the Intrepid Fox to close but also the famous Astoria venue which was demolished in 2009. Many famous bands have played at the Astoria and it helped launched some of their careers, the venue is still missed by fans to this today. The Intrepid Fox have announced they hope to move the pub to another venue in London and I hope that this becomes a reality,  I don’t want to say goodbye to one of the places where I have some of the fondest memories.

I can say for certain that it is time to leave London, I don’t know when this will happen but I just know this isn’t an amazing place to live like some people say.  I would not recommend this city to anyone who are considering moving or visiting here.

By Alexandra Farnese
Bath Spa Creative Writing and Media Communications graduate

(1) Comments

  • kalWednesday, April 30, 2014

    Hi Alexandra,Excellent article about the Arcades, I was in the same boat then thats a TRUE CHILDHOOD Experience thanks for the enlightenment.Kalimworked in Trocadero 1990s

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