South London is the kind of place you can only fully understand from the inside. Outsiders may just see South London as ‘suburban’ and ‘rough’ but there is a complex culture that manifests among these chicken-shop lined roads. Among that are some characters that populate every South London post code and we’re here to whittle them down to 8 stereotypes. This is all very tongue in cheek and isn’t meant to be exhaustive, so let us know if there are any we’ve missed!
Talk a lot about the best underground gigs and raves they went to in South London in the 1980s and don’t let you forget that David Bowie is a South London lad, just like themselves. They’ve known each other since primary school, support a South London non-league football team and use the phrase ‘born and bred [insert South London area]’ within the first few minutes of meeting them. They congregate in one specific pub that doesn’t attract the youngsters, their South London accents are strong and they communicate in slang phrases outsiders don’t understand. This is a cycle destined to repeat itself throughout time.
HIPSTER ART STUDENT
Most commonly found around Camberwell and Peckham, you’ll know them when you see them. Some are from South London originally, some are from all over the country and see Peckham as the place they can express themselves for the first time. Because even though your parents call Peckham ‘rough’, you know that it’s the new Shoreditch, which was the new Camden and that within a mile radius of Frank’s Café, you’re more likely to meet a pastel haired student than your death.
'SOUTH LONDONER' WHO ISN'T FROM SOUTH LONDON
This person may seem like one of you at first, but it will soon become apparent that they are…a little different. They might talk about open green space a little too much, or they might look confused at the mention of certain bus routes. After a few pints, it will come out that they’re actually from some quasi-town or rural area just inside the M25. But it’s Greater London, they will protest. Or Inside the M25 counts. Sorry, no, it’s not South London. They sheepishly finish their drink and anticipate their journey home outside of Zone 6.
THE 'GOOD OLD DAYS' NATIVES
Usually seen being rushed off their feet by busy commuters. They grew up in South London before parts were gentrified, before the tsunami tide of chicken shops and before neighbours started to hate each other. They have fond memories of close knit communities, green grocers and playing out after school. While they still love South London, each day is a step further away from the South London they once knew.
If you step on public transport between the hours of 3 and 4, do not expect a seat and do NOT venture to the top deck of the bus. You will know the South London schoolkids are about to descend because on the horizon you’ll hear the dreaded beep of their Oyster Zip cards as one of them tries to convince the bus driver his card ‘hasn’t arrived yet’. Then you’ll have to deal with their smug faces when they get away with it. Also tend to congregate in newsagents, takeaway shops and anywhere they can get a sugary drink to put in their ridiculously small backpacks.
Owns the local takeaway store or convenience store and will answer to this at any hour of the day. Don’t ask why.
THE SCEPTICAL SOUTH LONDONER
You think they moved here just to say they live in London, but apart from that they seem to hate every second. What they really want is to live in a Chelsea three-bed but the housing market and lack of billionaire parents meant they ended up in South London. They moan about the noise, the pollution and how rough certain parts are. Will definitely move to the Home Counties the first chance they get.
THE SOUTH LONDON CONNOISSEUR
You can’t argue with them on the best place to get a curry in Catford, because they know all the best kept secrets. May or may not have lived in South London their whole life, but they will defend South London to their last breath.
WHAT IS THE SOUTH LONDON CLUB CARD?
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