On The Gentrification Of Balham

Although Iíve passed through it many times, I havenít actually been to Balham for several years, certainly not walking around the town centre on a Saturday morning. Until last week. People sitting outside cafés eating and drinking. Dedicated uniformed squads cleaning the streets, obvious volunteers rather than teens on probation. Okay, it was extremely hot, being just after the solstice, but there was something very different about it, right down to the local free newspaper dispensers, even allowing for these absurd COVID restrictions.

The same thing has happened to Sydenham in recent years, albeit in a very small way, there is Venner Square, for example. Balham though has gone very upmarket, and I canít say I dislike it, although I dread to think what its transformation must have done to property prices.


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