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Is Shoreditch Britain’s newest village?

Posted at 8:00 am, January 24, 2013 in Fun London, News

According to plans filed with Hackney Council last week, the old car park opposite Shoreditch’s Tea Building is set to become the site of Britain’s newest hamlet. Can a 150,000 square-foot urban retail development qualify as a rural idyll? Given that developers Ellis Miller have dubbed it ‘Shoreditch Village’, apparently it can. We tested this claim by comparing Shoreditch to Epping Forest’s Theydon Bois: thrice voted Essex’s Best Kept Village.

Village shops

Theydon Bois: Two butchers, a baker and a bookshop, plus a post office.

Shoreditch: The blurb for Shoreditch Village threatens ‘edgy, aspirational stores that typify the streets and culture of Shoreditch’. Tut! Hardly the stuff of ‘The Archers’.

Village pub

Theydon Bois: The Bull is Theydon Bois’s oldest pub. It has log fires and many exposed timber beams.

Shoreditch: The Golden Heart. This is nothing like a village pub: it’s full of the same old faces who haven’t left the area in years. Actually, it’s exactly like a village pub.

Village hall

Theydon Bois: The village hall is the meeting place for the WI, the District Rural Preservation Society and other genteel local groups.

Shoreditch: Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club boasts lounge nights, vintage rock ’n’ roll sessions and fancy-dress burlesque parties. So just as many parochial interest groups as you’d expect of a village. But with more nipple tassles.

Rural crime

Theydon Bois: No official figures were available. But given the kidnappings and habitual violence depicted in ‘Emmerdale’ and the murder rate of Midsomer, it could be like downtown Johannesburg.

Shoreditch: Bike theft and the odd stabbing. Kids’ stuff.

 Call Country Life! Tell them to hold the front page! We’ve got a new village on our hands! Who are we kidding? The jury’s still out…

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