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Living in Crystal Palace


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#1 Numouse

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 08:25 AM

Hi,

I'm new here and thinking of moving to CP, want to suss things out, and would welcome any info or ideas from those who actually live around here, to help me get more under the fabric of the place.

Apart from going out locally here a few times I don't feel I've got to know the area. I've lived for 12 years in different SW-postcoded-bits of South London and despite a concerted effort exploring 'affordable' areas of SE London (Camberwell, Peckham Rye, Brockley, Woolwich) I do find there is something very special and a unique pull from Crystal Palace, more than that which just ticks stuff on a list.

I remember travelling through the place back in '96 and not exactly being wowed, How things have changed since then. A different era for most of South London perhaps. Certainly seen the Claphams and the Balhams of this world come and go (out of reach, that is).

Now, plenty of undeniable positives about CP from many quarters, including the media, but the odd negative as well. Quotes ranging from 'give it 5 years and it'll be another Hampstead' to 'Lots of trouble at night'.

What's the general consensus on:

A. Crime & personal safety ? Unsavoury comments keep being put to me centering on a certain housing estate and my first reaction was a bit of a yawn really.

B. Train services ? Are there any real 'holes' in the timetable and have things got a lot better now Southern run things ?

C. How quickly CP has sort of pulled itself up / transformed / put itself on the map recently. How did this relate to the Overground / ELL, and the plans for the park being announced, ?

D. Specifically, living in the middle of the Triangle.

E. Sense of community in CP. Or am I imagining this ? I dont reckon I've tuned into one like it anywhere else I've lived in South London.

I know CP (like any other part of any city) will have its faults - but do any of the above tally with what other people think ?

As I say, any comments really are most welcome as I feel like sticking in an offer on (what seems nowadays to be called) 'A Property'

Numouse

#2 gekko

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 08:53 AM

Hi Numouse,

Here's my attempt to answer your questions.

a) Perceptions about crime prob come down to personal experience and so I think you'll get a range of views on this one. I don't think it's any worse than most of London and I certainly feel safer walking around in CP than I did when I lived in many other places. In fact I've always felt safer in London than in any other city where I've lived - prob just because it's busier and walking home at night can be much more lonely outside of the capital.

b ) Train services - Southern seem much better than they used to be. For the first year I lived here, the my morning train was late about 97% of the time; now it seems more reliable. I always get a seat and I'd say that this is the best bit of my journey - it usually goes downhill when I get to Clapham Junction! What journey would you be doing each day? If you tell us where you need to get to, you'll prob get some pretty good advice.

c) I think CP is getting better all the time and we've had some good shops/bars/restaurants opening. I know that Estate Agents talk up the overground and the park, but I've given up expecting anything to happen with the park this millennium! The overground isn't all its cracked up to be for most people also as we already have a great train service to London Bridge. I think CP is a great place to buy regardless of these things though.

d) I live off Belvedere so am not in the middle of the triangle. For me, it's perfect. I can be on the train platform in 5 mins but in the triangle in 5 mins also (up a steep hill though!). It's also a bit quieter. I think where you choose to live will influence your experience of your first question. If you live on the triangle, I think you'll witness more crime and anti-social behaviour to be honest, whereas if you go more residential, you might never see any trouble.

e) I do believe there is a sense of community - we have VN of course but also lots of friendly shopkeepers who will chat if you keep going back. There's also less aggression I think than other parts of London - people seem more chilled.

I would say, do it! It's a great place - I love it here and can't say that for most places I've lived in London, with the exception of Westminster where I lived for 3 1/2 years but that's completely different anyway. I actually can't think of a reason not to move here :) .

Edited by gekko, 12 September 2007 - 08:54 AM.

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#3 Retired Member 1

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 10:13 AM

Hi Numouse,

I fully agree with Gekko’s comments. I have been living here for almost 5 years and I wouldn’t change for anything (so far).

a) As Gekko suggested, perceptions about crime comes down to personal experience I feel safe here than when I used to hang out with my ex in Clapham.
B) Train services are good; I commute everyday to London Bridge and I rarely had a problem; not sure what’s happening with the ELL but it cannot be bad (I think).
c) CP is improving considerably and the new shops/café’ are a real hit; I love to hang around the triangle in a day off during the week.
d) I live off Gipsy Hill so am not in the middle of the triangle. This is ideal as I cab be on the train platform in less than 5 mins but in the triangle in 2 mins also (up a little hill!).
e) I (again) fully agree with Gekko and the sense of Community here is getting stronger and stronger. VN helped me a lot in getting around the area and know what’s happening; also getting involved in issues that would have probably gone unseen if I was not reading these threads.

Few months ago I was planning to sell and move but I did not want to leave the area so at the end of the day I decided to stay in my little flat and enjoy the Triangle bit more!
Gipsy Hill Rocks!!!

#4 Ziwa

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 12:18 PM

Hi Numouse,

We went through the same considerations when we were buying, and are very glad we decided to stay put in the CP area. It's been fantastic. Lots of community interaction (partly 'cuz there's lots to get involved in, lots to fight against, lots to enjoy), lots of cultural and biodiversity. The park, whatever happens to it, is really a wonderful place - a walk in it will cure many things.

I don't feel like crime is really a huge problem overall. The tragedy on Gispy Hill should not be minimized - it was appalling. However with a good sense of community perhaps there will be more positives that grow from that loss.

Transport from where we live, on the Penge Borderlands near the PArk, is brilliant.

The VN site helps build the sense of community. Come to the social next week and get lots of first hand opinions!

#5 OG_Mudboom

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 01:08 PM

I moved into London 12 years ago, to Bethnal Green, and have moved steadily south since then, via Poplar, Rotherhithe, Camberwell, Herne Hill, Dulwich Village and finally bought my first place here in CP (actually Upper Norwood, just off Beulah Hill) 18 months ago. Personally, and I'm being very frank here, but I believe that the triangle is a commerical area, so don't buy residential there, and the Gipsy Hill area is a bit of a dump (its not intended to offend, just my opinion). So look my way! Beulah Hill has the best affordable views in london, is only a short walk into the triangle, and equidistant to 4 train stations taking you everywhere. I can pop down South Norwood hill to Norwood Junction for a fast train to London or a short bus ride into Croydon; walk down the very beautiful church road to the triangle, or onto the other stations for the scenic route into town ;)

Don't restrict yourself to the 'station route' into the triangle, walk through it and carry on to Beulah Hill, you'll love it like I have grown to.
Either they don't know, don't show...or just don't care what's going on in Norwood.

#6 James

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 01:18 PM

the Gipsy Hill area is a bit of a dump (its not intended to offend, just my opinion). So look my way! Beulah Hill has the best affordable views in london

It's all in the eye of the beholder. It depends on what you know best.

Gipsy Hill has some great views of the city.

Beulah Hill has great views of Norbury and Croydon.

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#7 gekko

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 01:54 PM

For me, being near the station was paramount. We nearly put in an offer on a house on Grange Road but didn't because we decided it was too far from the stations. We both wanted to feel safe walking home from the station if we were on the last train and for us that meant not being more than 10 mins walk. Also, we didn't want to add to the already long commute (we both work at White City) by having to take a bus at the end of the journey every day. I guess it depends what your priorities and personal circumstances are.

Re Gipsy Hill, I wouldn't agree that it's a dump. Personally, I would steer clear of the roads right near the Central Hill Estate but there are nice streets right behind Westow Hill (e.g. Farquar Rd, Jasper Rd, Dulwich Wd Ave, Campden Hill Rd, Woodland Rd). As James said, there are great views plus you are right near the bars and restaurants (also important for me!).
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#8 StephenB

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 01:56 PM

A biased view of course, but I think the triangle is a fine place to live.

It's handy to be able to walk to all the shops, restaurants and buses within 2 or 3 minutes,
and it's a good feeling to be right on top of the hill.

#9 matt

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 02:28 PM

I used to live In the Triangle and it was a great place to live. Very close to everything the area offers and surprisingly quiet as well - for some reason the road layout in the various Closes (Closii?) masks the traffic noise really well. You don't tend to get people walking through it late at night after being out - they stick to the main roads as they are just as quick (advantage of a triangle over a square I guess). We only moved to get more space due to family.

#10 Retired Member 1

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 03:05 PM

For me living on Gipsy Hill with great view of the City is a definite plus.
Gipsy Hill Rocks!!!

#11 wmp

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 03:13 PM

I moved from West Norwood to just off Beulah Hill, making sure I was still within easy reach of the X68 bus... The added attraction was the 100ft garden, as opposed to our 30 ft triangle in WN.

And I, strangely, have views of the City, not Norbury or Croydon :ph34r:

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#12 OG_Mudboom

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 03:59 PM

Re Gipsy Hill, I wouldn't agree that it's a dump. Personally, I would steer clear of the roads right near the Central Hill Estate but there are nice streets right behind Westow Hill (e.g. Farquar Rd, Jasper Rd, Dulwich Wd Ave, Campden Hill Rd, Woodland Rd).


I agree, but don't class these as Gipsy Hill. Maybe I'm being a bit literal, but I mean 'The' Gipsy Hill. Its rubbish. The buildings look scruffy and dirty. Even the new block next to the station now looks 10 years old! But they do seem to put bin bags in the windows!
Either they don't know, don't show...or just don't care what's going on in Norwood.

#13 gekko

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 04:22 PM

Sorry, I should clarify that I'm referring to Gipsy Hill in terms of an area running from the triangle down to Gipsy Rd and College Rd rather than just the street itself. Crossed wires! The estate agents and property progs don't help as they sometimes class the triangle as Gipsy Hill because they like the name and think it will sell more properties :rolleyes: .
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#14 jamesl

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 04:35 PM

Gipsy hill “a bit of a dump” .?

Hmmmm – a bit of defence is in order I bought my first flat on Gipsy hill and then my first house in Gipsy road so I think I can give an accurate impression.

The area around Gipsy Hill is, in places , as bit rough around the edges I must admit but a dump ? No.

I accept that it’s not perhaps a green and leafy as the Fox Hill side of the triangle but on the other hand:

Heritage

A large part of it is in a conservation area

Transport
- easy walk to Gipsy Hill station with direct trains to Victoria and London bridge and (with one change at Tulse hill) trains to Blackfriars and Farringdon
- direct train service to Beckenham junction to link up with the tram
- with one change at Norwood junction trains to East Croydon and Brighton
- Number 3 Bus (and N3)
- 322 to West Norwood

Green space and walking

- easy walk to Norwood park with THE BEST view of London anywhere
- easy walk to French’s field
- easy walk to Dulwich park and the farmers market a Dulwich college
- easy walk to Dulwich woods
- the best walk up to the triangle (Anerley Hill, Church Road and Central Hill aren’t exactly attractive)

Health

Catchment area for the Paxton Green surgery – modern surgery with 12 doctors and two nurses

Catchment area for Kings – a teaching hospital not the dump that is the Mayday

Decent local Eating and drinking

The Mansion and the Railway Bell, Mangosteen , the Indian Dining Club, Blue Mountain Cafe

10 minutes to Porcini and the newly refurbished Rosendale

Shops

Specialist shops and services on Gipsy Road - A vets, A Post Office , a shoe repairers and a tailor

A really good deli and an independent garden centre 10 minutes walk along South Croxstead road

Housing

Plenty of flats now pushing the £225 K mark and beyond but also some affordable houses


“steer clear of roads near the Central hill estate”

Are they any worse than the roads anywhere else in the area ?

I’ve been mugged and had a knife pulled on me in Beckenham and Balham but never in 7 years of living in Gipsy Hill .

#15 palacequeen

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 04:46 PM

So far for me, the experience of Crystal Palace, simply, it is an area like no other. It does not pretend to be like other parts of London, the people are so diverse, it is a melting pot of creativity and energy, which is underpinned with good people from your common man to your aspiring local geezer. There is so much you can say, which has already been said and I too, agree to it all.