Comment: St Albans ‘not family friendly after all’ say locals

St Albans is a city full of nouveau riche Snob-Albanites, according to one ex-local. Picture: Danny

St Albans is a city full of nouveau riche Snob-Albanites, according to one ex-local. Picture: Danny Loo. - Credit: Archant

Another week, another round of analysis insisting that the St Albans area has everything Londoners need.

And this time Harpenden, Hitchin, Stevenage, Radlett and Welwyn Garden City are in on the act, so well-equipped are they all with great state schools and quick commutes into the capital.

I can imagine, based on the feedback from last week’s story on whether St Albans really was the middle class dream, that some of you remain unconvinced.

After all - far from being either middle class or staid (ask the Evening Standard…), St Albans is “both” according to one disenfranchised reader, while another says it’s a city full of “nouveau riche Snob-Albanites”. None of this got a mention in the ES piece or Saturday’s Telegraph, which covered the new data from Savills. Perhaps they didn’t speak to any long-term locals – or former locals?

The said nouveau riche are apparently “clogging up the city’s roads with their big 4x4 cars, forcing the born and bred St Albanites, no longer able to afford St Albans house prices, to move out and live elsewhere.”

And, as this reader notes: “This is not a new trend, as I was a born and bred lad forced out by house prices in the 1980s.”

As a one-time London incomer myself – admittedly one who only lived in the capital for five years, and who originally came from up north – this anti-Londoner feeling touches a bit of a nerve. While many incomers are loaded, a short spell in London doesn’t automatically equate to mounds of cash.

Our first St Albans pad was a shabby rented bedsit and, in lieu of a 4x4 we had a very old Astra. These days we have 3.5 bedrooms and an old people carrier, so still not very snazzy. Is 16 years long enough to become an honorary native? And how long before we lose all love for the place?

Another reader states that, having lived in the area for 37 years, he now feels St Albans is “stuck in a rut, over-priced, boring and not very family friendly”.

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Beat that for local knowledge, Telegraph and Evening Standard!