‘Yuppies out’ scrawled across window of new Foxtons on Brixton Road

'Yuppies out' seen written on Foxtons, Brixton Road, picture by Kaye Wiggins
‘Yuppies out!’ seen written on Foxtons, Brixton Road, picture by Kaye Wiggins

Workers at the new branch of Foxtons, Brixton Road, arrived to work this morning to the words “yuppies out” scrawled in large letters in paint across the estate agent’s window.

The graffiti follows an earlier incident this weekend, which saw “yuck” written in smaller letters on the glass.

Many see the arrival of the estate agent, on the site of the former Speedy Noodle restaurant, as a graphic symbol of gentrification in Brixton.

What do you think? Vandalism or acceptable activism? Leave your comments below.


  1. I am moving from Bristol to London in the New Year as I have a job in Brixton and therefore planned to live in Brixton.

    Bristol is a place where we are comfortable with our multcultural society.

    Multicultural is about colour, creed, religion, class, occupation, interests, culture, lifestyle ……

    Most of this sounds like fear of change

    The comments on this board sound old fashioned, intolerant and bigotted. People are people. I am disappointed.

  2. I am a professional. Actually I am a local GP. I work with people of every colour and nationality. I have lived in Lambeth for my whole adult life. My South American husband loves Brixton because of the mix of people – he feels comfortable here. From some of the comments on here, we should be thinking of moving out based on the colour of our skin as ‘White professionals’ are not welcome here. Is that really what is happening in this tolerant city I know and love? Isn’t London one of the few cities in the world that are generally multicultural? There is never an excuse for judging someone by the colour of their skin.

  3. Oh dear…have I entered another Planet???? I was born to Brixton 67 years ago…Had the wonderous 60’s in my lap. designed my own shoes 9″ points at Michaels who made them for £3.10’s. Pacey life I quit in 1967. I just thank God Edgy Brixton …is not home to me anymore I swapped it for peace and tranquility and a Lincolnshire lake soon to be better climes of Spain…You would not get me there for a hour…or indeed London. We were squeezed out of Brixton in 1954 and lived opposite Brockwell Park in tree lined Milton Road Herne Hill. The biggest plus of being a Brixtonite was it taught me to always watch over my shoulder.


    • I am a middle class professional and I can assure you that I am not nervous

      If Brixton has a strong Black history and culture then can we not all be proud of that? Why do the two things need to be opposed

      What are you afraid of?

  5. I grew up on an estate in Brixton and I still live in Brixton now. You could say I’m catergorically ‘working class’, even though I don’t identify myself that way.

    I agree that the chages to Brixton have some postive effects- more money to the council means that the quality of Brixton, structurally has improved and obviously the general economy is stronger.

    However, anyone that thinks that richer classes, young professionals, whatever they are has had a positive effect on anything else is strongly mistaken. Brixton has developed into a convinient hub for the ‘middle class’ and any identity that the poorer classes has been thrown away. Not only have house prices gone up but the price and availability of affordable necessitiies has been lost. Where Sainsburys Local is now, there use to be a huge shop full of affordable household goods owned by independantly.

    Yes, the new Brixton has bought new jobs to the town but not to the right people. The poorer classes are getting more and more segregated and pushed to the outskirts.

  6. This is not about racism or ageism or any of that. I think people are quite confused and touchy. No, it is about selfish rich twats who have heard that Brixton’s the cool new place to hang out, so apartments are being built here at outrageous prices and flat shares are being bought up or pursued by Foxton and Co to sell to these morons so that they can move into the area and will now be able to say that they live in cool, trendy, EDGY Brixton. I hope the time between buying their cupcakes and lattees and running to their cars or to the gates of their communities certainly is edgy enough for them.

    Basically: kill the rich. And eat them (I don’t condone waste)

    • I would suggest the real reason Brixton’s getting more expensive is more complicated. It’s partly that the eurozone meltdown, which caused huge amounts of money to pour from across Europe into the high end central London property market. It’s also partly the financial crisis, which caused a similar deluge of money into W1 / WC1 etc. The knock-on effect of that was like dominos—certain people who can now no longer afford Knightsbridge because of all the oligarchs are forced out to Fulham, forcing other people out to Clapham, forcing other people out to Brixton and in turn, forcing you out.
      There is also the problem of a shortfall in housing supply in the south east. Government is not building and has not built enough houses in the past two decades. Result—prices going up, even during the recession, which is a cruel combination.
      Another reason is that banks aren’t lending, meaning that first time buyers are finding it harder to get mortgages meaning that people are finding it harder to sell, meaning that the housing market is slow, meaning that fewer houses are being bought and sold meaning that rents are going up because fewer people can afford to buy so more people are fighting after the same small pool of rental properties.
      These and other factors like it are why Brixton and the London property market are changing in the way they are.

  7. I would love to carry on living in Stourbridge, where? The place I grew up in but at the age of 53 I had to move to London because that was were I managed to find employment (thank goodness we aren’t discussing ageism). I moved to Brixton because I felt comfortable, it feels like the West Midlands which I really miss but unfortunately can no longer live there without an income. I do understand how local residents are upset by this but I am too. It’s what happens, I didn’t want to “up sticks” and move at my age with 11 years until I retire and I’m too old to be a Yuppie, thank you to everyone I’ve met so far who have been very kind. I will leave and move back one day but thank you for allowing me to share Brixton for a few years.

  8. I totally agree with the sentiments, just a shame it is so late, could have done with it about 10 years ago. Whether this is the right way, it is still a way, so yeah, go for it. now we need the council to stop neutering everything that made it desirable in the first place.

  9. the arrival of foxton’s symbolises the end of Brixton as we know it. Brixton is one of the few areas left in London that still has a community spirit, a sense of identity and with it, normal people living normal lives. The rapid influx of the white middles classes pushes up rents and house prices, therefore making it unaffordable to the families who already live there. The irony is the yuppies who are moving there because they like the “edge” it has, are destroying the very thing they move there for. Unfortunetly and sadly, Brixton will become another clapham. A souless extension of the city. The character will be lost, the working classes who have spent their lives there will be pushed out. Brixton has now become a “concept” (see the shop in Brixton market/village selling I love brixton t-shirts) rather than a community. Seggregation has already started (Brixton village is almost exclusively full of the white middles classes who don’t seem to actually be part of the community). Foxtons are entirely about how much money landlords can make (I receive constant letter from them telling me this-as i rent and it’s my rent that’s going up I find this utterly vile), they don’t understand that a house is about having a home..not about making money.

    • What this misses, and what others who have written similarly also miss, is that Brixton, like all other areas of London and all other neighbourhoods in cities worldwide is in a constant state of flux. Originally it was in the Surrey countryside. It became part of the city when the first Lambeth Bridge opened in the 19th C, then it became a middle class area for people working in the west end, then it took in people from the Caribbean, then it went through some trouble, now it’s becoming more middle class again. Brixton has changed and will continue to do so. (The notion that Brixton is some long-standing working class bastion is just nonsense.)

      One more thing. Complaining about the “rapid influx of the white middle classes,” is a really very unfortunate thing to say. Making judgements on who is and is not welcome in any given place on the basis of their colour is utterly unacceptable. I suggest you become more tolerant.

      • Phew. Relief to read this reply. I am white and probably lower middle class if I have to put a badge on it. Despite large areas of Brixton being treated like open toilets (ie Electric Avenue/Electric Lane) and people behind cash registers being offered what I perceive as a peculiar general lack of manners from local residents, Brixton is a great and just about affordable place to live at the moment. I share people’s concern about the potential for increasing rents and property prices in the area and I agree that the council and residents of Brixton have a challenge on their hands retaining its soul during gentrification, but that won’t be achieved through xenophobia towards white middle classes, nor will anything else be achieved by that method, other than poisonous, ignorant resentment. For those who do insist on being xenophobic, why not turn your attention to the foreign investors who are freely buying up properties across central London, driving up prices for everyone and forcing people to look beyond the centre for somewhere to live? Granted, organisations like Foxtons dilute areas with their similarly capitalism-fuelled approach. There you have it, I share an interest in socialism. Although history teaches us that socialism has been proved unworkable. So, stuff happens and we all need to find civilised solutions. Alternatively, we vandalise windows and join the wall-pissers. A constant river of piss might be just the thing to keep property prices down. We could all piss on the front of Ritzy while everyone has a party outside it.

  10. “”YUPPIES (short for “young urban professionals” or “young upwardly-mobile professionals” [circa 1980]) OUT!”” If anything, this sounds like age discrimination in the 21st century. I’m sure there are plenty of ‘not so young upwardly mobile’ people already living in Brixton — and have been for years. So what’s wrong with a few new young ones? A bit more variety won’t do Brixton any harm. The person who wrote this on the window needs to ask him or herself which socio-economic group they group they fall into, and if they still serve a purpose in making Brixton an even better place to live in.

  11. Pathetic, ignorant and bigoted, reminds me of Nazi overtones. What right has anyone to do discriminate in this fashion, let alone vandalise. What is the difference between this and saying ‘gypsies out’, or ‘blacks out’ or ‘fats people otut’. No one race, social group, religeon, culture, local or visitor has the right to this form of sectarian crap…. oh but of course, we are human right? We learn nothing from the past, and continue to purvey our stupidity through the course of time.

  12. To be real, I have lived in Brixton for 23 years, My whole family is all over different parts of brixton, I do feel that its a issue that has been itching on my neck for a while now because growing up here I feel that I have a right to be able to move out of my house and find some where affordable to live in my own area.. but as things stand the “Foxton” situation just shows that I wont be able to afford a pace in the area that I have lived in for 23 years of my life.
    The fact of the mater is for me that I have known people all across london and when ever I have mentioned that I live in brixton the feedback 8/10 is always bad, BUT suddenly over night the people who seem to find brixton trendy have just moved in a made it harder for those of us who have lived here for years!

    I almost feel controlled by the idea of “If you have loads of money you can live what ever life you want where ever you want, but for the people that cant keep up we just get faded out to another place that is not seen as TRENDY intill the people with money say so and we get moved on!”

    • This has not happened over night. I bought my house nearly 17 years ago and it was getting expensive then. Brixton is the last place in zone 2 that you can get to Oxford Circus in under 15 minutes – that is the reason people are coming to live here. I pity those trying to get on the ladder to buy property now – this is nothing to do with chains or yuppies, but more to do with the massive population we have in London and the fact that everyone migrates here. Where I come from in rural Worcestershire you can buy a six bed house for what I would get for my flat here, but no-one wants to live there. Sadly this is more about the pull of the city, employment, multiculturalism et al that makes Brixton (and London) an attractive place to live. Nearly 40% of London is now non-English – that should tell you a lot about the pressure on housing.

      • I agree with Peter. It’s good value for a Zone 2 location, and that’s why people are moving to Brixton. I’m about to move to the area now because of being forced out of an area which has got too expensive. It’s sad to be uprooted from your area because it has become unaffordable, Miles, but many of the people that are moving to Brixton are moving there because they can’t afford to live in their own area any more having been pushed out by richer folk.

        But let’s just all agree on one thing – we all hate Foxtons.

  13. Blimey, what a thread of comments! I sincerely hope the normally enjoyable, amusing and most informative Brixton Blog isn’t going to be the new ‘West East Dulwich Forum’

  14. The problem with gentrification IS the chains. They will squeeze the life out of local business, because that is how they purposely operate. They have no interest whatsoever in the local population apart from how to get hold of most of their money, most of which flows away to shareholders rather than back into the community. And they are used by estate agents as proof of the area’s desirability and further drive up the rents.

    Look at Spitalfields – when I first moved there 15 years ago, street crime was common, I’d nod hello to the local prostitutes, and the same city bankers who’d refused us a loan would be found pissing on our front doors on a friday night.

    While the street crime has disappeared thanks to rampant and rapid gentrification, developers have demolished half of the beautiful historic market to build yet another ugly unimaginative shopping centre full to the brim with chain shops and chain restaurants. Rents have rocketed and marketeers keep referring to the area as ‘edgy’ when it is anything but. Whatever ‘character’ developers boast the area has, they are actively destroying to line their own pockets.

    What I find unpleasant and depressing is that certain people – like the chains – want to be associated with what is genuinely interesting and exciting about a ‘happening’ area, and leech off it without actually giving anything back. As the area is being sucked dry, the interesting elements are forced to move on somewhere affordable, and the cycle continues.

    • You’re right but chains are not a biproduct of gentrification they are a result of poor / selfish / short term planning laws by local councils and landlords putting rents up.

      Everyone just looks at the bad side of gentrification but have public services in your area improved? are the streets safer and cleaner? the schools a bit better? is there a better choice of shops and cafes? then its not all bad eh….

      If instead of people pointing fingers, they got involved in more things like Brixton Hub, which as it happens has ONLY just been set up. (maybe some of those savvy interlopers are involved somewhere? I dont know)

      How is it that chains survive in the area? Do they force people to shop there? Was Brixton HIgh Street a better place before H&M, TK Maxx and whatever else? im not sure it was….and shops like WHSmith, Argos, Specsavers and Sainsburys have been there for much longer than the ‘yuppies’ have…do ‘locals’ REALLY not like chains?

      This is not a unique problem in Brixton or even London, chains like Tesco have got some of the most aggressive developer policies and they destroy social and economic capital of places no problem…

      Brixton is lucky to have a thriving market as it is now, if people publicly support it and make sure that the landlords dont start renting the units out to Tesco metros and whatever else then hopefully it will remain that way.

      And anyone complaining about Honest Burger etc can fuck right off. I’ve been going to the markets for years and they have never been such enjoyable places to go as they are now….yes there might be too many Hattie’s and Hugo’s wearing flip flops but the food is cheap and delicious and the whole place is buzzing every night, business owners have been struggling to make it work in that place and finally they are seeing a return…

    • I am always amazed when I read posts about people referring to nostalgic experiences of “winking at my local prozzie on the way out to buy my milk in the morning” and “laughing as I read about yet another person held up at knifepoint at a cash machine as I mopped up the piss from my step and emptied out the spitoon”. This is rubbish. No-one wants to live in an area of crime. No-one wants to bring up children around drug dealers, piss, and nasty gangs.. you are deluded. The comments on here are right – they are invariably made by bleeding heart home counties liberals who certainly didn’t live in these areas when Vera Drake was dropping by with a soap vagina wash. Chains provide cheaper products that are quality tested, are not ripping you off 200% markup (like some corner shops I can mention) -not serving you wine that is really antifreeze. Chains don’t want to be in Brixton because they want an “edgy” scout badge to sew on, they are here because people with more disposable income are here to spend money. And long may they continue to arrive.

  15. As a relative of someone who works at Foxtons, I have to tell you that they are trained to be like Millwall fans. Public hate is what gets them out of bed in the morning and fires up their competitive instincts. If you want to defeat them you will probably have to try love bombing. That will confuse them.

  16. ALSO

    I bet half the people taking the ‘moral high ground’ on behalf of the unrepresented poor of Brixton have lived there for less that 5, 10 years max.

    Same old story of ‘I’m not one of those yuppies, I moved in 3 years ago when it was still edgy, my dad had a black friend once’ etc….

  17. Why do ‘the locals’ have ‘the right’ to live in Brixton moreso than the bourgeoisie ‘white people’ who want to move there because its a desirable neighbourhood to live in? Why are there double standards when it comes to race? Noone would dare complain if instead of these guys, immigrants from Nigeria and Pakistan were moving in because that would be racist and against the ‘rich multiculturalism of Brixton’. But when its ‘privileged’ white people its ok….

    Isn’t this false sense of entitlement part of the problem in Brixton or generally in this country? No-one forces landlords to put prices up and local councils are as much to do with the problems as anyone else. Yet the people that get blamed are the ones that want to move to Brixton because its a nice place, near the centre of London thats still just about affordable.

    Rather than trying to engage in deeper issues it seems everyone just wants to scratch at the surface over black and white issues (in every sense)

    Do ‘the local people’ not like nice coffee and burgers by default or do they just like poundshops, smelly fishmongers and ‘ethnic’ grocery stores (like there was 5/6 years ago when Granville Arcade was failing)?

    Is there nothing positive to be gained from young professionals with money moving in? Attracting media, or political attention, spending money locally and hopefully pushing local councils to take steps in the right direction?

    • “Is there nothing positive to be gained from young professionals with money moving in? ”

      Possibly, but making them (us) more aware of the political sensitivity of their (our) presence in the area (in particular, the extra costs borne by everyone else in terms of increased rent) might nudge them (us) towards certain mitigating behaviours e.g. spending locally in *existing* shops, pushing local councils for measures that benefit all as you say, etc.

      This is a pretty blunt way of doing so, but I think it’s better that people are faced with these issues rather than just ignoring them. I just think a little bit of humility and circumspection is an appropriate response to being affluent and privileged.

    • I am not sure what you meant by ´they just like poundshops, smelly fishmongers and ‘ethnic’ grocery stores’. It seems to have quite derogatory connotation. You should probably open your eyes. Or move to Putney.

  18. Well Brixtons just becoming another yuppie shithole that trades on it’s more interesting past.

      • because there are less people that scare you now? Yeah the bank machines did used to get removed every so often by a tractor but the crime was kind of to do with how the area had been left to rot. Plans of gentrification don’t usually tend to make a place nicer for the people that already live there.

      • Also i don’t agree cos the clubs and parties were amazing in the 80s//90s. Sound systems playing in the park at the weekend and so forth. That won’t happen again.

      • The idea that Brixton used to be glorious and wonderful and one big party is just wrong. It wasn’t. The social problems of the 80s were just hideous and nobody with an ounce of sense would want those days to return. Ever.

  19. Yuppies are youngish, social, white, black, asian etc who love to out to eat, drink and socialise. They have started a momentum which is not replacing the old, but introducing the new.

    The old, unsuccessful shops and parts of the city were dying off anyway – this has nothing to do with the yuppies!

    Yuppies want a clean environment. Diverse range of shops and cafes. I’ve seen more clueless old people in Brixton starbucks than yuppies.

    Old farts want things never to change and remain economically nonviable. Costa, Starbucks can afford the high street, independent coffee shops can’t. Get over it.

  20. I have lived in Brixton for a while now and there is clearly a divide about this. Fact is, Jobs are being created and there is a lot of inward investment to the area. Also recent research has shown that big high street names don’t compete directly with SME’s . And that can be seen clearly in Brixton. The market is the foremost example of this, it has reactivated some of the local economy, while thriving side by side with traditional retailers.

    As far as I have seen it becomes to a question of perceptions and over simplistic opinions.

  21. Think its more that Foxtons are viewed as the worst company in the world by everyone who doesnt work for them, and the people who work there are the most horrific amoebas ever born, than anything to do with Brixton itself

  22. Can I just say, all you people slagging Honest Burgers don’t have a clue. Places like that actually bring business into Brixton. It makes it more likely that people will come to the local pubs before or after their meal, or go elsewhere in the markets.

    It’s also a bloody good restaurant. So please you self loathing metropolitan liberals – you are 100% out of touch with the rest of Brixton (and the entire country) so don’t enforce your bigoted opinions on the rest of us.

    I’d rather Honest Burger than Morley’s, £1 Patties ‘R Us, Salmonella Chicken Co. & Brothers, or yes, I’ll say it, Speedy-Awful-Noodle.

  23. Lived in Brixton for 30 years. The only companies that can afford to be on the high street are ‘chains’ such as Starbucks and Foxtons so GET OVER IT who ever wrote the crap on the window.I also have 2 drug houses on my street who live in properties that could be lived in by yuppy families. what do you think i would prefer?
    the yuppies keep the local economy going, Brixton Market would be closed if it weren’t for the Yuppies ..it was probably written by someone who doesnt know the history of Brixton…
    best to ignore and get a good window cleaner.


    I LIVE IN BRIXTON AND IT SHITHOLE (as People call it)

  25. These comments just don’t get it…………Foxton’s is offensive it is not a black v white or a class debate..this is a large offensive shop front that does NOT fit in with the area.

    BOYCOTT using Foxtons

    • The worst argument is the shop front. That is a matter of taste, and I quite like it.

      However, Foxtons are the worst among estate agents

      But that is not saying much

      And they have been operating here for years.

  26. Brixton used to be one of those places were a certain kind of people moved in because they thought it was ‘edgy’ (read: had a few grubby bits, a lot of non-white people & music coming out of shops – cool, man!) then moved there and realised, actually, it’s a bit shitter than they thought (for example, hassled by ticket touts every time you leave the tube, chicken carcasses littering the pavement, extremely liberal use of car horns 24 hours a day, Bible Bashers bothering you every weekend).

    They then move off to Clapham or Balham or, heaven forbid, ‘the Norf’ and nobody really misses them. The ‘locals’ (i.e. anyone who’s lived in an SW2 postcode for more than 18 months) just get on with their lives as per usual. The only difference now is that those ‘interlopers’, as people seem to be inferring in this thread, now stick around.

    They go to The Ritzy for cocktails not the 2-for-1 Sundays; they go to Dogstar for the Crafty Fox not a pint; they watch the rugby in the Duke of Edinburgh – willfully trundling their super-sized baby buggies through a dense crowd – instead of just going to play pool; they queue up at Franco Manca and Honest Burger rather than Baan Thai or Morley’s; they eschew Mango Landin’, Blacker Dread, Traid and The Brix, preferring The White Horse, Barber de Seville, H&M and The Duck Egg Cafe.

    And you know what – without their hard earned cash, all of Brixton would suffer. Let them pay the rents, live and spend in Brixton. I was one of those people (before I had to move away to be able to afford a house) – but I knew that Brixton was always a temporary place to live. Just like Clapham and Balham’s high roads, they’re places to go out not places to live in. FYI – Effra Road for 3 years and Stockwell Avenue for a few months.

    When you look at the wider area – take Josephine Avenue as a prime example – there is a genial, welcoming mix of people who live in Brixton and couldn’t give a fig who was their neighbour. There is a certain relaxed take on life amongst most Brixtonians (not always naturally occurring, granted) and one that won’t be overawed by a few outsiders turning up. I understand the fear that the Tory social experiment will have a detrimental impact on Brixton, as a particularly low income area where people could fear being moved out of their social housing, however no matter who is in government, the area will thrive in its own way. Not to mention the historic militancy of Brixtonians when pushed too far beyond their comfort zone.

    We don’t need a Foxtons for Brixton to feel threatened from gentrification just as we don’t need a Poundland to feel threatened by the rising tide of benefits claimants (or whatever the opposite of ‘posh toffs moving in’ is). Anyone who lives there will just get along with their lives, irrespective of the circumstances. Long may that continue.

  27. Brixton cannot be set in aspic. Never has been.

    No one owns it. No one can define it. It has had many incarnations.

    Like everywhere else in London, it will change again.

    Everywhere is getting crazily expensive too.

    That’s largely because the population rose from 7.2 to 8.2million from 2001-2011.

    And will rise by another million within five years, according to the Office for National Statistics.

  28. Gratifying to read so many posts on here about Brixham it’s a delightful little Devonian harbour town and frightfully understated although I have to confess I wasn’t aware of a new Foxtons office and I was also surprised regarding it’s apparent ethnic mix, unless of course people are referring to the new Russian couple who have taken over the large house on the cliff and keep the curtains drawn all day? As for a large population of West Indians, frankly they must be confused. We haven’t had an incident of graffiti either since 1939 when a couple of youths scribbled on the bus shelter in protest against the onset of war.
    Very little chance of gentrification here although true to say that the Chippy has had a new shop front and our neighbour Brian painted his cottage last Summer but that hardly puts us on a par with ghastly Newquay and all those posh pissed up students!
    Frankly nothing much to be concerned with down here, life continues at approximately three miles an hour but please don’t assume we’re in anyway disconnected from reality.

  29. People forget Brixton was a rich white mans area prior to the wind rush in the 60s and many parts notably Josephine Avenue have always remained quite ‘well off’. I agree the over-spill from Clapham is possibly to blame for the number of well educated and heeled now seeking shelter in Brixton. However, with decent transport links, plenty of places to eat & drink and marginally cheaper rents relative to other South London dwellnigs, why wouldn’t anybody want to live here? Would you rather people were setting fire to cars and punching each other in the face, or would you rather the place progressed a little. I know what I would like and I could be classed as a ‘yuppy’ but then again how do you class a ‘yuppy’? What if they started off in a place of equally diverse social strata as Brixton in say Manchester, Birmingham or Liverpool? It ain’t anybodies Brixton it is EVERYBODIES Brixton. Now back down

    • Just FYI – Brixton was certainly *not* a “rich white man’s area” prior to Windrush. It was an area with a high proportion of housing in multiple occupancy and rather down on its uppers – much like Notting Hill at the time, in fact. That is why people arriving from the Caribbean settled here, first as lodgers and tenants, then as owner occupiers.

      The area was developed massively after the railway arrived in the last decades of the C19th but even houses evidently built for family use moved rapidly into multiple occupancy. By the early years of the C20th it was still a busy neighbourhood with a buzzing economy built around entertainment and retail, but by the middle years it was already sliding into depression and had become a cheaper place to live as better-off London families headed for the suburbs (in a pattern seen everywhere from Manhattan to Manchester).

      A substantial portion of Josephine Avenue, since you picked it out as an example, was in council ownership, squatted or owned by housing co-ops in the late 80s (which is as far back as my personal knowledge of Brixton goes), making it a good example of a Brixton street that has seen its fortunes and residents change hugely over time.

      I agree tho that this is (or should be) “everybody’s Brixton”. The point then is to ensure that the currently diverse population and economic activity is protected and not priced out.

    • Just in case it’s not a typo; a little point, Empire Windrush landed on our shores in 1948 (hence the renaming of the Square in1998 to celebrate the 50th anniversary) Just saying.

  30. I’ve enjoyed reading this debate more than any for some time. All I would say to those who feel long-standing residents are being pushed out of Brixton is simply this: people live where they can afford to. This changes over time and always has done.

    Those who want to stay, do so (think of those stories of old ladies keeping the modest family house that was in an average area when purchased fifty years earlier but over the course of time that area has become, say, modern day Marylebone and the property has gradually increased in value to 10 million without her even noticing) and those who want to make some money capitalise on the change for their own good.

    I would rather like to live in Chelsea. It seems like a very nice area. I probably could have afforded to in the 1960s or 1970s. But now?! Of course not. So instead I live in Tooting. It’s much better than Brixton.

  31. You seem to have totally missed the point that gentrification doesn’t improve the behaviour of an area’s inhabitants; it merely raises the level of social snobbery and excludes the better-behaved poor. I’ve lived in Brixton over 20 years. Bar a brief stint of lawlessness during the Paddick/cannabis experiment I can’t remember a more disgusting time to live here than now. Over the past two years I’ve had over-privileged louts trespassing into my back yard and climbing onto my roof then complaining I was a “spoilsport” for turfing them out; yuppies using communal areas as dumping grounds for mountains of debris during endless building renovations; homophobic abuse from braying idiots not to mention hoorays pissing against my gateway every weekend. You don’t have to be a bleeding heart liberal to despair at one slightly more repulsive set of hedonistic idiots replacing another &, worse, imagining they’re doing the world a favour in the process.

    • You want to spend a few months like I did working in the Beehive where I had to pick out used needles from the toilets – I would rather some wayward hooray henry (who will probably grow up one day, have kids and attend every parents evening going) than nasty drug and coke dealers who hate the police with every last sinew of their body, yet create 90% of the police workload in the making. Don’t talk to me about homophobic abuse (as I am gay) – the afrocaribbean community is the WORST at handing out battyboy-this and batty-boy that – don’t even go there. Not sure how the better-behaved poor would want to leave – surely they are the ones that would appreciate a nicer neighbourhood over the scuzzos?

  32. hmm… not bad, no spelling mistakes; however I think a more effective ‘protest’ would be to get nicely drunk, walk in, sit down and order a number 24 and a number 35 (don’t go for the green curry was always awful) and repeat weekly – if group dinners can be arranged even better…

  33. It is a sad sight to walk into the indoor market in Brixton and find only young white capitalists laughing out the miseries of life long Brixtonians !
    My memories of Brixton go back only a few years but then it was a strong community where people knew and helped each other as in a village. Sure there was some troubles, sparked mostly by the racism and discrimination imposed on the black community by poverty, police and governments luck of unity and integration policy. Gentrification is one more sign of a imperialist government attitude. Once the cheap labour they requested is not use to them anymore, they will simply push until the get rid of it or simply push them deeper into modern slavery.
    The graffiti is only a warning that Brixton won’t take it laying down. Brixtonians have a long history of defending their rights and culture and despite the shiny few coins they might get thrown at their feet by new developments and yuppi bars coming in, they won’t be fooled into giving up their borough for their history and culture to disappear !
    So, yuppies and royal whities, prepare yourselves to feel the heat as the black asphalt of Brixton will never be yours !

    • Probably queuing up to sell it though.

      Many West Indian families bought in Brixton when it was cheap and know a bargain when they see it, no fan of Foxton’s but 0% commission is hard to argue with.

      Just read the small print.

      • It is the weakest of arguments to just call someone ignorant. Try reading the comment again and addressing each point instead of pulling out the -just-because-you-dared-to-mention-something-uncomfortable-about-race-I-will-trump-you-with-the-usual-ignorance-ace-of-diamonds.

    • ‘Yuppies and royal whities’, quite frankly I find your comment racist. I am white and do not consideer capatalist or in any way edgy. I lived in Tooting way before it became popluar and had no problem intergrating amoungst the Asian locals. I have been visiting Brixton market for a number of years and have been looking a flatshares in the area, not because I’m looking for somewhere cool and up and comming to live, but rather that I am an unemployed and require short-term accommodation at an affordable price while I look for a job. It’s the bankers and politicians more worried about keeping there friends in power you should be angry at not the average white person who has had nothing to do with the rise in rental prices etc. I have friends from many culutures and backgrounds and would be appauled if anyone discriminated against them.

  34. Look, I’ve lived round there all my life and there has always been this rather unhealthy fixation with the idea that Brixton used to be some really authentic, beating heart of south London panacea for real people living in a real community and having real lives. Well I remember the riots of the 1980s and they were horrid. Brixton used to be terrible. The schools used to be awful, crime-rates abysmal, there were dealers all over the high street and the police were clueless and violent. There are certainly still loads of these problems today, but Brixton is immeasurably better than it was thirty years ago.

    People who bleat on about the “death of real Brixton” are almost always arriviste Lefties, with a rose-tinted idea of a past that never existed. These individuals might do well to remember that the history of Brixton goes back a very long way. All those massive nineteenth century houses built along the Brixton road, in Trinity Square, up Brixton Hill, now who do you suppose they were built for? And why shouldn’t that vision of Brixton be considered just as “real” as the turn the neighbourhood happened to take during the mid-20th Century? So sure, it’s understandable that people want a sense of authenticity in their lives and in their surroundings. The problem is that people latch on to the wrong things as signs of that authenticity, especially when it comes to Brixton.

    That aside, that lot in Foxtons do look a right bunch of twats, it has to be said. I went past their shop (is it a shop?) on the night of their opening party and my god. My god. Even so, there is never any excuse for vandalism. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a politician and not to be trusted.

    • It’s not about losing the ‘real’ Brixton. It’s not even about authenticity. It’s about the effect of gentrification on the people who live here. It’s about people who can no longer afford to live where they have always lived because of rising rates. People who can no longer buy the food they always have because the prices have gone up. People who can’t go to the grocers, butchers, pub they always have because it’s been bought up, marketed exclusively at twats in straw hats with moustaches and brogues and is now unaffordable. It’s about people being forced from their homes – people who have a right to live here but no longer can.

      • I see what you are saying and sympathise. But really, are people being “forced from their homes”? I mean really are they? Or are you talking about the cuts to housing benefits? If so, that has little to do with gentrification and more to do with Britain’s fiscal black hole.

        Like you I dont have much time for the Hoxtonite asymmetric haircut brigade, who tend to be stupid, vain and really very very boring—but I would say they are a symptom, not a cause. As for the changing character of Brixton, the gentrification point, I think that you and I will never quite agree on this because I dont think people really have a “right” to live anywhere. If you start claiming historic ties to the land, then how can you deal with other similar claims that predate your own?

      • I don’t see the hipsters as a symptom or the sole cause. I think it is part of the larger scale plan to change the face of London and the ‘type’ of person that lives here. Gentrification is part of the problem – if there was no push from above to change Brixton, this wouldn’t be as much of an issue. But this is teamed up with government attacks on benefits, social housing etc. And as you have spotted, I’m not a fan of the hipsters, but it is not their fault – they aren’t clever enough to plan this. It is a sustained campaign by the ruling classes.
        And I know what you’re saying about a right to live somewhere, but my point isn’t that no one should ever move in or out of a place, but that people shouldn’t be forced to move if they don’t want to. – If people don’t like middle class white people enough to move out of Brixton, then they should move. The problem is that people are moving because they HAVE to – they can’t afford it anymore. Gentrification isn’t about people moving in and out – it is about classes of people moving out. Most people moving to Brixton (to clarify – not all) at the moment are wealthy, nouveau riche it used to be called, idiots with no sense of the culture or community – they are moving here because they can live where they like. They can afford it. We can’t.

      • Benefit cuts and people not being able to afford an area are not just an issue for the people of Brixton, it is happening all over London.

        Were you campaigning when Clapham and Balham were being gentrified?

      • I strongly suggest that you drop the notion of a “larger scale plan” to change the face of London. There is no such plan. Nor is there any “push from above.” What you are seeing is in reality the effect of straightforward market principles and this is not directed in the way you suggest. Very simply, a famous zone 2 neighbourhood with good housing stock is being bought up and some of the middle class character, lost during the 20th century, is returning to it. This is not being organised.

        It’s also worth noting that there is a huge housing shortage in the south east, and this is driving prices and rents up further and faster than would otherwise be the case.

      • I can see what youre saying, but I agree with “I ive up Brixton hill”, and I think THIS is the argument to be had. What I must say as well is that I’m moving to Brixton, and I would in no way class myself as nouve riche. Infact, I myself have been priced out of the area I live in now and Im just happy to find somewhere that in my view is still affordable, and has a good atmosphere with good transport – and I honestly think most people moving to the area are doing so for similar reasons. As I said downthread, I fully intend to use the market stalls, and not just the village shops. I also thinks its unfair to assume that because Im not an old “brixtonite” I won’t want to enjoy the culture and/ bring something to the community. Its the generalisation that these rich people are coming in and they want to change everything that doesnt sit well with me. I think many people who are moving to the area are doing so BECAUSE they like the atmosphere not because they want to change it. That being said, I can understand why people would be concerned about being priced out of the area, but this is an issue with all of london (and the rising cost of living) at the moment, and like you said the government is certainly making it worse with their policies.

      • I didn’t say it was just Brixton – I don’t want to see what happened in Clapham happen to Brixton. And I do believe that this is planned. There is a housing shortage so what do we do. Literally in some parts of London (and soon to be others) evict people and rehoused outside of London and often not even rehoused. The fact that there are people with money willing to move into those houses and pay increased rates allows this to carry on happening in the interest of profit. Housing shortage doesn’t justify eviction.

      • And I don’t mean to generalise – I did try to make it clear that not everyone is moving here out of the same reasons and obviously you aren’t, but unfortunately I have met a enough people who do fit the stereotype.

      • It’s not about cuts to housing benefits. It’s about private rents & property prices going through the roof, driven ever upwards by people who could afford to live anywhere but are now choosing Brixton ’cause they’ve read it’s trendy.

    • Tony, I’m afraid your response strikes me as rather naive and ill-informed about racism. As well feels like you believe (assume?) those making comments are arent ‘white’ and therefore racist. I believe whats being discussed is changes in society and classism – where globally those who occupy positions of power and who define and benefit are from the more privileged classes.

      However your view is one common to many whom use the word racism,with little experience of receiving it, or understanding discussions around ‘race’ and racism. It also quite representative of people who lack of experience of receiving against prejudice and how to address it, and within it is an assumption that those commenting on society and class migration as anti-white. Please try to understand such powerful words correctly as youll have a stronger argunent as well as cope within society from a position of understanding and correctly know to define your perceived experience of prejudice – pre judgement – which you discussed as ‘racism’ The word means a lot more than how youve used it, and helps it continue to be the topic which is treated like a hot potato due to mass misunderstanding. And no I do not have a chip on my shoulder… <3

  35. It amazes me that people can get so spectacularly strung out by the opening of an estate agency branch and suddenly decree that it is gentrification gone mad and Brixton is going to the dogs. Brixton has considerably bigger problems than the opening of an estate agency – I will cite the burglary/ransacking and two muggings that I and my partner have suffered in the two years that he has lived there as a readily available example.

    Whichever way you look at it, daubing paint on the window of a shop is just pointless vandalism. Furthermore, it won’t have the desired effect, unless the desired effect is to give passers by a bit of a giggle, in which case it’s a roaring success.

    As everyone has taken great joy in pointing out, Foxtons’ business model is aggressive – do you actually think they’re going to respond “oh, we’re obviously not welcome here, we’ll pack up shop”? Course not. They will thrive there – as they do everywhere – because, much maligned as they might be, they are extremely good at selling property and considerably more professional to deal with the vast majority of mickey mouse outfits you will find on the average high street, Brixton certainly included. In case anyone was wondering, that is why they are ‘everywhere’.

    If you don’t want Foxtons in Brixton then there’s a very effective way to achieve that – don’t go through the door. Otherwise, just belt up.

    • When you said Brixton had much bigger problems I thought you would cite the large social problems affecting people in Brixton and south London. The bedroom tax will be ruthlessly enforced by Lambeth council as of Monday with evictions imminent. People are ring forced on to the streets at an alarmingly rapid rate. Police brutality is extremely high in Brixton giving people nowhere to turn for security. Fire stations are being cut back or closed, local hospitals will be forced to do the same with government privatisation policies. Petty crime happens all over London – not just Brixton.

      • I think you’ll find that Streatham, West Norwood and Camberwell change their names to Brixton when a crime occurs, or at least the media do.

      • I am sure you will find the social problems you have listed are infact London wide and not just isolated to Brixton. The bedroom tax actually being nationwide…

      • You are right – and I don’t mean to dismiss petty crime, which of course is also a problem. What I am saying is that Brixton (and the whole country) faces huge social challenges being brought on by our government and local council, and we all live in Brixton, so it is our duty to fight what is happening locally. I don’t mean to dismiss issues that are affecting those outside of Brixton – just bringing to light some of the injustices we are facing here that must be stopped.

    • To my mind the biggest reason that people don’t like them is that they portray a very slick, manicured corporate City style which hasn’t until now been on show in this area – even if lots of the residents do work in the City. Foxtons has a one size fits all business model – they are brazen and unapologetic and don’t reflect or adapt to the areas they drop themselves into. It clearly works for them but it is obvious why it rubs a lot of people up the wrong way at the same time.

      I’d disagree with the professionalism bit. My exprience of them has been that a large proportion of their staff is very young and inexperienced and they often have very limited local or even technical knowledge. They are moved around very frequently so many don’t get a chance to really get to grips with an area or form relationships. I have recently been approached by Foxtons staff for references and had to remind them that they’re asking me a favour, they should be a little less pushy and even think about when to use please and thank you. Really basic stuff. That’s not to say the agents based on the high street are anything to write home about – although there are some good ones who do a lot of business here without a local office.

      Foxtons are definitely the kings of marketing themselves – their branding is world class. But I’m not sure they are so superior at selling homes.

    • Sorry to hear you got mugged and ramsacked and i don’t condone mugging but to be honest I don’t blame the kids doing it. It’s easy pickings when they see someone cluthing an expensive phone sauntering along a quiet street they know all the escapes from. They know you’d be a bit scared and thought you probably wouldn’t fight back as you’d think they’d have a knife and all in all saw it as a pretty low risk crime.

      I got burgled living in SW9 and i didn’t like it but it kinda came with the territory.

  36. Brixton was only scary to outsiders, once all the crack dealers and pimps began to recognise you they stopped bothering you. As the new tenants don’t shop in the cheap market stalls for domestic products or the Afro Caribbean stalls they are not helping the community. Instead burger joints push up the cost of rents for local businesses. Sadly it wont be long before the last of the original market holders close up shop for the last time.

    • Wow thats a very sad and blinkered generalisation.

      As someone currently going through the process of purchasing a flat in Brixton at the moment (not through Foxton’s), I am probably what you would refer to as a yuppie. To be honest I really dont care what you think of me, but let me just set you straight – I will frequent Honest Burger and the other establishments in the village (great food at a good price), but I also will use the afro caribbean shops. Unless youre a psychic I would looooove to know how youre sure where all these unwanted, posh, new residents of brixton will be shopping.

      Seriously? Give me a break!

      London is changing and very quickly. It’s not just your area that is transforming – open your eyes. Instead of blaming the “yuppies” who are just trying to live their lives the best way they know how, just like you, why not blame the people at the very top who are really responsible for the real mess here ( lack of housing, a crap economy, and a minimum wage thats nearly impossible to live on in the capital).

  37. The problem is Foxtons and what they represent – not just the vision of the shop front (which is also rank). How can people be forced to endure the social cleansing of London. It’s not just Brixton that has been affected – this is all part of the plan to force the working classes from London by making it unaffordable for most.

    I reject the argument that Brixton is constantly changing so we should just accept it. This is a violation of normal peoples’ most basic human rights. I think Foxtons can expect more of the same. We will fight back. United we can win.

    • What on earth are you talking about? How would London or any other place survive without a lower class (which I presume you are unhappily apart of judging by your attitude – I reckon your family used to be posh a couple of generations ago and you’re blindly bitter about it) to empty bins and drive the buses. It’s not as if they can afford to move out to Surrey.

  38. Am I a yuppy?
    Well I am young, live in an urban area and have a profession
    Should I apologise for that?
    Not in my opinion
    Bought a load of groceries the other day down Electric Avenue – is that a bad thing?
    Helping to keep the Ritzy open tonight as well
    Shop in the local and chain shops and horror of horrors have eaten at several of the establishments in the village market (oops I mean Granville Arcade)
    Not sure any of the above makes me a bad person

  39. The problem is not so much it is Foxtons but, that the “shop front” is out of character for Brixton. It is too big, and offensive, as it is so “in your face”. The message right in a prime area is that Brixton is changing and Foxtons, is not a symbol of positive change.

  40. This all seems like everyone was benefiting from the gentrification and now they have decided it is not actually what they want, they are running, screaming with their hands in the air. Bringing people to Brixton, spending their money in Brixton, enjoying themselves in Brixton, improving the tarnished reptuation it holds anywhere other than Brixton? Yes, all of this is oh so bad! Does no one remember that Brixton was a middle class suburb in the 1800’s? Just like any area, Brixton is constantly transforming and will continue to do so.

    • Could not agree more. Some people don’t know anything about the history of Brixton- it did exist pre-1960!!!! The problem with Brixton now are the bitter people who can’t accept that the area is regenerating and moan every time a new restaurant, bar, shop opens or God forbid someone who wasn’t born there moves in. Can’t you just enjoy these new places and stop being so miserable? Of course there needs to be a balance and it’s great to maintain the cultural diversity the area has enjoyed but the constant moaning is tedious. The area has much improved and my family feels considerably safer walking the streets than they used to- THAT is more important than a bloody Foxtons opening. This is from a Brixton resident of 26 years.

  41. If the crowd in the Effra Social was anything to go by then there’s no going back. HOPEFULLY like moths to a flame / flies to shit they’ll stay in there.

    What a bunch of tossers.

  42. I don’t agree about enjoying the results of gentrification, as the people living here before it became trendy, many whom haven’t got very much disposable income, let alone a home to sell, and if they do, no doubt bought because they could only afford to buy and live in the former marginalised Brixton. Im sure many many Brixtonians aren’t feeling the benefits when housing becomes so unaffordable they cannot buy in their own turf.

    As for the paint job: Foxtons can surely hire a window cleaner, or heaven forbid an employee could actually walk down to the builders merchant on Atlantic Rd and pick up a bottle of turps and cloths and support local businesses. War is unacceptable, yet it is justified by those who condone / benefit from it and is far worse than daubing an opinion on Foxtons- the estate agent held with the least regard my many buyers anyway.

  43. thank god. I was getting worried that noone was going to vandalise them. that would have marked the REAL death of Brixton.

  44. Yes Andrew – but next up the market gets bought up by Starbucks and Sweaty Betty’s and Brixton becomes another Clapham/Putney which would be a shame.

    Next stop: Peckham!

  45. Probably says more about loathing for Foxtons than it does about ‘yuppies’ moving to Brixton.
    I would be more alarmed if a fixie bike shop opened in Brixton than another estate agent.

    Of course Brixton’s soaring property prices are going to attract more boring white young professionals in deck shoes and gilets to Brixton. They come to Brixton because the neighbourhood is so much more interesting than poor old vanilla Clapham. I would assume they are going to support the stuff that makes Brixton unique in the first place. Otherwise why bother moving in?

    • The market is already full of young white rich people clogging their arteries at Honest Burgers & Bukowski or draping themselves in stale furs from that second hand hipster place in the Granville. They haven’t moved in to enjoy the local culture, like locusts they destroy everything in their path.

  46. I used to be offered ganga on the main street, now I’m only offered craft beer. Something must be done.

  47. All good things must come to an end. You cannot enjoy the results of the so called gentirification without accepting some inevitable consciences and expect to put on the breaks when it crosses your line of comfort. This type of behaviour is clearly not acceptable.

  48. Brixton is now finished! it used to be more fun when everyone was scared to come here! Now you can but a gentrified cup of coffee for 3 whole quid!

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