Living in Eastleigh
What it's like Living in Eastleigh
Being a proud or otherwise resident of Eastleigh depends on the circles you mix with, your outlook and own pride.
As a mother of two (now grown up) children, we were all born and bred in Eastleigh.
Living in Eastleigh, like other towns, cities and suburbs of our glorious kingdom, has its chav minority. My kids, however, aren't of that breed 'innit bruv'... and during my own teenage years I just managed 'Townie' status (Pre-chav branding).
Chavs are just kids. Bad mouthed, disrespectful, silly kids. They will grow out of it and their kids will be dressed in clobber equally ridiculous and labelled something just as dreadful - hanging around KFC with a .99p burger.
Don't Fret! Not only have we got a KFC, but McDonald's, Greggs, Subway, Poppins, pizza, kebab, chip shops, cafes, Chinese, Indian, Mexican. ... you get the picture.
Don't let the Jeremy Kyle show fool you either (quite a few locals have voluntarily appeared on the infamous show, proudly boasting their infidelities and wanting DNA tests for offspring) not all our residents are toothless, gormless, bed hoppers! We have had some
local legends of our own over the years, some not such charming characters, others will be remembered for years to come because of their generosity, humour and enterprise.
I won't mention the Eastleigh members of parliament scandals *Cough, cough*!
But I will mention Stephen *Gough, Gough* - The naked rambler - Not just because he's from Eastleigh. A prison sentence because of no clothes? Ridiculous... but that's another story... or blog!
Eastleigh has grown enormously over the years and is now a major industrial centre for Hampshire. Its airport, from which the Spitfire first flew, is now Southampton International Airport, and in 2006 the Eastleigh borough was named as the 9th best place to live in the UK by Channel 4 (I wonder what position it'd be in 2015). The town itself is a magnet for shoppers, with the modern Swan shopping centre as well as a range of stores, from local independent retailers to national chains like New Look, Robert Dyas, Tesco, Clintons Cards, Argos, Boots, McDonald's... (that last one gets everywhere! Luckily Eastleigh has a bunch of gyms too).
Fleming Park leisure centre is just up the road from the town centre and is currently undergoing a major revamp! Fleming Park has swimming pools, gym, play areas, golf, tennis and badminton courts, artificial football areas and a park and paddling pool outside by the playing fields that children love.
Eastleigh holds a market every Thursday and Saturday and sometimes we get a continental market come to town. Ive noticed on Saturday's there's a little petting zoo, cute!
Travellers can get to London Waterloo in only 80 minutes from the busy Eastleigh train station. Why not take a little look at the history blog, the train station has a great story to tell.
Our town boasts the Vue cinema complex, bowling alleys and amusements and more restaurants. Gambados play centre is just next door. Unfortunately, the old traditional Eastleigh town carnival came to a stop a few years ago, I think the carnival queens got fed up of being pelted with pennies, but in it's place is the Mardi Gras. The Mardi Gras is a great community event that takes place each September on Leigh Road rec with lots to do for all the family.
Eastleigh is a pretty built up place, seemingly endless new developments are always on the go. However, that's not surprising as the town itself offers everything for all ages, easy access to the motorway and is close enough to Southampton without stepping on it's toes.
My family once lived directly smack bang in Eastleigh town centre, but now live in a quiet area called Chartwell Green on the outskirts of West End. Our children continued to school in Eastleigh and went on to Barton Peverill College(attended by Colin Firth) and Eastleigh College (attended by me). Because my kids would have had to begrudgingly hop on a bus because yours truly didn't always provide a taxi service, it made getting to and 'hanging around' the youth spots with a can of Strongbow a little less likely - and study more likely! Mission accomplished.
During the summer months the recreational area is alive with various exciting events and festivals... the chilli festival being a particular favourite of mine. The bandstand is made use of by choirs, DJ's and bands and families from all over the borough come together to enjoy the annual fair.
Eastleigh town is a pretty place, the grounds are kept nice and flowers bloom. The ongoing regeneration and building projects ensure the growth of the town is met with plenty of parking (albeit with plenty of traffic wardens *GROWL*). Within Eastleigh, the uniformed properties are generally kept up to high standards, but venture to the neighbouring villages, the properties will blow your mind! So much character and beauty.
There are far too many coffee shops, a couple of quid shops, pawnbrokers and the odd shameless family. But there are also great restaurants, a leisure complex, fab clothes shops *eek*, safe childrens play areas and a huge community of lovely, caring, hard working, family orientated people.
Eastleigh is for sure the only place for my family. Until that is I win the lottery and move us all to a private island 😉