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Looking outside at the world from inside the most boring town in Britain: Brentwood, Essex, known locally as 'Boredtown'. A Grumpy Old Man's take on the absurdities of small-town life, politics and the encroaching forces of bureaucracy.

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Letters Page

This site occasionally stirs people to write in with their views. They're often quite funny, and often quite stupid, so in the interests of balance and free speech, here's a few to read...


3rd April 2011
Suck It Up

Dear Grumpy Old Man,

I found your website by accident, and frankly I was shocked that someone could be bothered to create such a depressing and crotchety website. I have lived in Brentwood my whole life, and I think that perhaps you need to appreciate that Brentwood is a very pleasant place to live and grow up. I know it is not the most exciting town, I do not intent to live here my whole life but there are a lot of worse places to live in the UK. I just had to email you to tell you to just suck it up, stop being so pathetically pedantic about every little minor unimportant disruption to the town.

Yes, the Sugarhut is incredibly pretentious, but I bet you have never been there. It is a distinctly more classy nightclub than many of those in Chelmsford, Romford and so on. It has brought publicity, jobs, and national reputation to Brentwood. I suggest you stop grumbling about trivial, and petty things; if you dislike Brentwood so much, then move out.

lots of love from Lucy.

Ah, Lucy, poor sweet Lucy, you live in such a simple world, and apparently quite a small one when your vista extends only to Romford and Chelmsford. Were you the one with the tangerine face I saw throwing up on "The Only Way is Essex" the other night?

You are right. Let’s all accept the despoiling of the parks; let’s tolerate the Council’s incompetence and waste of our money on vanity-projects; let’s embrace the cult of fake tan, wannabee celebs and vajazzles. Let’s ignore the resultant litter, noise pollution, late night trouble and national derision. Accept things as they are, or run away. That’ll sort it.

One day, you will grow older, and begin to understand that civic pride in one’s hometown requires that voices are raised in protest. Not sheep-like acceptance.

Footnote 19/05/2011With its 'national reputation', the Sugarhut is like a honeypot for every yob from up and down the country who might want to come here to start a fight, as if the police don't have enough on their plate. The latest affray left 2 people unconscious and hospitalised in a 2.25AM punch-up allegedly involving, among 7 arrested, 4 Liverpudleans who had come down especially as a result of its 'national reputation'. How 'classy' is that Lucy?


2nd February 2010
I Blame the Council

Hello Bored,

I have just found your site by chance - I was actually looking for info on Romano-British earthworks in Essex so it's interesting that Brentwood came up in its entirety :)

I agree that it isn't a place that exactly inspires community spirit and I blame the greedy council 100%.

As we live in Hook End and so are 5 miles out of town, we prefer to drive to Chelmsford to shop as there is free parking at the (bigger) out of town supermarkets and proper shops selling things we want. Brentwood is all food, drink and charity shops and not much else of use and traffic/parking is a nightmare most of the time. The council spent a fortune on the ridiculous paving project, making the main road look dangerously like a pedestrian precinct when it is still a very busy route. They then decided to pay for it by putting up rent and rates causing several shops to close including the lovely Crafty Arts shop which was about the only place where I regularly shopped (and the manager told me that was the reason they were closing). A high number of charity shops is a clear indicator of a shopping centre that either fails to provide what is needed or makes it too difficult to access

We stopped using Weald Park when we had to pay to park. At the time, our dog was becoming incontinent due to a brain tumour and the attendant (pre pay-and-display) wouldn't even allow him out briefly for a quick call of nature so we had to find somewhere by the side of the road. £2 for 2 minutes (we were en route elsewhere so couldn't stay long) was ridiculous. A typical Brentwood Jobsworth in action. Weald is a beautiful park but unless you can reach it on foot or bike is lost to a lot of (arguably stingy) residents. We used to think it was one of the best perks of our extortionate rates.

We are very fortunate indeed to have a mini community with lovely people in our neighbourhood. Brentwood is a collection of little regions with nothing to connect them, each with a particular character. Just the names conjour up disparate images - Hutton, Warley, Doddinghurst, Pilgrims Hatch etc. Brentwood is just the main road that vaguely connects them all.

Keep up the good work, Boredtown. Maybe one day the council will realise what they are doing and make some positive changes for the "average" residents instead of aiming their funds at themselves and at "yoof".

Thanks for a fun site

Thanks Sue. Have you ever watched the videos of Brentwood Council meetings? The level of analysis and debate is pitiful, and usually consists of childish sniping at each other. That's how we get to bizarre decisions like subsidizing high street traders to do up their shop-fronts, and then putting up the rates to pay for it!
That's exactly what the Town Centre Vision said shouldn't be done: "shop front improvements should not be publicly funded", it said, quite rightly.


6th January 2010

Dear Bored town,
I’m really surprised that a man of your intellect has not grasped the true reason for the great sandwich board debacle. As you rightly say it does have nothing to do with the safety of pavement users (if the council were concerned about that they probably would have salted the ice rink pavements on the last shopping weekend prior to Christmas. Oh yes, we’ll let you park for free but you can’t visit any of the shops without ice axes and crampons) and everything to do with MONEY!

I’d take good odds on the end result of this non story, whipped up by local papers who have nothing else to whinge on about apart from gypsies, potholes and the shocking news that if some overpaid banker leaves a top of the range gas guzzler with its engine running on the drive it will get, shock horror, stolen. But I digress.

At the end of it all, when the opinions of tax payers have once again been ground into the dirt by the heel of local authority mismanagement, the traders will be allowed to keep their boards out if they pay a whacking “board licence” fee, I bet about £150, to the council first. Just like you have to pay a whack to hold a lottery if you are a charity or another bundle to have the kerb lowered outside your home etc etc.


Eileen Dover (and just pay the fee).


8th December 2009
Coming of Age

I remember looking at your sight a few years ago, and I don't suppose I got it (I was about 15 at the time), but now I know exactly what you mean.
Maybe its because I'm at University now, and know what its like to be part of a real community, and that I now live in a town with an actual sense of cultural identity and heritage. Maybe its because Brentwood's just a bit shit.

The Sugar Hut burning down was the icing on the cake for me. They should have cut out the middle man and burnt it to the ground when they took the White Hart over. Maybe someone will consider turning that Thomas Becket Cathedral into another Mcdonalds or something.

Cheers, Max


26th June 2008
Get away!

What an amusing site and oh, all so true!!
I was born and brought up in Brentwood and couldn’t wait to get out.
It appears from Friends Reunited that most of the people I went to school with have also moved out!! I now live in the Lake District and couldn’t live in a more beautiful place; however the only thing I miss about Brentwood is my family and the warmer weather.
I still visit my but have not yet had the pleasure of seeing the latest edition of a monstrosity of the extra parking spaces in Sainsbury’s car park!!


Perhaps you could come down from Cumbria and give the Boredtown Escape Committee a few tips on how you managed it?


17th June 2008
bloody boring brentwood

I've just found your site by chance, so yes, I'm just passing through, hee hee ;)
I did stop to read because being brought up in Brentwood, i've been interested in it's history, but up until recent years, your right, i've never found anything of substance.
I too as a young child can remember chanting 'back to bloody boring brentwood'!
Looking back though, I know of several places growing up as a teenager, after venturing out to the happening places in London and the like it was all happeining on my doorstep and people did travel from far and a wide to Brentwood.
So even though you say it is a 'stop gap' it seems to me that in actual fact it was a 'back bone' without it where else did all these people, pilgrims, travellers have to go, next stop was Romford!?
I think there is a lot more to Brentwood than you think ;)
Historical and archaelogically? :)

Kate Fuxup


16th April 2008
A sunny disposition

Hi Bored of Brentwood
I applied for the death certificate of a relative who died in 1878 and was surprised, but not concerned, to find he died in the Essex Lunatic Asylum. Charles Deayton was a gardener and I had two choices - he was either an employee of the Asylum or an inmate. The records from Essex Record Office showed he had been admitted to Camberwell House in October 1874, transferred in April 1877 to South Weald at Essex, died a year later and was buried in the burial grund of the Essex Lunatic Asylum. Poor Charles suffered from dementia and one cause of this was given as 'sunstroke' because he was a gardener.
The reason for this email is to congratulate you on your Boredtown website and the history of the Asylum - fascinating information.
Best wishes,
Carol from Warners Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Thank you Carol. You will see from the pictures on the Brentwood Borough Council web site that the sun ALWAYS shines in Brentwood. Perhaps this is something to do with the cognitive abilities of our denizens?


16th March 2008
Hi bored

Hi Bored of Brentwood
I think you would be bored where ever you live. Your comments have made me laugh out loud as it is quite amusing.
I think you are a clever person who gets bored very easily, nothing to do with Brentwood at all.
Thank you for making me laugh.


3rd March 2008
Nursing Times

I trained as a Psychiatric Nurse in Warley Hospital between 1982 and 1986.
I've some fond memories of my time there as a student and I would say that the town is quiet, small and perfectly formed !
I really feel sorry for the poor local residents at the time for having to tolerate not the psychiatric patients but us nurses who inflicted ourselves upon the sleepy town.


20th July 2007
Director's Cut

Firstly, I've gotta thank you for this website, it really does show the "real" Brentwood. I moved here in 1997 and I've grown up here, so I do understand quite how boring the town is.
A year ago I decided to go to college in Benfleet, and most of my college friends live in Rayleigh, Southend, Basildon, etc... and I spend most of my time there. No wonder. When I'm at a friend's house and we're bored we can always go out, maybe on a 10 minute walk and do some shopping, hang out with friends, see a film...the list goes on and on.
When my friends come over here (and I live in Doddinghurst so walking to town is too time-consuming, and the bus that runs once an hour is hardly ever on time) we can get a lift in to town, and get coffee! Ok, so we've spent 10 mins getting hyper, now what to do....well we cant see anything so we'll pop into the tourism office to see if they know anything we don't. Oh wait, they're closed! Okay, we'll spend all day looking for something to do. 3 hours later and we're back by the Baytree center, having done sod all.

I'm directing a feature film and we were going to shoot the opening sequence in the arcade. Okay, it's not New Zealand but with a bit of good camerawork it doesn't look bad. Unfortunately we've now changed that shot to Benfleet as (after getting support from all the shops down the arcade) as I couldn't get a location release for less than about 30 times our total budget. Brentwood council couldn't help either as they don't actually have a filming department like every other council in Essex does.

I'd like to ramble on with more complaints but I just don't have the time. (As you can see it's almost 2 am and I've just finished my paperwork for the day)

Keep on being grumpy, we wouldn't have you any other way


11th December 2006
B-List Celebs

Hi Mr Bored in Brentwood,

Can I ask do you actually live in Brentwood?

I completely Disagree with near enough every negative comment you have made about Brentwood, It is a desirable place to live and the fact that you said people only live their because they can't afford London or a better Sub-urban alternative (not your exact words) is completely ridiculous.

Half of the people who live in London could not afford to live in Brentwood and also a lot of people who live further out could not afford it. If it is such a cheap place to live then why would Sir Alan Sugar live there, he's not exactly strapped for cash is he?

Also Brentwood is a very fun place...what is it that makes it boring is it the nice bars and restaurants? is it the funky nightclubs? Is it the go Carting? Ski slope? Or is it the fact that you have not adapted to the Brentwood way of life?

Brentwood is a place for wealthy Essex people to move to or retire in, there is an abundance of fast cars and large houses, wealthy children and B list celebrities....The schools are of very high standard and commuting isn't too bad.

I am afraid I have no more time sit here and disagree with you but please send a response and I will disagree some more.

Many Thanks

Joe (Happy to live in Brentwood)

Hilarious Joe, thank you.
I've lived in Brentwood for 25 years whereas Alan Sugar has lived in Chigwell for 26 years. He also has homes in Spain and America, but not Brentwood, according to the Business Times

10th December 2006
Romford. Yuck!

I’ve had a laugh reading your website about Brentwood ; thank you! When I was moving there in 1994, people teased me as I was moving to the 'most boring town in England '. I was transient as all the thousands before me; Ford Motor Company being the guilty party. But alas, I fell in love with a man who was born in Brentwood , and so, Brentwood is now our Pilgrim destination! I will be bringing our two young boys to visit Nanna once again, and as I search the web for interesting things to see and do whilst in England , not much is in Brentwood as you know!

But speaking for the many foreigners who have had their lives briefly touched by ‘passing through’ Brentwood , it really isn’t that boring. I had a lovely two years living there, meeting people, and enjoying the local culture! You are a town of friendly people, most eager to please visitors. And that in itself is something to be prideful of. Chelmsford may have a ‘community’ by your definition, but it doesn’t exude the friendliness I always found on Brentwood High Street. Take a look at Romford, yuck! A lad would be more likely to grab my handbag than to grab a door for me like in Brentwood .

Arguably, I did live there 12 years ago, things may have changed, but my trip in 2004 seemed pleasant enough, still smiles abounded. It’s hard to argue with the economics that effect towns, I understand your position. But remember, it still is people that make a community, and Brentwood is filled with charming folks!

Thanks again, I truly enjoyed your site!

Kind Regards,


Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

30th October 2006
High Street Cess

I think that you have really under estimated Brentwood. It has a highly active youth culture that is split into three factions.

The bustop people,
The scary goth children that come out on friday night,
and the older pub yobs.

Just kidding the youths of Brentwood are stupid.

I think you should write an article about how the children of Brentwood are mutiplying and adding to the cesspool whihc is currently known as the high street.

- H-man

22th October 2006
Setting the Record Straight

Having been sent a copy of your web site articles regarding the impossibility (in your view) of a cinema deal, will you be updating it with the news that we have got one, with waitrose as well?

Just wondered


When we see the new six-storey multi-plex monstrosity towering over the local dwellings, and when we see the hooded vandals lurking around in the labyrinths of the new faceless litter-strewn concrete shopping-malls, then I guess I'll have to update the comment.
But not till then.

12th October2006
A youngsta writes...

Hey there just read your website and ive lived in brentwood for about 12 years now and im sick of it... your right in what you say about people just passing thru and treating it like shit! Im abit angry at why they made the salvation army into another fucking resturant wtf? Shouldnt it have been made into a youth centre or something instead of another place for the oldies to eat... When is something gnna be done about the youth in brentwood its not on!!

9th June 2006
Why bother?

What a lot of work you have put into your website?
Why go to so much trouble if you hate the town so much?

20th April 2006
Each Year It Gets Worse

I have never enjoyed a site more, I assume you are not high up on the list of people invited to Council meetings and such like.

I live in Brentwood, and have dome for 25 years, each year it gets worse. But is it because I am getting old and want it the way it was, even when I moved in? My sons think its great, loads of places to eat and drink, they shop in Lakeside.

31st March 2006

Hi Mr Bored, In Shenfield the counsillors came up the idea of charging to park in the car parks and allow parking in the street free of charge (on one side of the street anyway). Result : empty car parks and half the main road occupied by parked cars. Brilliant - they must have gone to great lengths to work that one out.

By the way I never shop in Brentwood as its not worth all the hassle. One word: if you really think Brentwood is so boring, try a day out in Sidcup.

23rd January 2006
Old News

Congratulations. You are front page news in Brentwood's most esteemed "newspaper", the always hard-hitting Yellow Advertiser. Notice your site has been updated for a few months now, so obviously the chaps there have been holding on to this story until a slow news week. Last week's headline was "man dies of natural causes".

18th January 2006
What Ho Good Sire

What Ho good sire.

So Brentwood is boring is it. Have a care the curse of we boring old farts doesn't get you. Remember the artistic cretin who started it all - young David McClucly - actually I rather thought his name was McClusky - but no matter as an old ex journalist, I was never any good at names, dates and places.

Point is, having bit the hand that fed him as it were. the poor lad met a sad fate. Escaping from the hordes of uptight local burgers (?) one weekend to the delights of Camdon Town he was set upon by a gang of mischievous persons who set about him and soundly beat him up.

There is of course no truth in the rumour that these were members of the SAS wing of the Brentwood Civic Trust.

Still love the site. Having just discovered it. keep up the good work.

Cheers and Beers
Apprentice boring old fart.

17th January 2006
Brandon Bites

I have had a read through some of the articles posted on your web site. they make interesting reading and i am surprised to have not read them in the open press.
I just wanted to let yo have a some extra information regarding your concerns over a cinema for brentwood specifically. Although some of your quotes and referrals on my comments are not entirely accurate, it is in the cross party agreed planning document that outlines what the council will require as part of any deal for William Hunter way that we will require a cinema as part of the scheme, or we will not sell.
I have also publicly said that we will be looking for an imaginative and attractive design plan that can add extra much needed car parking to brentwood, although we have added 130 (approx.) spaces to town center parking availability in late 2005.
For completeness i would also suggest that whilst i appreciate we are all entitled to an opinion, we also have to bear in mind that if there is something that we want as individuals or as a community then the only way to deliver it is to go out and get it. Brentwood has made it clear over a number of years that it does want a cinema and although the previous administration was unable to deliver one i do feel it is important that we are pro active in going out and looking at options to deliver one, which is partly the reasoning behind WHW, it will not just walk up and land in our laps.
I hope this is of some help by way of information and i also hope that you will be able to put your support behind the idea of improving the facilities for brentwood residents, even if you are not as confident as I of Brentwoods ability to deliver on our future.

LETTERS (2005)
2nd December 2005
French Letter


Just a word to say how much I enjoyed reading through your site. I was brought up in Brentwood but - to add some grist to your mill - moved abroad in 1976. I have only been back a couple of times since (just passing through!), and found the town both smarter and seedier, if that is possible. As a child of the sixties, my favourite haunts were the White Hart and the Black Horse, so I almost shed tears when I saw what had become of the White Hart! What hasn't changed much is the district's fine parks. As a child I spent many a long hour in Weald Park. Apart from being tidied up a bit (no more wrecked WWII tanks) it was still recognisable.

Times move on but I must say I am sad to read your assessment of life today in the town.

Best wishes


8th December 2005
Qui Moi? Not Politically Correct???

What kind of ignorant, ill-informed red neck wrote the words about Warley Hospital for this site? I take it they're not too hot on the concerns of the mentally ill.

What a subjective piece of crap. My stomach turned as I read the line "Yes folks, nutters from all over the county were locked up in Brentwood." Unbelievable! It was so wonderful to be reminded that people still have their heads firmly kept where the sun doesn't shine.

This is the type of us and them, it could never happen to me, Sun Reader mentality that keeps Britain so inward-looking.

Dear, oh dear.


Thanks Jan! I love you too! When you say "unbelievable", do you mean you don't believe that nutters from all over the county were locked up in the Essex Lunatic Asylum? They do say that refusing to recognise the reality of obvious truths is a key symptom of an impending psychiatric episode....

As for the "us & them" mentality: you're projecting your own paranoia onto my comments. You don't actually know if I haven't already suffered mental illness, after all one in six adults in Great Britain will suffer from mental illness at least once in their lifetime.

LETTERS (2005)
7th September 2005
Stupid Rant

Dear Boring, grumpy, person,

I was a bit dismayed as I wandered into your pointless site. I am moving to Brentwood shortly and ran a search engine about the shops in Brentwood. Instead I came across your site which is just a stupid rant about nothing in particular. I was particularly disturbed to read your interpretation of schizophrenics. My brother has recently been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and I don't think he should be locked up in a mental hospital just for being so. His illness is controllable and yes, 'care in the community' does work. If I can live with him and not fear for my life why can't he be in the community? It was interesting to find out about the old Warley hospital but I didn't need your sarcastic and arrogant comments along with it! Please re-phrase or delete what you've written and make your site a bit more informative and worthwhile. Thank you very much.


Thanks Clare. Some people without appropriate support in the community are lost and desperate. The notion of "Care" in the community, for many, is non-existent: it is effectively abandonment because it saves money on mental hospitals. Your brother is lucky to have you to provide that care, and if his illness is controllable, that's great. But the News is littered with cases of mentally -ill people supposedly receiving "Care in the Community", who have ending up killing and wounding people. Even the mental health charity Sane says this is due to: "the failure of the community care policy, which for years we have been highlighting as a fundamentally flawed system" The Victorian word for mental institution "Asylum" was used advisedly - it was in many cases a sanctuary for people with psychiatric problems to be looked after and avoid the viciousness of life on the streets.

LETTERS (2005)
19th April 2005
More destruction of Brentwood Heritage

Wondered if you knew about plans submitted to demolish the house Fairholme on the corner of Highland Avenue and Ongar Road.
The plan is to build 10 flats, 4 storeys high. Planning # BRW/215/2005.
Fairholme has a history but one I can't find on the net (which is how I came to your site). The cul-de-sac Treetops was built on land owned by the owners of Fairhome and the land was once known as the Fairholme estate. I don't quite know how old Fairholme is but I'm guessing late 19th century.
Just thought you'd be interested.