I have lived in the Orpington area all my life - Petts Wood, Farnborough, Bickley and Green Street Green. Good and bad, I love the area and think I have the best of all worlds: on the edge of rural life, yet only a short train journey from the metropolis and all the culture I could possibly want. There have been many changes over the decades but much of the historic flavour remains - the woods, the villages, the generations of families. Even community spirit, which seems to diminish with every year of technological progress, raises its head in the most unlikely places, just when one thinks it has expired completely.
However, there is always room for improvement. For instance, poor Orpington high street has suffered a plummeting demise over the last few years. But hope is at hand, with the successful formation of the BID (Business Improvement District) - Orpington 1st (website currently being redeveloped) - and the beginnings of community and business interest being aroused again. The Walnuts regeneration is also progressing and is due for completion, with the new cinema, early 2014, with retail units opening winter 2013.
Now is the time for local residents to sit up and take notice. The Priory Revisited is another regeneration project for which local input is required. What do residents want to see there? This is a chance for people to have their say. But if you do not speak up and participate in these activities, it will be your own lethargy to blame if the final results are less than desirable.
So, please add your comments to this 'blog' (and Priory survey) and generate some interest in developing, improving and, more importantly, maintaining the ethos of Orpington's image - as you want it to be.