I’ve lived in Gravesend all my life.
Of course it has its moments, and perhaps – in some places – could do with a little bit of TLC, but name me a town that doesn’t.
What about all our great cafes and restaurants?
Admittedly perhaps not all are worthy of a Michelin star but very rarely will you leave without your thirst quenched or hunger satisfied.
You can take a stroll through the promenade gardens or along the river, or wander through some of the interesting historical sites in and around Gravesend, of which there are many.
Even I still haven’t got round to visiting the cold war bunker in Woodlands Park (and I must).
If you’re a sports fan, then why not pop down to Stonebridge Road and join the passionate Fleet faithful cheer on Ebbsfleet Utd?
As for the people, you only have to take a look at the hundreds of people who took part in the Conga for Stacey charity event last week at Gravesend Rugby Club to see how big their hearts are.
And who could forget our Olympic and Jubilee celebrations last year, when thousands got together to celebrate?
Community Square, Civic Centre, Gravesend
Then there’s the successful actresses, actors, musicians and artists this town has produced, such as Bond Girl Gemma Arterton, who went to Gravesend Grammar School for Girls; DJ Pete Tong, who grew up in Hartley and performed many of his first gigs in Gravesend; and internationally-acclaimed artist Anthony Blackman, whose paintings of the River Thames adorn many a wall.
Like many Gravesendians, I was angry when I heard website Chavtowns.co.uk had rated Gravesend sixth in the Top Ten worst places to live in England.
It is a forum for people to air their grievances about the area they live in or a place they have visited, and bigupboi wrote: “Gravesend is populated by the most grotesque, loathsome, vile and vulgar sub-human vermin that one could ever have the misfortune to come across.”
Still, you’ve got to feel sorry for Hull, which came in at number one.
While some will bash our town, there are plenty of others who are proud of where they live.
Councillor for Riverside ward, Dick Smith, said: “One of the great things about Gravesend is the diversity of the town, which over the years has evolved.
“I have lived here for 42 years and I think it’s a better place here now. Despite what some people say about the ‘good old days’ this town has changed for the better and hopefully it will continue to do so.”
Terry Lee has run the Red Lion pub, in Crete Hall Road, Northfleet, for almost 30 years, and believes his customers reflect the positive side of Gravesendians.
He said: “The people who come to us are well educated, well mannered and nice people from the area – and there are lots of good people in this town.
“We had 500 people attend our charity festival Herofest, raising over £2,000 for Help for Heroes which was great to see.”
Former St George’s School student Matthew Tillman has organised various club nights including a charity concert at The Woodville and said that when it comes to giving to a worthy cause, Gravesend residents are always interested.
He said: “My charity nights were always very attended by people in the area. I went to the Conga For Stacey at Gravesend Rugby Club on Sunday and it was pleasing to see so many people turn up and have fun. It was a lovely day too.
“I’ve worked in bars in Gravesend and you do get some undesirable people, of course, but that’s the same wherever you go out.”
Bigupboi, you are entitled to your opinion, but I’m afraid we think otherwise.