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Moving to clock house area(19 Posts)
Hi, all. I need some advice on the clock house area. DH and I were planning a move to beckenham on the more "villagey" side near beckenham junction. We could afford a 2-bed flat there as a FTB. We love the area and it looks great for kids, we're hoping to fall oregnant next year. However we've actually seen that we're more likely to get a house in the clock house area for a similar budget. But we don't know the area well at all so we're not sure if its worth pursuing this. I don't mind too much that its not as pretty but I would like to know if its safe and good for children? I work shifts so would be travelling home at night post 9pm some days. Please let me know if you have any experience of the area. Thanks
I used to live on Birkbeck Road, a few minutes away from Clock House in the "less posh" direction . I was very happy there for about 8 years.
I used to catch the last train back from London on a regular basis and never had a problem. To put it in perspective, I'm 4'11 and I did the 20 minute walk home from the station alone quite happily after midnight. Unless I was really knackered and treating myself to a taxi.
I'm assuming you'd be coming back from Central London? The other great thing about Beckenham is the variety of routes - if the Hayes line's down then there's the train from Victoria to Kent House, or the Overground to Penge West followed by a 227.
Penge High Street is good for shopping, better than Beckenham High Street I think. I can't tell you too much about whether the area's good for kids since I didn't have any at the time, but I'd definitely recommend it.
Good for kids - you've got Cator park and can walk to the library (less than 10 mins) or into Beckenham itself (10 mins) for playgroups/classes.
You've got Kent house station near which is on the Victoria route.
Safety wise - its well lit (the main road) and you could get a house nearer the main road so a quick walk.
It's not too far from South Norwood Country Park either. Which has lakes with ducks, a playground and just loads and loads of wild grassy open space.
It,s great. You are less than ten mins walk from several modes of tranport, a leisure centre, shops, parks, cinema. It,s safe. And depending where your flat actually is, you might be in the balgowan school catchment area
Bit of a bump for this thread!
Thanks for the replies. We are still looking in his area after breaking for Christmas! We are now pregnant too so need to get a move on!
Just wanted to ask a bit more about the primary schools. There seem to be a couple of highly regarded ones - Balgowan, Alexandra. But does anyone have any knowledge of Churchfields, Royston, Stewart Fleming? They don't have as glowing ofsted reports but (as my mum is a primary school worker) I know this isn't everything. Any experiences?
Royston is in special measures but will be taken over by the Harris Academy soon which will probably change things. the other good schools you mentioned have very small catchment areas so you'd have to be very close to be in with a shot. I've heard that stewart fleming is well regarded locally.
The thing is, the schools might change by the time your little one is old enough to go so I wouldn't worry too much - a lot of people move when child is 3/4 instead.
Have you made a choice and settled somewhere? I'm in the same process and also looking in this area, initially to rent and we'll see how it goes.
Beckenhamgirl, could you say a bit more about the Harris academy taking over Churchfields? That is very interesting indeed.
We're in the process of moving from France with our son who's 5 and i'm pretty much pulling my hair working out where to settle...
Thanks all, this forum is so good and useful.
It's a smallish community so you will see the same faces again and again. Low on culture, high on safety. I have lived in both Penge, the Albert Estate ( lovely) and Clockhouse. My nephews and I are used to coming back at all hours of the morning,.using the night bus, and it us fine as long as you are sensible. It's also the sort of place where if you were scared you could knock on s door a people would help.
Churchfields is school that does incredibly well with its catchment but a lot of its children have learning difficulties afair. If you are in clockhouse the odds are you would get Balgowan. It is now an academy.
It is a deeply unfashionable area with great transport links, increasingly good schools in the state sector and masses if private sector choice, nice doctors IME, and a stable environment for kids to grow up. It is very down to earth s London. Not keep up with the Triple-Barrelled-Jones, iyswim. Your property may not escalate as it would in clapham or islingtkn but you will live a peaceful life.
Great parks. Crystal Palace with the pre darwinian dinosaurs and boating, churchfields, the croydon road rec, beckenham place park with woods and golf course, and dulwich. The picture gallery at dulwich is wonderful and the horseman museum in sydenham is child bliss though crowded.
Increasingly good restaurants in beckenham and our Fave Italian in Penge.
If people tell you Harris Beckenham (aka cator) is useless, remind them it got something like 12 Cambridge offers last year.
Great post with lots of info thanks a lot Ginnowplease
It did thanks.
Do you still live in the area?
Ginnowplease your description of Beckenham tickled me. I think the deeply unfashionable/low on culture area with great transport links etc. Was a pretty accurate description.
However, I will just add that because of the good schools and good transport links it attracts a lot of people who are high on culture and low on salary. I know quite a few, and a lot of academics.
So, although it lacks the feeling of urban diversity which is so special in London, you can meet a range of people and can find people who get their culture from central London or elsewhere.
Also, for the schools, one of the big issues with the area is that the catchment areas for the 'good' schools (Balgowan, Alexandra, Clare House, Unicorn) are very small. Do make sure if you are thinking of moving to get into one of those, you look at the catchment areas and move well within them. I know of a number of people who moved to get into Balgowan (where my youngest just started) who didn't actually get in this year.
Bonjourlondon, there are also a lot of French/bilingual families in the area.
Still unsure if we'll go to Beckenhem or more Clockhouse way. Churchfields doesn't seem to do that bad and Steward Fleming very well, actually did better than Balgowan last year i saw on tables.
Balgowan had a massive dip in their performance last year, but that was apparently because of some students who joined late (and took a bit of time to catch up). Stewart Fleming has been doing really well as an academy. I had a friend who visited Churchfields and who really liked it. Their catchment area is much larger. The key thing is to make a decision and to move well within the catchment area of the school. Marion Vian was outstanding and was just moved to 'good', but they have lovely facilities (swimming pool, outdoor space), which you just don't get with Balgowan. Will you get to visit any of them? They all have open days on at the moment, but they get filled up VERY quickly, so if you are close enough, you might want to book on to some, and see which you like the feel of. The good thing about the area around Balgowan is that you can walk to everything, the Spa, the library, the park, the cinema, the high street (I'm biased though, that's where I live ;).
thanks for your feedback, i do like the balgowan area very much indeed, but it's a case of matching budget with schools we like (like everyone else of course) and the tricky issue is that our son will be an In Year admission, joining a Y1 class somewhere.
We did visit last spring Balgowan, Alexandra Infant, Clare House and Marian Vian and TBH all seemed looooovely in different ways. My main worry and doubt is that we'll move somewhere to then find out our sone has to travel miles away to a school we don't even like cause that's where there will be space...
Budget wise I can see that the Churchfields area is a bit cheaper but not that much and I'm concerned with the poor level of the former Royston now a Harris fed school...and the Malcolm/Penge equivalent...Any thoughts?
I understand that you like it there, it's very nice indeed.
Sorry meant to also say , we got an appointment to visit Unicorn in October.
And when i talked budget I meant properties (rent initially to test area)
i am thinking to come in bromley area ..i am really concern weather i should go nera to clare house or highfields ...i didn't get chance to go in openday for bothof schools can any bode share there view.tnx
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