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From Shoreditch to the King's Road, Bury St Edmunds. Reporter Chris Morris ponders which one is best




It’s been a cool ol’ week here at the Bury Free Press.

And it makes you realise just what a cool place it is to live.

There was a time when I would wake up each morning in Shoreditch, in my London days, or ‘daze’ given the nature of the place, before having breakfast in a nearby cafe and heading to my office above a former Victorian music hall theatre.

St Edmund was pretty cool.
St Edmund was pretty cool.

I think Jarvis Cocker had a place just around the corner close to Charlie Wright’s International Bar and ‘faces of London’ were regular visitors to the many pubs, bars and galleries around Hoxton Square, where the Conquerer still remains legendary for its lock-ins and broken sewer pipes, as does The 333.

It was the time, however, at least before the property developers and hipsters moved in with their three piece suits, beards and began gentrifying the place, selling breakfast cereal for £10.50 a bowl.

Oh, and property prices also went through the roof, too.

The somewhat Bohemian lifestyle however began to take its toll 24/7 – later satirised by the other Chris Morris and Charlie Brooker in the sitcom Nathan Barley, about the eponymous webmaster, guerrilla filmmaker, screenwriter, DJ and in his own words, a ‘self-facilitating media node’.

Or as outlined until 2004, in the infamous fanzine the 'Shoreditch Tw*t', which captured the emerging conflict between the genuine creatives living and visiting the Hoxton Square area to meet like minded people, and those just wanting to cash in on the cache, or... ‘cool’.

As a young media node, I personally had also had enough the day I was asked by a national newspaper to go on a Club 18-30 holiday to Ibiza to expose the antics of otherwise right thinking, and erstwhile upstanding 'middle class girls' with behaviour that would shock even the most liberal of parents, usually defined as university professors, teachers, or accountants. Guess which newspaper...

I didn't go however, as one, I was over 30, and two.....

Alex Till, MENTA chief executive with Archie Balls, Abbeygate Accountancy, Tom Jamison, Jamison Consulting and Abbeygate Accountancy, and Kiera Booth, Jamison Consulting. Picture by Mecha Morton
Alex Till, MENTA chief executive with Archie Balls, Abbeygate Accountancy, Tom Jamison, Jamison Consulting and Abbeygate Accountancy, and Kiera Booth, Jamison Consulting. Picture by Mecha Morton

So, instead I moved to East Englia, and haven’t looked back.

I think it was Joe Strummer of the Clash who once said: ‘you have to be hard to live in the country’.

I don’t quite know what he meant, but I could have a good guess. Could it be the open skies, the open fields for miles and/or the often lack of . . . people?

So it was interesting to visit @Inc this week for my article on MENTA’s new shared office space.

Having spent a good many hours myself freelancing or hot desking around the cafes of Bury St Edmunds, it was great to see a dedicated business space for people, purpose built – but somewhere you could take your friends, or even your kids, to show them where you worked, or were even starting your own business, to feed them.

I, of course, was also delighted to see it is described as situated in the ‘Cool Quarter of Bury St Edmunds’, close to bars, pubs restaurants, theatre and music venues for a ready-made work and social life – just not 24/7.

It’s also right above our office.

And you can also be back in your rural idyll in less that 20 minutes.

Now how cool is that?

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