This is Bexley
We asked residents to tell us what it’s like to be part of Bexley - to be born here, to move here, to work here, or to bring up their children here.
Their experiences and opinions, shared with us and you, bring our story of Bexley to life.
Our residents in their own words
More stories about Bexley from our residents
Matt is a fairly new resident in Bexley, having moved from Richmond to Abbey Wood where he has now lived with his husband Will for two years. Making the most of the beauty of our green spaces, Matt lives in a quiet street with a great community feel. Living there means he can also keep his London identity, which is important for him.
Matt is an Educational Psychologist in Bexley working with children across the borough, where he now enjoys a much more relaxing commute cycling up and down the “deceiving hills of Bexley”. He enjoys helping the young people he works with, mentioning how special it feels when he experiences “the moment when the child realises someone is listening to them”.
Being part of a community is a big deal for Matt - having socially distanced D-Day celebrations in his street last year, arranging mutual cat sitting with neighbours, as well as playing Dungeons and Dragons with his local friends every week. It is the feeling of togetherness in Bexley that feels stronger than in other places he has lived.
Matt lives right on the edge of Lesnes Abbey Woods, saying that “Lesnes Abbey was a saviour during lockdown”. Lesnes Abbey has also had a more personal impact on Matt and his husband during their time in the borough. During Covid, Matt’s wedding was postponed but instead they had “went to the Abbey with a bottle of champagne and watched the sunset” to celebrate the day. In a time where spirits could have been low, the Abbey had delivered happiness, and lasting memory, with natural beauty.
Jane has lived in Bexley for over 16 years, moving from Leytonstone in East London where she grew up. She now lives in Belvedere with her husband and 3 children, each of which have grown up in the borough. She loves the variety of architecture throughout the borough and its affordability compared to other areas of London, and she still discovers hidden roads and areas with beautiful properties every day. Jane loves the beauty of the borough during the holiday seasons, especially the lights at Christmas
Jane works as a service manager in Children’s Services and has put in a lot of time and hard work progressing her career, continuing to do so through training. Outside of work, she loves to bake and sing, regularly singing with her local church choir – and she makes a good rum cake.
She feels that there is a good community spirit where she lives. One of her favourite memories of living in Bexley is the yearly bouncy castle she arranges on the green for her child’s birthday party. All the neighbours come out for this and end up in her house for slushies. She also loves when the snow comes, as all the children sledge in her garden.
Jane also enjoys the “attractive eating-out options in town, without needing to worry about parking”, as well as the green areas around Bexley including Lesnes Abbey woods and Danson Park.
If Jane could improve Bexley in any way, she would love to see Erith waterfront becoming more like Richmond upon Thames, as well as improving our rail stations to have a bit more of a buzz about them –“Bexley has so much potential to build on.”
While Jane grew up in East London, Bexley is the place she now calls home for her family, “If I won the Lottery I would always choose to live in Bexley.”
Charlotte is a Data Analyst in the city and has lived in Bexley for 2 years, having moved from Waterloo to her “forever home” in Belvedere. Charlotte and her partner enjoy the “slower pace of life away from the hectic central London” and the natural environment offered in Bexley, especially being near the river and Lesnes Abbey. Charlotte likes that in Bexley she can keep having her city life alongside the country living.
Bexley has offered Charlotte the opportunity to leave the busy city and unwind “where at the end of the day it is nice to get out and relax, where you have somewhere nice to switch off”. The mixture of country living, and city life is a major reason why Charlotte has been looking to get more involved in her community that is “more welcoming and friendly” than other parts of London. She’s enjoyed finding new places to eat especially the “lovely places in Bexleyheath” as well as helping local restaurants during the pandemic and is looking to meet new people through pub quizzes and other local events.
During lockdown Charlotte and her partner explored the natural beauty of the borough by walking through Lesnes Abbey a few times a month, they loved “watching it change through the seasons, especially seeing daffodils and bluebells in spring”.
As a fan of the theatre and music gigs, the quick link to London is great for entertainment. Charlotte hopes to see more local community events and performances as this would be the cherry on top of the Bexley cake.