Townies vs. Skaters...
In my nephew's school in Hitchin, Hertfordshire you're either a townie or a skater. Woe betide you if you aren't one or the other. Or, worse still, wear the wrong shoes for your gang. You get punched. No question. Not exactly Jets and Sharks or Mods and Rockers but you see where they're going with this. It's tribalism.
Skaters are perhaps easier to define: that baggy clothing, skate-boarding, Avril Levine kind of a look. Slightly rockier pop music but all basically chart based like Busted.
But Townies are, for me, a more interesting phenomenon. Coincidentally earlier this week Guy sent me a link to a townie hating web site. (a townie is more widely known as chava or scally in some circles).
townie, charver, chava, charva n. 'What a Townie'; 'He's a right little Charva'. Used to describe group of youths usually described as 'kappa slappers' else where. Townies typically wear things like Kappa tracksuits and Berghaus jackets, smoke Lambert and Butler cigarettes amongst other things, have hooped gold earrings, spit constantly and wear at least one gold sovereign ring (a gold band attached to the bottom of a gold sovereign coin) on each hand. Most people seem to grow out of 'charvadom' by their early twenties, although may still carry a few of the habits through to later life and will by then probably drive a souped-up XR2I, with blacked-out rear windows and a 5000 watt stereo system. Another trait common to the charva is a loud, slightly sarcastic, nasal laugh and slow 'can't really be bothered to talk' speech. Typical slang words that Charvas use are 'belta', 'mint' and 'waxa' all meaning good or great, with the prefix of 'pure' or 'total' this would mean really good. The word charva has been in common use in the North East since the mid-nineties. The term townie gets used down South.