in Shaftesbury

Fitness First has always been the enemy

If Fitness First is the new frontline, where is the frontline?

If Fitness First is the new frontline, where is the frontline? Photo by Kate Meacock

I have, at times, banged on about the Claphamisation of Battersea, with new arrivals and Yorkshire based supermarkets showing no consideration of the area’s history or geography.

In my idler moments I’ve also wondered whether the excellent Love Battersea is perhaps just a little too mainstream and, just maybe, whether there should be a more radical splinter group—a Battersea People’s Front[1]—for those who are more vocal in their demands for Battersea’s place on the map.

Fitness First in Battersea, thinking they are in Clapham Hill in Kent.

Anyone know where Clapham Hill is?

Seeing pictures like the above taken outside the Fitness First on Falcon Road leave me more convinced than ever that the BPF has a place. That this is a year after they put up their ridiculous Clapham Hill hoarding and had the error pointed out to them leaves a rather bitter taste. Apparently, they think “a play on ‘Clapham and Lavender Hill’ is nice!”

Not only are they mistakenly placing themselves in Clapham, they then compound their sin by making up a new place they think is in Clapham (but is actually in Kent) and defend it with a hubris that only Sainsbury’s could match with their ‘Clapham St John’s’ near Wandsworth

I was thinking that we should have a two minutes hate[2] directed at Fitness First (and feel free to tweet them) would be a good starting point. But would two minutes be anything like long enough?


  1. Such naming would, of course, leave the People’s Front of Battersea name available for those who feel the BPF is too tame.  ↩
  2. I recognise that the title of this blogpost should have been ‘we have always been at war with Fitness First’ to keep the 1984 theme, but even I felt war was a little strong.  ↩

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