The Brockley News showed that Deptford in 1900 wasn't just a grim place where crime occurred. There was also humour, as in this anecdote from a meeting of the Vestry of St Paul's Church:
There were 396 candidates for the post of rate collector for the North Ward in succession to the late Mr Monger. Five attended before the Vestry, and the voting resulted in Mr Henry Stone, 303, New Cross-road, being appointed. A candidate demurred to the stipulation that the collector must live in the Ward, as “he had heard it was not a very nice place.” The chairman, amid laughter, assured him that “Deptford was not so black as it was painted.”I'm not sure whether it's depressing or amusing that some stereotypes are so slow to change!