Charny. Charnwood. Everyone’s heard of it, some people refuse to go there. Others say it’s their favourite part of Canberra.
Located in the Belconnen region, Charnwood was established in 1971 and boasts a population of 3068. Unlike many other suburbs in Canberra, Charnwood is not named after a Prime Minister but rather a forest in England; the Forest of Charnwood – how grand! It sounds like something out of an Enid Blyton novel.
Charnwood can sometimes have a negative reputation as crime levels used to be quite high, with the most recent big scale crime in 2008 when a woman stabbed her former friend to death outside a chicken takeaway shop.
While we’re on the subject of chicken in Charnwood, I’ve heard from numerous people that Regal Chicken has the best BBQ chicken in all of Canberra! Many also spoke highly of the store Charnie’s Noodles and Dumplings.
While some believe Charnwood to be the ‘dodgy’ end of town and they’d never allow their kids to play outside there, many Charny residents (past and present!) are so incredibly proud of the area they grew up in. One person I spoke to reminisced on the parties that used to be held up Mt Rogers, learning to drive their beat up Datsuns and Geminis on Old Charnwood Road (which is now Dunlop). He did mention there was the odd epic punch up behind the shops, often between the ‘boonahs’ – which he described as dudes in ugh boots and Metallica t-shirts – and the skaters.
Each year a fun event called the Charny Carny is held. And yep, you guessed it, it’s a carnival of sorts. Unfortunately I’ve never had the opportunity to attend but it looks like an awesome community day out. The most recent Carny even had dodgem cars!
Charny has its moments, good and bad, however I think it’s redeemed itself from the bad. The pros definitely outweigh the cons and I’m already planning a trip to Regal Chicken…
Did you grow up in Charnwood? Or maybe you were a participant in the boonahs versus skaters punch ups?