‘We’ve been invaded by snobs’: Pensioner behind media Lidl storm blasts unfriendly newcomers

John Waller and the Lidl storm
John Waller and the Lidl storm

The pensioner who helped create the Lidl media storm in Berkhamsted says the friendliness of people living in the town has greatly diminished since his childhood days.

John Waller previously said snobs and ‘toffee-nosed twits’ were behind a petition to try and stop the discount food chain from opening a supermarket in the area.

The 71-year-old’s comments – first reported by this website two weeks ago - were seized upon by the Daily Mail and published on Monday.

He has since appeared on regional news programme ITV London to repeat his comments and has also spoken to online film-makers at DeeTV

Speaking to this website today, he said: “Berkhamsted is a lovely town, but the quality of people has decreased over the years with all these incomers. They do not talk. They walk around, look down their noses and they never speak.”

He said there was no shortage of parking spaces, doctors surgeries and school places when he was growing up in the 1950s and 60s – before the ‘newcomers’ arrived.

He said: “Do they care that all the fields that we played in when we were children are all covered in their houses and flats?

“No one seemed to kick up a fuss that our local laundry, car workshop and car cleaning place has been knocked down in the last few weeks, for what? More homes.”

The flats for the over-60s will be built in Berkhamsted High Street near the town centre after the old properties were bought by Churchill Retirement Living

Mr Waller’s wife Anne says the proposed Lidl is needed to meet the diverse shopping needs of the 17,000 people that live in Berkhamsted.

Mr Waller, who now lives in the town’s Cobb Road, said: “I was born in Berko 71 years ago. The Wallers have been in Berko for generations. My grandad was born in George Street in 1890.

“I have noticed how the town has become less friendly over recent years, with the hordes of newcomers who have arrived.

“A saying that springs to mind is that a lot of them ‘look as if they have been sucking lemons’.

“Perhaps its because they have left the places where they were born and bred and feel out of place, or their mortgages are so astronomic it makes them miserable, or they feel superior to the locals?

“It’s time the outsiders got behind the local organisations and made a point of smiling and saying hello as they parade about our beautiful town.”