Population of Forest Hill is approximately 30,000. That’s about the same as Chichester, Kendal, Colwyn Bay, or Dunstable. It has twice the population of Saffron Walden, Penzance, Matlock, or Skipton. And is three times larger than Oban, Glastonbury, Cromer, or St. Ives.
With such a large population, including two secondary schools, a swimming pool, library, parks, and a world class museum - I’m not sure why anybody really expects Forest Hill to feel like a village of a few hundred people.
However, Forest Hill is a friendly place and so it doesn’t take long for me to bump into somebody I know. But I do have a slightly larger contact network in the local area than most people. That happens when your daughter goes to the same school you did, your parents and in-laws live in walking distance, when you are an active member of multiple community organisations, and so are your family. The difference between a village and a town is that we don’t need to pretend to share the same interests and we can all be active in different groups.