Residents in South London’s “mini Paris” say their neighbourhood has lost its old-fashioned pubs as trendy youngsters have flocked to the area with its own “Eiffel Tower”.

The Crystal Palace transmitter in Bromley was built in the 1950s at the site of the original Crystal Palace ruins.

At the time, the 219-metre tower was the tallest building in London, with the structure remaining largely unchanged since then.

News Shopper: The transmitting tower as seen from Crystal Palace ParkThe transmitting tower as seen from Crystal Palace Park

Gary Rigby, 54, has lived on Farquhar Road beside Crystal Palace Park for nearly 20 years, in direct view of the tower.

The local said: “I used to work in central London in a tower block in Southwark on the Thames.

"We were up on the top floor and for some reason I used to get a kind of childish satisfaction in looking out the window and being able to see the transmitter.

"It made me feel like it wouldn’t be long before I could go home from the job that I hated.”

Describing himself as an “outsider”, Mr Rigby moved to London in the late 1980s for university, and said the Crystal Palace community has always been a “mixed bag”.

He said: “It’s quite a transient type of population. So anybody can fit in here, it doesn’t matter where you are from.

"There’s always been quite a cosmopolitan population.”

Mr Rigby said the “fabric” of the area hasn’t changed much over the years, despite local house prices going up.

He said “old South London boozers” have become gastropubs full of “trendy people”.

The local said: “There are these little nods and winks to gentrification happening because I think there’s always been a certain shabbiness to it and that’s why it’s never been that expensive.”

Carl Imthurn, 61, lives just beside the tower on Jasper Road.

News Shopper: Carl Imthurn on Farquhar Road in front of the transmitting towerCarl Imthurn on Farquhar Road in front of the transmitting tower

The local moved to Crystal Palace in 1983, and remembers the area being a tight knit community.

He said: “I suppose there was more of a mixture of class [back then], whereas now it’s predominantly the affluent bourgeoisie…You used to be able to know everybody. You didn’t necessarily have to get on with everybody, but everybody knew each other whereas nowadays, people tend to be a little bit more resenting in social interaction.”

Even as money has flocked to the area, Mr Imthurn said Crystal Palace has always been “gentle” and is thankful for the more diverse communities it has attracted.

He said the area is still “as beautiful as it ever was” because it has “the best views of London”.

Regarding the transmitter, Mr Imthurn said: “I mean, that is our Eiffel Tower, isn’t it?

"When push comes to shove, it’s on the highest point in South London, I think this ridge is higher than anything they’ve got up north. It can be seen from everywhere.”

Anna Sayburn, 53, has lived in the same flat with her husband beside the Crystal Palace transmitter for the past 20 years.

News Shopper: Anna Sayburn on Farquhar Road in front of the transmitting towerAnna Sayburn on Farquhar Road in front of the transmitting tower

She said the recent increase in wealth has made it more difficult for young people to live in the area.

She said: “It used to be somewhere that pretty much anyone could come and live. It would be nice if it was still. It was a place that pretty much anyone with their first job could think about getting a flat here.”

Ms Sayburn said the transmitter has always served as a “reference point” for her and other locals.

She said: “Whenever you’re coming home, particularly if you’re coming from London, as soon as you can see the tower you feel like you’re home. You know you’re on your way.”

Like Mr Imthurn, Ms Sayburn likes to think of the transmitter as the equivalent of the Eiffel Tower.

She said: “I think Crystal Palace sometimes has a bit of a feeling of living in Paris, with the little cafes at the top [of the hill], the small shops and the street market on Saturdays.

"It’s a mini Paris.”