The vandals are inside the gates in Wandle Park

Mindless vandalism to some of the new "antique" fittings in Wandle Park

Mindless vandalism to some of the new “antique” fittings in Wandle Park

Disturbing news from Inside Croydon reader Anna Arthur after she took a walk in the park – Wandle Park – yesterday.

“I live next to Wandle Park and was very excited to visit for the first time since it has had a lot of work done,” Anna told us.

Wandle Park was closed in January 2012 for the start of extensive re-modelling works costing at least £1.4million.

As well as building a skate park, the area was remodelled to bring the course of the River Wandle back to the surface, at least for a brief distance within the park.

For more than a century, the Wandle, which runs north through Merton and on to the Thames at Wandsworth, was one of London’s lost rivers, buried beneath ground for much of its course and treated as little more than a sewer during the Victorian growth of the city.

Another view of the pointless vandalism in Wandle Park. Clearly, if something's not nailed down...

Another view of the pointless vandalism in Wandle Park. Clearly, if something’s not nailed down…

“I was very upset to see it has already been vandalised,” Anna tells us, and provided some pictures of the mindless damage.

“Four of these ornamental bases have been broken. They haven’t even been stolen (that might make some sense), just thrown into the lake.”

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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5 Responses to The vandals are inside the gates in Wandle Park

  1. It didn’t take long did it? How long before supermarket tolleys,pallets,bikes and old cars are dumped in there?

    The Friends of Wandle Park group must be really sickened by this. The vandals will never be caught and will see it as a soft touch from now on. It’s the start of a slippery slope.

  2. I’m not sure what’s more sad, the damage itself, or the fact that the people involved gain enjoyment from ruining their local environment and causing distress to others. I hope something can be done to repair this soon or – as Andrew implies – it will encourage others to make things worse. There’s no excuse for vandalism but I expect genuine antique features would have been more resilient.

  3. sonofchas says:

    I’m not so sure that genuine architecture would have resisted the vandals’ interests. I think this is going to be an ongoing problem.

    I understand that there has already been a quadbike torched over by the skatepark and the ball park has lost a set of nets, not to mention of course the graffiti around the skate park; how long before that spreads all over the park?

    Think it was a bit foolhardy to open up the entire park with no visible security presence, and as such that is going to play into the vandals’ hands. How many times will the damage be repaired before it gets put ‘on the back burner’ as budgetary constraints begin to bite?

    Have to agree with the previous correspondent: “It’s the start of a slippery slope”.

  4. Arfur Towcrate says:

    I checked this out earlier today.

    It is indeed a shame, but does seem daft that you’d put what looks like cast iron containers so close to an ornamental pond, which is an open invitation to vandals to boot into the water (surprised that nobody’s thought of nicking and flogging them).

    The plants in the vicinity hadn’t been touched though – hopefully a good sign.

  5. I’ve got to ask how did no-one see this coming?

    Take a look at some of the people who live in the surrounding area, and look at what the park was like before.

    People caused a lot of damage to the old tennis courts, graffiti’d the place and vandalised parts of it. Putting a few vases up around the place, opening up the river, and giving people a ‘better’ park is not going to suddenly install respect into these people.

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