Unconnected Croydon II: Christmas festival’s damp squib

nuremberg christmas market

A beautiful, seasonal Christmas festival. Pictured above, though, is Nuernberg in Germany, where such winter feasts have been staged for centuries, in town squares, all well-lit and with Gluehwein and sausage to warm the cockles.

Which is not quite the same in Lansdowne Road, hard by the London to Brighton mainline and Croydon’s latest claim to infamy, the Bridge to Nowhere.

Croydon's Mayor, Yvette Hopley, together with Chris Burchell, the managing director for Southern Rail, left, and florid-faced Mike Fisher, the leader of the council, cut the ribbon to open the new pedestrian bridge at East Croydon. At the western end. The eastern end remains firmly unconnected

Croydon’s Mayor, Yvette Hopley, together with Chris Burchell, the managing director for Southern Rail, left, and florid-faced Mike Fisher, the leader of the council, cut the ribbon to open the new pedestrian bridge at East Croydon. At the western end. The eastern end remains firmly unconnected

The wretched weather did not help, for certain, but the “celebration” staged tonight by the council’s favourite PR agency, Grey Label, looked as half-arsed as ever and a wanton waste of public money – money which has been taken from the riot recovery fund which many had expected to be used to help those affected by the looting and arson of August 2011.

Instead, Croydon’s Conservative-run council decided to spunk tens of thousands of pounds away on a 21st century version of “bread and circuses”.

Trouble was, Grey Label had failed to effectively publicise the event, or the people of Croydon were simply disinterested in what was on offer – not more than 20 stalls, if that, some offering food, some offering goods to the handful of passers-by along a closed road where hours earlier, a large team of contractors had been patching over broken pavements and trying to finish off incomplete road works.

“There’s more atmosphere on Surrey Street on an ordinary wet weekend,” was the view of one middle-class lady shopper.

Inside Croydon’s trainee, DANNIE LIEBOVITZ was sent out on assignment for a second photo-gallery of the day

Hardly an enticing Christmas scene - and even the council's own branding is out of date

Hardly an enticing Christmas scene – and even the council’s own branding is out of date

Not the most inviting of scenes? Few people chose to brave the weather to sample the Connected Croydon festival

Not the most inviting of scenes? Few people chose to brave the weather to sample the Connected Croydon festival

There was little seasonal light and brightness at Croydon's celebration tonight

These fairy lights were a rare spot of brightness at Croydon’s celebration tonight

Business was hardly booming for those traders that had taken a punt on the council-organised celebration

Business was hardly booming for those traders that had taken a punt on the council-organised celebration

 

About insidecroydon

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
This entry was posted in Addiscombe, Business, Commuting, Croydon 8/8, Croydon Council, East Croydon, Environment, Fairfield, Lansdowne Road RA, Mike Fisher, Transport and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Unconnected Croydon II: Christmas festival’s damp squib

  1. Anne Giles says:

    There were no facilities for disabled people. No seating anywhere. As this was held at a time when the trams were out of action from Addington to Sandilands, traffic from Selsdon was just a long traffic jam. Buses simply crawled along at a snail’s pace. To park meant driving the length of Wellesley Road, then turning around and trying (in the dark and the rain) to find Bedford Park Road, which was the only road where one could turn left to get into Sydenham Road and then to the Dingwall Road car park. I drove all the way down, turned around and drove all the way back. Took me 1.15 hours. Most disappointing.

  2. I didn’t see or hear any publicity about the bridge “opening” nor the market when I boarded my 8:50 train to Victoria this morning, and the same was true when I came back via London Bridge this evening, at around 7pm.

    Disconnected Croydon should press Grey Label for a refund of our money.

  3. Paul Hill says:

    I visited around 21:00. The three-piece band at Wellesley Road end was excellent. Unfortunately, the crowd consisted of just me and one other person. Felt a bit sorry for the bands/stalls as there was not many people around. There was plenty of seating.

    p.s. The bridge is only passable to those with rail tickets (but I guess you know that)

  4. davidcallam says:

    Hammerson and Westfield please note: if you want any effective publicity in Croydon, I suggest you organise it yourself.

  5. mraemiller says:

    A callow youth offered me a flyer at East Croydon station at 3pm using my favourite advertising tagline “free food and drink” but I had another engagement to go to. Clearly the problem is that you are all working social hours.

    “There were no facilities for disabled people”

    Following this and the incident when Ms Giles phoned up the Fairfield Halls to find out where the nearest disabled ramp was and they concealed from her that there is a pavement next to the car ramp down the back of the hall by the artists entrance which is easier to get up than crossing the underpass to the other side of Wellesley Road and going up the ramp on that side then crossing back over Wellesley Road at ground level…

    … I am starting to suspect that actually there is a lot of disabled access all over Croydon but the Council and other public bodies are engaged in a wicked organised conspiracy to prevent Anne Giles from getting to any events by concealing the existence of as much disable access as possible from her personally.

    So in order to free Anne Giles from persecution, tyrany and the tedium of having to drive all the way round the one way system multiple times may I suggest in future that she parks at the east end of the Fairfield car park and goes up the other ramp that connects directly onto George Street nad Dingwall road …she’d have to walk a little bit further but I think that’s an easier way.

    “Bedford Park Road, which was the only road where one could turn left to get into Sydenham Road and then to the Dingwall Road car park”

    Alternatively the fastest way to access Sydenham Road and Lansdown Road for the Dingwall Road car park by car is (if you ask me) from St James Road (the A222). So drive north up Wllesley Road, turn right by the IYLO eyesore onto the A222 and drive down Sydenham Road from the north. The one way system can be navigated but, of course, if locals and the Council were to reveal how everyone would drive too much. For this reason the disabled have formed a secret society which only reveals its secrets to those deemed worthy of the higher degrees.

    • Anne Giles says:

      Thank you so much for that bit of information. However, I am only able to walk the length of one street, not two or three, or stand for more than a few minutes. A pair of wings might be handy!

      • mraemiller says:

        If you park at the East End of the Fairfield car park you only have to walk the length of one street to ge to the Dingwall Road car park you can exit by the electricity substation and the wooden steps down from Fairfield “gardens” …

        If you park on the 3rd (or 4th?) level of the multi-storey at that end there’s another exit over the railway track that comes out by the Church of Christ, Scientist on the corner of Hazledean and Alyre Road where you can reject medicine and heal yourself purely through prayer.

        This is the closest possible long term parking to East Croydon …although it is NCP so still expensive. There are a few parking spaces outside the law courts and on the south side of this corner which are the closest location I can find to East Croydon other than the road of Cedar Road which are usually full anyway.

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