Entirely unprompted by Big Eric Pickles, our loyal reader has been in touch, and attached a heart-warming picture from one of the iconic venues of Croydon heritage.
The picture above was taken yesterday.
“Seeing as our council’s glorious website appears to have no facility for reporting general litter mess I thought I’d send this delightful photo to you,” writes our loyal reader.
“As you can see it’s a charming scene of the Minster precincts in all their glory, complete with a liberal scattering of tasteful decorations.
“However, in order to really set-off the beauty of one of Croydon’s most venerable buildings, may I suggest that someone also adds a pile of tyres, an old fridge and possibly a front car bumper too?”
That, of course, is not something Inside Croydon could possible encourage.
Meanwhile, across Surrey Street, on the other side of the £1 billion Hammersfield site and over the six-lane urban motorway that bisects the centre of our town, Croydon Council and the Whitgift Foundation’s favourite PR spinners “Grey” Label have been spending goodness knows how much cash on turning a public walkway beside East Croydon Station into some sort of big screen, open air venue, offering burgers, “strwberies [sic] and cream”, and the chance to watch Wimbledon tennis.
This installation opened at noon today. The Wimbledon tennis championships began one week ago.
Called “Platform Ruskin Square”, this “pop-up space” is apparently an effort by developers Stanhope-Schroders to deflect from the demolition of the Warehouse Theatre and the absence of any real building development on their site, previously known as the “Croydon Gateway” adjacent to the walkway from the station’s Bridge to Nowhere’s sole exit. Money from the Riot Recovery Fund has already been wasted to celebrate this incomplete piece of urban engineering.
Nearly a decade after first clearing the site, building work, Stanhope-Schroders had said, would finally begin in 2013… Eventually, a planning application was filed, and approved, in March this year for a 20-storey apartment block and 9-storey plinth building, something much more modest than the originally intended prestige glass tower of offices.
It is noted, though, that in the middle of the cricket season, the previous art “installation” of over-sized cricket nets that occupied some of the site through the dark winter nights, seem to be coming down. Another example of a triumph of PR style over substance. Were the nets ever really put to use?
Platform Ruskin Square has already been declared a great success by Grey Label’s bought-and-paid-for members of the Croydon Glee Club, who appear to specialise in championing pointless vacuousness. The owners of nearby pubs and cafes, struggling to attract lunchtime trade, must be delighted at having this latest competitive distraction foisted upon them.
Established local business-owners may also point out that while such installations may have worked to attract custom and create a positive “vibe” in other, more fashionable parts of London, such as Canary Wharf and Shoreditch, the local authorities there have at least first ensured that people don’t have to wade through off-putting, ankle-deep crap elsewhere else in the neighbourhood to get to them.
We asked the PR spinners how much had been spent on this project, how permanent it might be, and whether it would continue once the construction work begins in earnest. We’ll report back their answers, if they ever manage to respond.
Below is the scene at Platform Ruskin Square around noon today, as the Croydon public “flocked” to use the facilities. It began to rain shortly afterwards…
Coming to Croydon
- David Lean Cinema: Calvary, July 3
- Coast to Capital business briefing, July 4
- Basically Johnny Moped at Stanley Tech, July 8
- David Lean Cinema: We Are The Best!, July 10
- Croydon Folk and Blues Festival, July 12
- David Lean Cinema: Half of a Yellow Sun, July 17
- David Lean Cinema: Pantani: Accidental Death of a Cyclist, July 21
- David Lean Cinema: Tracks, July 24
- Fragile, Spread Eagle Theatre, July 24-26
- CODA’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at Wandle Park, Jul 30-Aug 2
- David Lean Cinema: Locke, July 31
- Elm Tree Cottage garden open day, Aug 10
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 72,342 average monthly page views (Jan-Mar 2014)
If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at firstname.lastname@example.org