Three words that sum up Croydon: “Offices to let”

Croydon is a soft target for “comedians”, though it is also not the sort of place that you can easily over-romanticise.

Thus, we were quietly impressed by the recent BBC radio documentary, The Seven Car Parks of Croydon, fronted by Sue Perkins.

Perkins is the comic who never tires of reminding anyone who’ll listen – including prize pillock Giles Coren – that she is from Croydon. And she doesn’t normally mean it in a good way.

Here, though, joined briefly by another Croydon comic, Steve Punt, was 30 minutes of speech radio which was interesting, informative, and occasionally nicely wistful.

This does not include the local planning bod, who reckons that Croydon’s car parks are some sort of latterday viewing platform: to view what, precisely? As Nickolaus Pevsner once said of Croydon’s (then new) concrete canyons, they are “thrilling from a distance”, with the emphasis on the “distance”.

The best line of the piece was from Tom Hill, who said: “Three words that sum up Croydon: ‘Offices to let’.” In the current economic environment, that is fast becoming all too true.

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
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