8/8 One Year On: Reeves Corner is sporting a new look just days before the anniversary of the night that nearly closed down the furniture store forever
Reeves, the furniture store that has risen like a phoenix from the 8/8 Croydon riots, has been transformed overnight with an all-embracing colourful montage of positive messages and pictures of young people holding the social media message “#reverseriots”.
vInspired is behind this initiative. vInspired was set up in Britain six years ago and is building upon the model of the American “Do Something” charity, whose aim is community cohesion. vInspired seeks “opportunities for young people to do good things”.
vInspired and UKDoSomething are trailing a big event for August 6 on the Twittersphere. The event will aim to emphasise the positive in young people.
In the week of the first anniversary of the 8/8 riots, TV cameras are already circling Reeves Corner, as it looks like the store is going to be a major focus of television coverage.
The cameras were also taking pictures of overnight vandalism of wooden covering of the properties opposite the demolished Reeves building, with their burnt timber joists now exposed.
Reeves itself is a motif for a positive approach in adversity, although Trevor Reeves, the present head of the family business, admitted to Inside Croydon that there have been times when even the amazingly enduring Reeves family have felt down.
On Wednesday, the actual 8/8 anniversary, there will be a 10am opening ceremony of two upstairs showrooms partially paid for from public donations.
In the past 12 months the Reeves have been visited by both the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, as well as UKIP’s Nigel Farage.
Reeves admits to some disappointment in not having had any contact from the Labour party.
“I only met Ken when he was campaigning up in Surrey Street,” Reeves said of events earlier this year when Ken Livingstone was running for Mayor of London, “and the only thing he was interested was criticising Boris Johnson. I wasn’t interested in that.”
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- UK riots 2011: A time-line (itv.com)
- UK riots repeat possible, say one in four young people (itv.com)