94% back staging of Lake Conan Doyle naming ceremony

The ceremony in South Norwood Country Park to rename its lake after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the Sherlock Holmes author, will go ahead on February 1 “officially or unofficially”, according to the organisers, in spite of opposition from Croydon Council.

Sherlock silihouetteThe South Norwood Tourist Board, the light-hearted residents’ organisation which dreamt up the PR stunt, has received the overwhelming support of Inside Croydon’s readership, with 94 per cent of respondents to an online poll this week stating that the council should allow the ceremony to go ahead.

As Inside Croydon revealed earlier this week, from his ivory tower in the council’s new £140 million headquarters offices, Tony Brooks, Croydon Council’s “head of public safety”, has cast himself in the role of a low-rent Moriarty by seeking to block the residents’ event. This despite the leader of Croydon Council, florid-faced Mike Fisher, having been informed of the ceremony four months ago.

Croydon Council’s poor record in terms of generating “positive” PR includes failing to include former Norwood resident Conan Doyle – the creator of the world’s most popular and long-lasting fictional detective – on a shortlist of Croydon’s famous characters for a piece of public artwork and bench in the borough. Instead, Croydon went with Ronnie Corbett.

It seems that Brooks’ ill-judged attempt to ban the naming of Lake Conan Doyle could end up leaving Fisher more red-faced than usual, with the South Norwood Tourist Board determined to go ahead.

“Whether official or unofficial, February 1 will see SNTB host a ceremony to honour Conan Doyle,” they announced defiantly today. They plan morris dancing and poetry reading at the ceremony, and ask for those wishing to attend to arrive at 3pm on February 1 at the country park’s visitor centre.

“Come dressed in ceremonial robes to help, bring your sense of humour, show the council they can’t ignore the community and help us make the event one that people will tell their grandchildren.”

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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
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