Sensible is as Sensible does, as the Captain unveils his bench

Captain Sensible takes delight in having a small corner of South Norwood named after him - and before he's dead, too

Captain Sensible takes delight in having a small corner of South Norwood named after him – and all before he’s dead, too

“It has always been hard being known as ‘Sensible’ when sometimes I’m not,” Raymond Burns said on Saturday, wearing a bright Hawaiian shirt, baggy shorts and trademark red beret.

“But it helped me in my career so I shouldn’t really complain.”

He had just spent half an hour laying down on park bench painted bright orange and posing for a range of pictures at the opening of the “Sensible Bench”, taking its name from Burns’ stage persona, Captain Sensible, who infamously immortalised this corner of south London in his song Croydon.

The bench is the focal piece of a scrap of waste land which has been transformed into a small garden by the hard work of volunteers from the South Norwood Tourist Board and Crystal Palace Transition Team, plus donations from local businesses and the council.

The Captain hopes the park will spur local residents of Norwood and Croydon to be more conscious of their environment. “It shouldn’t be down to the local council for people to look after where they live.

“Fifty years ago, owners of terraced houses used to scrub their portion of the pavement right down to the gutter. They all did, and working class streets positively sparkled in those days.

“I am often seen out cleaning up where I live so people should do the same.”

But the former leader of the 1980s punk group The Damned expressed his relief that the SNTB remembered him fondly enough to choose to name the new garden and its bench after him. “You usually have to wait until you’re dead and gone before receiving your own bench with name on and all that,” he said.

“But protocol was been overlooked in my case, probably in the interests of a jolly up in the pub afterwards.”

 


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