Croydon rocks? Well, only if we need new lavatories for dogs

There’s recycling. And then there’s regurgitating. As in vomiting up a really bad idea…

Rock off: Is this an improvement to any high street?

Rock off: Is this an improvement to Thornton Heath, or any high street?

Croydon Council, having removed the notorious 20 boulders of New Addington, have managed to come up with an idea to dispose of them which is, if anything, even worse. It has used the 50th anniversary of being incorporated within Greater London as a spurious excuse to distribute the 20 lumps of rock around the borough, adorned with plaques to mark an event of utter disinterest to the vast majority of Council Tax-payers.

And meanwhile, no one seems to know what happened to 21st stone of Croydon, Mike #WadGate Fisher’s wodge of cash…

The boulders cost £7,000, paid for from the Mayor’s Regeneration Fund during Fisher’s Tory administration. They were originally installed to deter illegal parking along the parade at New Addington, to the near-immediate horror of residents.

The Labour group which is now in charge at the Town Hall, having incurred the cost of removing the eye-sores, has managed to make a bad situation worse by incurring additional expense in re-distributing the boulders elsewhere.

“Becoming part of London 50 years ago was a key moment in Croydon’s history, and placing these beautiful recycled stones across the borough is our way of celebrating this landmark,” are the words in the official council press release which have been attributed to Alison Butler, the deputy leader of the council.

It was the grand Victorian artist and designer, William Morris, who said, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” The stones of Croydon fail Morris’s test on both counts, unless each ward or high street needed something for their residents’ dogs to cock their legs against.

Oh, and the concept has another flaw: while 20 stones have been distributed, one each to a ward, there are 24 wards in the borough…

Of course, had the rocks been placed outside Croydon’s £140 million council offices on Cost A Mint Walk, as a deeply symbolic statement about what passes for the brains behind our local authority, then they might have met the William Morris test.

Inside Croydon‘s loyal reader has been in touch with council leader Tony Newman, writing: “Please tell me what idiot had the bright idea of distributing 20 stones around the borough to celebrate 50 years of being part of the London Borough of Croydon.

“In an ideal world I would love Purley and Coulsdon to be as far removed from Croydon as possible.

“The state of the streets is disgusting, the area is dirty, services are cut and some bright spark thinks this is money well spent – God help us.

“I do not want my Council Tax spent this way- there is obviously too much money swishing around.”

Croydon became a borough within the newly formed Greater London Council on April 1, 1965, bringing together the councils of Croydon and Coulsdon and Purley.

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
This entry was posted in Alison Butler, Art, Coulsdon, Croydon Council, Environment, Nathan Elvery, New Addington, Purley, Thornton Heath and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Croydon rocks? Well, only if we need new lavatories for dogs

  1. farmersboy says:

    What I want to know is which unlucky wards missed out and why

  2. arnorab says:

    No, what I want to find out is what lucky wards missed out!
    The borough looks enough of an unplanned mess as it is with odd artefacts, chairs and bells and so on, suddenly appearing on pavements in South End…….now rocks all over the place. They could at least have saved them for the foundations of Hammersfield and saved us a bob or two at the same time……that way it would be the unwanted propping up the unworkable and very neat too.

  3. farmersboy says:

    Dear Broad Green, We spent the regeneration fund elsewhere, but here’s a lovely stone. So shall we call it quits?

  4. It is wrong that they distributed them around the borough. They should have shoved all of them in a big pile in Shirley, as a reminder to the locals of what happens when you vote Conservative.

  5. Lewis White says:

    Fun/ironic suggestions make good reading, but boulders also make great climbing features for children to play on and enjoy. If they are slightly dug in to the grass, so that younger ones can get on them, or if good- quality long timbers or even logs from selected trees are placed and safely / securely fixed on to the boulder at one end, and into the ground at the other, or to two boulders, they make play features for balancing. I hope that they end up in sensible places. A group of 3 or 5 in a park would be a very good reuse for these unloved rocks.

    I think it’s a shame that they were not given a few years more in New Addington, as no doubt, people would have got to love them. Think what concrete cows did to put Milton Keynes on to the map!

    In the Basque Country, large men lift large rocks as a sport. in another place in our own country, they turn a big rock over every year using crowbars, and helped with lots of beer. It could have become a community event, the annual turning-over of the rocks of New Addington.

    What a shame – it could have been Croydon’s answer to the running of the bulls at Pamplona. Another missed Croydon opportunity!

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