Council leader Tony Newman and the man pulling his strings, council CEO Nathan Elvery, clearly remain uncomfortable with being in… well, Croydon.
This week’s Carve-up Croydon Conference was full of talk of “city status” from some of the estate agent-types. They seem to have forgotten that it’s just three years since the council wasted thousands of pounds of public money on a deeply flawed city status bid, only to be told in no uncertain terms that Croydon is already part of the greatest city on the planet.
Others, who really ought to know better, are also suffering delusions of grandeur: Newman and Elvery, having been rebuffed in their previous attempts to rename East Croydon Station “Croydon Central”, this week suggested that the station could be re-titled “Croydon International”. Apparently in all seriousness.
Not to be outdone, the bold enthusiasts at the South Norwood Tourist Board have sprung into action. Tonight, they’ve sent off a letter to some of the highest authorities in Britain, and the world, including No10, Her Maj, the Dalai Lama and William Shatner. And Winston McKenzie.
“Inspired by innovative suggestions from Croydon Council that East Croydon should be renamed Croydon International due to its location between central London and Gatwick Airport, we are writing to you to request that Norwood Junction Station be renamed Norwood Intergalactic,” they have written.
“It is possible that you might be inclined to dismiss such a suggestion is the result of a night on the beer – but we would argue that in most cultures it is quite acceptable for visionary leaders to enter altered states – and judging from results, it seems reasonable to conclude that many areas of public and transport policy are already created in such an environment.
“There is also a solid rationale for our request. In cosmic terms South Norwood is in close proximity to both the Andromeda Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds. We are also closer to London than Croydon and have a London postcode, which would be an obvious attraction to visitors from other galaxies.
“South Norwood is a very diverse and vibrant community. We remain proud to extend a warm welcome to people from all corners of the world – and the universe.
“Indeed in a time of such difficult international relations, it is our belief that we would all greatly benefit from an intergalactic perspective which saw humanity as one – rather than the fractious, squabbling bunch of psychopaths that we often present ourselves as.
“South Norwood is also a good site for an intergalactic portal as we have very little in the way of livestock in the area, which would minimise the risk of any unfortunate incidents of cattle mutilation or the attentions of the notorious chupacabras or goat sucker.
“It is true that an influx of intergalactic money could boost property prices – and like most communities we are disturbed by the ongoing process of gentrification that results in existing residents being priced out, often getting little in return but overpriced muffins and the unwarranted criticism of existing businesses. But we remain hopeful that intergalactic newcomers would be much more respectful and actually bring meaningful benefits such as limitless clean energy and hyperdrive technology.
“Although evidence of extraterrestrial civilisations might currently be limited to ill-defined smudges on the most powerful of telescopes, the renaming of Norwood Junction as Norwood Intergalactic is a key first step in making our vision a reality.
“As the suggestion to rename East Croydon proves, current reality needn’t be a brake on our aspirations. After all, we wouldn’t want to go through a rushed renaming process once contact had been made and we all had much more pressing concerns on our minds. A little forethought on our part would doubtless impress our extraterrestrial visitors.
“We hope you agree that the proposal to rename Norwood Junction as Norwood Intergalactic has much to recommend it and look forward to your support. Norwood Junction has been the sight of many firsts and this should be another.”
Inside Croydon will, of course, bring you all news of any developments on this important matter.
POSTSCRIPT: Organisers of the Carve-up Croydon Conference held a ballot among the delegates at the Fairfield Halls on Wednesday to find out what they think the town’s biggest and busiest railway station ought to be known as, following the latest suggestion from Newman and Elvery.
An overwhelmng majority voted in facour of “East Croydon Station”.
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