Sunday, 14 August 2011

More aftermath photos from Reeves Corner in Croydon.

This is a shot from Google Streetview, from a year or two ago.

That's close to a hundred and fifty years of building history, family history (The Reeves Family), and local history as well, all wrapped up in one, there.

I took the next set of photos on the way home from work yesterday. Unsurprisingly, a fair few others were doing the exact same thing.

This is all that's left.

It's almost as one might have expected from a German bombing raid during the Blitz in the Second World war, minus a crater, of course.

I'd imagine the feelings of the Reeves Family were close to the same as many families felt when their homes were hit during the war.

Sadly, this was not caused by war. This was caused by an unthinking, malicious, (delete certain words guaranteed to earn me a few days in court). You get the idea, anyhow.

This is the view of the re-set tram tracks towards Wimbledon. Note the relaid aphalt. The heat from the fire actually melted the original seals between the cobble bricks and the rails, requiring this quick fix. I'd imagine that there'll be some more engineering works to be performed to make a more permenent fix, before long.

Notice also the cut-down street light pole (wrapped in red-and-white fire cordon tape; there's a few like this all around the site of the building. Hardly surprising, I'd imagine the aluminium poles melted due to the heat involved.

Next, the buildings on the Church Street side of the block, singed and burnt in places through the heat and ashes from the main Reeves Furniture building on Monday. The Chemist on the left corner of the block here (you can just see the green frontage on the ground floor at the edge of the photo) is only just able to be open again. Note the relaid road surface. Like may things around the fire, the original asphalt actually melted due to the temperatures that the fire generated. Gives you a good idea just how savage that fire was.

The almost completely demolished Reeves building, with their original and remaining annex in the background (the white building). Even that got some of the heat. Note the two pole bases, wrapped in red-and-white barrier tape, in the foreground.

The demolition work went on all weekend, by the way. The next stage, I'd imagine, will be the removal of the rubble, and finally, one has to assume that the site will be partitioned off with a fence, before any rebuilding takes place. That'll require planning permission, architects, and so on. I'd imagine it will, barring more miracles, be at least a year or two before we see anything resembling a shop on this site again. It's a crying shame, it really is.

There's no other way of describing this horrendous event but by using the right words: It was a tragedy of horrendous proportions.

This is the remaining wall still standing.

That'll be gone soon, too. You can see the heat and fire damage to the other nearby buildings behind it (Church Street side).

Let's hope that the Reeves family manage to get everything rebuilt as fast as possible - and not with some horrid modern monstrosity, but something that actually resembles what was lost to the arson attack.

We're told that the areas going to be blocked to road-going traffic for around another week, according to the London Buses 'Notice Of Event' that details our diversions in Croydon at the moment. At least they've got the trams running again, anyhow.

How no-one was injured or killed by this arson insanity I'll never fathom. Small miracles, and all that.

Before the riot, I'd walked, driven, and riden past the Reeves Furniture store countless times in my lifetime without really giving it another thought; My parents bought their latest sofa and chairs from them in the last couple of years, even.

To say that it almost all went up in smoke and flames thanks to one thoughtless and malicious individual, would have been unthinkable mere days beforehand.

Suffice to say, I hope that they throw the bloody book at the half-arsed slow-witted pea-brained jerk of the lowest order that caused the fire, and throw away the damn key.

I'd say more, but I'd only be re-hashing what professional journalists, polititians, and so on, have been blathering on about since the riots happened.

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