The horse has bolted?

This is just a wooden toy horse,  bought 40 years ago at an auction room,  part of the Reeves Corner complex which was looted and gutted by fire along with local houses only last week.  It is sad to look back sometimes knowing that things were not right but being powerless to stop what was laughingly referred to as ‘progress’, especially as I  lived in Woodside Village not far from Croydon for many years.

It must have been a sign of things to come that within a year of moving to West Croydon fromNorth London,  our lovely little cottage was compulsorily purchased for re-development by the council. This was the start of the systematic destruction of the area in favour of flats and concrete office blocks.

Only thirty years ago Croydon boasted that it had more green areas than any other London suburb. Later, as well as manual workers and office workers it also had media and show business people.  Ronnie Corbett could be seen buying fish for his barbi in Addiscombe. The area also claimed to have the the largest number of stockbrokers per square mile.

Sadly there was too much money to be made from it’s  destruction, perfectly good houses and even a church fell to the bulldozer. Many of the blocks of offices still lay abandoned today.  they were never let!  The final insult must surely have been the destruction of East Croydon Station, replacing it with something that can only be described as a very expensive permanent pile of scaffolding.

However much the career politicians of all persuasions pontificate, sadly the ‘the horse has bolted’ and my wooden horse is just a reminder of earlier happier days.

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