Named and Shamed

Named and Shamed


Squalid roads, buildings and locations in Croydon named and shamed.

Friday, February 27, 2004

The Bird House Revisited

Look what I saw today at “The Bird House” (to read my earlier articles about this place visit The Bird House and The Leaning Chimney Pot of Croydon), someone has made a lame attempt to improve the aesthetics of this building.

If you are the owners, or a member of Croydon Council, can you spot the difference?



Yes that's right; the boarding, which had fallen down, has been put back up.

I assume that the owners of this sorry wreck of a building and Croydon Council, who allegedly are meant to protect our urban environment, think that this is a real improvement to this eyesore.

It is nice to think that my website has had something to do with pricking their consciences into doing something. However, I am less than impressed with their efforts.

I want, and I assume the residents of Sydenham Road also want, to see this building renovated.

So stop messing around, and get on with it!

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Just to let you know that, if you have nothing better to do on Saturday morning, I will be appearing for 5 mins on the Vanessa Feltz show on BBC radio London 94.9FM around 9:00am-9:30am.

I will be discussing the "Named and Shamed" section of my website.

You can also listen to it on their website

Many thanks to all of you who have emailed me, or contacted the Croydon Guardian, offering your support.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

A Pleasant Afternoon Stroll by the Railway

Join me on a pleasant afternoon stroll by the railway line, located between Sydenham Road and Gloucester Road Croydon.

Here, despite the efforts of the Council to keep it clean (I don’t blame them for everything!), people continue to dump all manner of refuse.

Should you feel weary, some very kind soul has even dumped a couple of sofas; how considerate of them!

It would be really nice if the people who did this could be rounded up, and forced to clean up this mess. They could then be transported to the nearest pigsty, and found accommodation there; where doubtless they would feel more at home.

To join me on my stroll, please visit A Stroll by the Railway and wait for the pictures to load.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Croydon’s Grand Design

I understand that the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has earmarked Croydon as being the epicentre for his plans to create 17,000 plus new homes over the next few years.

We, the residents of Croydon, will be treated to the site of thrusting skyscrapers some 15-20 storeys high (one is expected to 40 storeys high); penetrating the skyline by the year 2015.

Well, in principle, if the buildings were; well designed, thoughtfully located and in harmony with the rest of the environment that would be a noble idea. It would ease the housing shortage in the Southeast, and add value to the local economy.

However, I am a tad cynical about this brave new vision for Croydon. The reasons for my cynicism can be summarised as follows:

· Mayor Ken is shortly to be standing for re-election this year, as Mayor of London. He needs a few headlines to launch his re-election campaign; mega skyscrapers in Croydon provide such a headline.

· Those of you with long memories may recall an exhibition held near the Fairfield Hall in the early 1990’s. This was to showcase proposed designs for a “brave, new Croydon”. We were treated to stunning models and drawings showing; glass walkways, communal gardens and elegant office/residential tower blocks.

It is now 2004. Have any of these bold plans come to fruition, NO!

· In 200/2001 the Allders shopping mall had an exhibition showing another “brave, new Croydon”. This came complete with scale plastic models, video displays, glossy brochures and attractive “hostesses”; all designed to show the long suffering residents of the borough what the future had in store for them.

However, no one could ever answer the simple question: “When will these buildings be erected?” Have these plans come to fruition, NO! The exhibition has been quietly removed, as though it never existed.

· As my “Named and Shamed” section shows, there are many areas of Croydon that have been neglected for some years; without the hint of action being taken to rectify the decay and squalor. If the Council are incapable of cleaning up the current mess, are they really capable of handling major construction work envisaged by Mayor Ken?

· Croydon has been called a mini Manhattan, this is a sad misnomer. Manhattan has strict planning and building laws that ensure that architects’ and politicians’ egos do not blight the landscape. By way of example, “new builds” in Manhattan are required to allocate a percentage of ground space for public use by providing; seating, gardens and water features…do any of the office blocks in Croydon do that?

· How much will this cost, who will be paying for it and will the infrastructure of Croydon cope? East Croydon station seems to have a hard enough time at the moment coping with the daily commute; I doubt that it is up to coping with the proposed population increase.

In short, I do not believe that the politicians are capable of managing a long-term project of this scale. The plans will change, the costs will overrun and the residents of Croydon will be left to endure the mess left behind.

Friday, February 20, 2004

The Leaning Chimney Pot of Croydon

Here is a photo, albeit slightly blurred (sorry folks I’m not a professional photographer), of one of the chimney stacks of The Bird House (see my earlier post below for full details on The Bird House).

Now, I am sure it is quite obvious that there is a problem here. However, for the benefit of the owners of the Bird House and Croydon Council; neither of whom seem to care about the state of this building, I will elucidate.

One of the chimney pots is leaning at an alarming angle.

I am no expert on these matters, but I strongly suspect that the pot (and it seems to be quite a large one) is going to topple over in the not too distant future.

This of course poses a hazard to any pedestrians in the vicinity, who have the misfortune to be walking past at the time it chooses to topple.

I would remind our ever vigilant Council, and the rather dozy owners of this building, that this building is also next door to a nursery school.

Now at the risk of sounding like a bore, why not fix it before someone gets hurt or killed?
I understand from the Guardian that the story has certainly sparked a response from other Croydon residents, who feel the same way.

So much for Croydon Council's view that they are doing well!

Please don't forget to post your views on The Forum section of this site.

Also, why not fax your MP using the "Fax Your MP" tool on this page; don't forget to mention this site.

Let's give Croydon Council, and those lazy property owners, the kick up the backside they so richly deserve!

Thursday, February 19, 2004

FYI, I have just done a quick 30 second telephone interview for BBC Radio London.

I understand that this will be broadcast Friday morning 20th February.
Since the article was published in yesterday's Guardian, I have received a number of emails supporting my observations.

One comment, I think best acts as a riposte to Croydon Council's claim to act promptly when complaints are made:

"I have seen the area getting dirtier and dirtier..I have phoned the council on various occasions to complain about the dirty streets, rubbish etc and have never spoken to anyone that actually lives in Croydon, maybe that is the problem, they represent Croydon but know nothing about it..."

I would also point out that the buildings that I have featured, so far, have been in this derelict state for several years...what timeframe dear Council leaders do you judge to be prompt?

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

I understand that Croydon Council complained about the Guardian publishing their article.

So much for freedom of the press!

It sounds more like a story from a 1950's Westerns, where the local paper dares to challenge the powerful cattle baron; and then gets its offices burnt to the ground.

Read Ibsen's "Enemy of The People", it seems as though Croydon Council have adopted the same outlook.

I commend the following link to The Croydon Guardian which has an article about my "Named and Shamed" section.

Rubble Rousing

If that does not work then go to the Croydon Guardian website and look it up under latest news.

The article includes Croydon Council's response; which basically says that everyone is happy with Croydon's environmental record, and that if anyone has any complaints they will act on them quickly.

How pathetic!

Note to the Council:

"Be aware, this is only the beginning!"

Saturday, February 14, 2004

If you share my view that Croydon Council has let the residents of Croydon down, with respect to the environment and its ceaseless demands for ever higher council tax, then wear the "Welcome to Croydon!" sweatshirt.

These are available from The Emporium

Saturday, February 07, 2004

The Little Shop of Horrors

This charming picturesque corner shop, pictured below, sits on the corner of St James’s Road and Wellesley Road Croydon.

It fell into disuse and disrepair many years ago, it is a blight on the community and the shop next door (which has no connection with it whatsoever).

The interesting thing about this is that it was sold by auction at the beginning of 2003 to a private bidder.

This individual has owned this blight on the community for a year now, yet has done nothing with it.


My advice to the owner is this, either sell it or rennovate it; don't let it rot!

To view more pictures in the form of a slide show please visit "The Little Shop of Horrors".

The Secret Judo Club

What mysterious building lies behind these “attractive” boards, erected on Tavistock Road Croydon, shown in the picture below?

· A secret government complex?

· A nudist colony?

No, a disused and decaying judo club. The club has been abandoned for at least the last two years; and, as with all abandoned areas, has started to rot and decay.

Hardly pleasant for the residents of Tavistock Road, who take pride in their homes and local environment; and of course who pay council tax.

Needless to say, in Q4 of 2003 a group of “travellers” appeared; and set up an encampment in the driveway of the judo club.

Only after complaints from myself, and others, did Croydon Council ask the police to move them along.

Then, as an afterthought, these attractive boards were erected; to prevent further invasions.

Here’s a radical thought, why not use this piece of land for homes or something practical for the community? Instead of letting it rot!

If you would like to see a few more pictures of these boards please visit “The Secret Judo Club”.

A Pile of Rubble

This charming picture below shows a pile of rubble; which mysteriously appeared outside a rather shabby office (situated on St James’s Road near Newgate Croydon), some time during 2003.

Needless to say neither the owners of the building, nor Croydon Council, have done anything about it.

As with all piles of debris, the ubiquitous abandoned shopping trolley has also appeared.

Should you wish to view a slide show of pictures of this particular eyesore, please visit “A Pile of Rubble”.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Dingwall Road - Post Nuclear Croydon

Dingwall Road is one of the main thoroughfares used by commuters, to go between their homes, offices and East Croydon station (the main line station that connects Croydon to London, Gatwick and the coast).

I would say that several thousand people, both locals and visitors use this road.

I wonder precisely what impression this squalid, unkempt and decaying example of corporate/council design and planning gone wrong must make.

Croydon Council are very keen to promote Croydon as the ideal place to make movies. I for one would agree that if you wished to make a movie about life after a nuclear attack, then Dingwall Road would be my location of choice.

Dingwall Road has a fine combination of hideous car parks, bill boards, waste land, dirt, detritus, plastic bags in trees and derelict office buildings. It says more about Croydon Council and its competence wrt planning and design (past and present) than words or political speeches ever could.

It is more reminiscent of communist East Europe, rather than a vibrant heart of a 21st century town.

Personally I would like to see every council member past and present, who had a hand in approving the planning of this carbuncle; together with the architects and corporate money men who put forward the plans, visit every resident on Croydon on their bended knees and apologise for this miserable excuse for a thoroughfare.

As for the current members of Croydon Council who, don’t forget that they raised council tax by 27% last year (and no doubt will do so again), have sat on their hands for the past few years and watched this road rot further; I have nothing but contempt. It is not without some justification that they were awarded my prestigious "Worse Than Worthless" award last year.

The nearest we have ever come to renovation and urban regeneration is the cheap plastic model of "Future Croydon", displayed in Allders shopping mall.

This has as much chance of becoming reality as I have of becoming Pope!

I have assembled a photo collage of pictures that I have taken one afternoon, as I took a “pleasant” stroll down Dingwall Road.

To view highlights of my stroll along Dingwall Road please click Post Nuclear Croydon.

I present an example of one of the pleasant sights of my walk below:

The "Bird House" Sydenham Road Croydon

Sydenham road is a residential area where, in general, the properties are well maintained.

However, there is one notable exception; this house, known as “The Bird House”, which has fallen into disuse and decay.

As far as I can recall, it has been standing empty and unloved for at least three years.

At one stage some building equipment was parked in the front garden, and ugly boarding erected. That provided some false hope that something may at last be happening.

However, the equipment has gone and the boarding is collapsing.

It now provides sanctuary for a large family of pigeons, and other birds, who inhabit the upper floors.

Needless to say it is now a fly tippers paradise.

I fail to understand why this prime piece of real estate has not been redeveloped; we are constantly told by our political masters that there is a housing shortage.

It is hardly pleasant for the residents of the street to look at; or indeed safe for the school children who use the school opposite, and nursery school next door.

We look forward to seeing action taken by the owners/Croydon Council to renovate this scrofulous tumour on the backside of Croydon.

To see a slide show of more pictures please click Birdhouse

Sunday, February 01, 2004

The Corner of Bedford Park and Wellesley Road Croydon

Here you can see a prime example of dereliction and decay.

A long since abandoned office block and waste land, combine to form a hideous eyesore.

The area has been in a state of decay for at least the last three years; and not surprisingly, is being used by "fly tippers" to dump their waste.

In an attempt to "improve" the eyesore, the authorities have erected a particularly ugly set of iron railings and wooden boarding.

This should be a prime piece of real estate in Croydon; it is opposite the Home Office (you would have thought that they would have complained!), close to the Whitgift Shopping Centre and near to schools, churches and residential dwellings.

Yet it resembles the Bronx in New York.

As our ever popular Council (who won my prestigious “Worse Than Worthless” award last year) says, they are trying to get Croydon recognised as a place to make films; clearly this part of Croydon would be well suited to filming the urban decay and dereliction of the Bronx.

Welcome to Croydon!

If you feel that something should be done about this area then write to the Council, the media and your local MP (remember to refer to this site).

I have put together an automated slide show of pictures of this squalid part of Croydon. If you wish to watch it please click this link Home Office.