I went out to do some shopping. Normally on a Tuesday I’d go to Dewhurst the butchers in Bruce Grove to buy my lamb chops and oxtail but I was reminded by my neighbour that Dewhurst was completely ‘down’. I tell myself that I’ll go instead to Tesco’s but quickly change my mind as I remember that a book I’d reserved in Wood Green Central library is ready for collection so I head there. When I get to Wood Green, boarded windows are everywhere. Business is still as usual, the road is busy and so is the traffic. I park, rush to the library to get my book then head back to the car. I spot the community leader Stafford Scott along Dongola Road. Didn’t I just read an article written by him in today’s Guardian? I decide to drive to the top of Phillip Lane where it meets Tottenham High Road. I can see the high road is still cordoned off; the street is littered with police vehicles and yellow tape and there are smattering of ‘officials’ walking around. In the distance, I can see objects in the road but cannot make out what they are. Turning into Monument Way I see the white building that was in the back ground when David Lammy gave his earnest speech. I drive pass Tottenham Hale and the Retail Park. The Costacoffee shop has wooden planks in its shop windows. The road is desolate with just a few cars in front of me. The time is 1.00pm.
When I get home, my partner and I decide to go to Croydon. Not because we want to ogle but we had decided some days ago that we would go and see a few estate agents to check on properties. We get into the car, drive to Seven Sisters Underground and then park the car in the car park. We go to the kiosk to buy our tickets and ask if Croydon station is open. We are told it is. Just as we are about to go down the escalator, we see and greet the community leader – Rev. Nim Obunge who we have seen and heard on the TV. In fact it is not just us but a number of people rush to him and shake his hand.
We get to East Croydon quite quickly. Once we arrive, we decide not to stay in the city centre but to take the 466 to Purley. In the five-minute journey, I am shocked and surprised at the number of smashed shop fronts and the number shops closed for the day. I guess who can blame them. We find a few agents and look at what they have on offer and they collect our details. Did we want something to eat? We say no and decide that I should cook when we get home. On our return journey, as the train pass Clapham Junction we notice a crowd around a set of traffic lights which I take to be on the High street.
We wonder what is happening. The journey to Seven Sisters underground is swift; we get off and make our way to the car park. Shops are boarded, traffic as busy as ever and it is a hot evening. We walk to where we had parked our car and drive to the nearby Tesco’s to do some shopping and the ‘chatter’ that is over heard as you walk pass people is about the riots – from opinions about the speech of David Lammy to ‘not enough Police’. If people were not talking then they were either texting or reading their messages on their mobiles. And I have to add they were of different age groups. As I said before in my other ‘Tottenham’ blog, I’m just about speechless to all what is happening. This is taking us back to another 25 years!!
Just to add, later on I found out that the butchers in Tottenham High Road, Dewhurst’s, are alive and well. Thank God!