Watching the news last night with all the rioting in Croydon along with the awful fires was bad enough. We had also been following twitter to keep up with all the scaremongering, attempting to incite people as well as updates on where had been hit (there is only so much the BBC and Sky News helicopters can cover)
Our area kept being mentioned, but as they had suspended all transport in and out the area it seemed unlikely to materialise. Unfortunately we were wrong and at just gone 3am this morning the thugs managed to set fire to the co-op in our parade of shops. (There was also reports of the Lidl being hit but that looked fine). The chicken place had their shutters ripped off and the glass panel in the door kicked out. The good news is that this seems to be the extent of the damage - our local independent stores seem to be ok. Martin's the newsagents is alright which is good as they only just replaced the whole of the front of their shop after a ram raid at the beginning of the year.
When Ollie headed off to work just after 5:30 this morning he came face to face with 6 fire engines including one from Northolt some 27 miles away. All the trams were suspended (the track and overhead lines caught fire at Reeves corner where the furniture shop burnt down in the town centre anyway so I doubt they would have been running a normal service anyway)
There were a LOT of angry people out when I had a wonder down for some fresh air and to see if I had any hope of getting a gift voucher for Sebastian's birthday tomorrow (I am off sick with Gastritus, never have I been so glad to be sick so I didn't have to worry about fighting my way into work). These angry people included a lot of angry young people who don't want to be associated with the trouble makers and a worrying large quantity of people with very scary looking dogs! I'm worried that if it kicks off tonight there will be an angry mob waiting to 'sort 'em aauut' as I overheard one particularly scary looking bunch claim. I can't say that I blame them and yes, we should stand up to these people but I can only see this making the police's job even harder and leading to more casualties, more problems for A&E and less access for the fire brigade when the fires are started.
Anyway, here are the ugly scenes - the flats above ARE residential and they are occupied. I sincerely hope that everyone made it out ok.