Guest post and video: @LordKenley speaks about #Croydon community and a ‘Damascene moment’

Maybe Damascus ain’t that far away…

Some months ago I had a ‘Road to Damascus’ moment in a Wetherspoons pub in Purley. Not many people can say that.

Up until that moment, I’d always been suspicious of Croydon and its people

It was the first of the tweet ups organised by @98rosjon and up until that moment I’d always been suspicious of Croydon and its people. I’d lived in the area on and off for around eight years and during that time had a number of negative experiences. What struck me most was a lack of community cohesion and spirit. In that pub I first realised that maybe Croydon wasn’t so bad after all.

I went to another tweet up and another and another. At each event the number of attendees grew and I met a fascinating array of people from the most diverse backgrounds. The only thing we had in common was use of twitter and a positive attitude.

The most recent tweet up was the #purleydinnerclub on Monday, 8 August, the evening of the Croydon / London riots. We were all there to eat, drink and be merry but it wasn’t long before iPads and mobile phones were circulating as people kept track of the riots going on just a couple of miles away. The atmosphere was subdued; one individual unsure at first if he even had a home to go back to.

What happened that night and in the following days was fascinating…

Twitter just lit up in the most amazing way; messages of concern for those stuck in the riot zone, good-will wishes to the local community and latterly donations of clothes requested for the new homeless and many, many offers of help to clear up afterwards.

Maybe I had it wrong and this community cohesion spirit always existed. Regardless, it exists now and it’s a pleasure to be involved with it.


Lord Kenley is describes himself as a “famed writer, broadcaster, social commentator and raconteur Lord Kenley offers his views on life, love and current affairs.” Just don’t take him too seriously.

There are rumours in the society pages of a ‘Lord Kenley blog’ in the near-future, however this is subject to the approval of Lady K and finding the time between his numerous official appointments/court appearances.


About jonathanrose

Raconteur. Intellectual. Showerman.
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5 Responses to Guest post and video: @LordKenley speaks about #Croydon community and a ‘Damascene moment’

  1. Lord Kenley says:

    It feels very narcistic leaving a comment to one of my own posts! I just wanted to add that the film footage was recorded on the night with no preparation. I stand by all I said…but it was an emotional and genuinely upsetting time. With a little more preparation I might have expressed myself a little more succinctly.

    Now stop reading this and “spread the positivity” (Copyright, Lord Kenley, August 2011).

    • My Lord,

      Thanks for leavng a great post.

      I remember Reeves Corner quite well, in the 40 or odd years I have lived in the community, having spent my early years in Cornwall.

      I was very sad to see what was going on in central Croydon, and to see such an interesting building at Reeves Corner burn down. I shopped there for many years. Walking around Croydon last Wednesday, many shops were still clearing up, but were open for business. We need to fight back against the low life who caused the riots or looted.

      Many of my American radio friends at AFM Radio, contacted me, because they could not understand what happening before them on their news. Many were sad to see what was happening in London.

      Paul Harper aka Honorary Spock

  2. Wendy Ager says:

    Dear Lord,

    Thanks for this great post about the community we have in this area. Having always lived in the vicinity of Croydon and worked there too, it’s great to hear that people who have come into the area can see the ‘goodness’ here too.

    I’ve even shopped at Reeves Furniture a couple of times, so am really saddened that that iconic landmark has gone.

    However, as you say, the community was quick to react positively and I look forward to being graced with your presence at another of Jonny Rose’s community events soon, to keep the community spirit thriving and growing.


  3. Giles Crankshaw says:

    Lord Kenley – how much did you win from the bookies?

  4. Jenny says:

    Well said Lord Kenley!

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