Clapham Junction store goodwill messages to be preserved
BY STYLE EDITOR, ON 24 AUG 2011 15:21 DEBENHAMS NEWSCOMMENTS
Like so many other people and businesses around the UK Debenhams was badly affected by the recent riots. However, amongst the broken glass, distressing images and public outcry, a touching tribute to community emerged.
Hundreds of goodwill messages written on boards covering windows smashed during rioting in Clapham Junction became a beacon of the real spirit that exists in our communities and a touching response to the rioting minority.
The messages made such an impression on staff, customers and local businesses, Debenhams have decided to preserve the boards to show how British people rallied around after the unprecedented street disturbances.
So many messages of support were scrawled on the boards covering Debenhams’ ransacked Clapham Junction store that they quickly became a local landmark.
Visitors came from all over London – and even a few from overseas – to see what had been written, and to add a message of their own.
Among the messages were: “We have taken Clapham back. The rioters won’t stop our community”. Others said: “Clapham, we love you. Get well soon”, and “We have lived and loved here for 14 years. How dare you destroy our amazing community”.
So many messages of support were written that they filled every available inch of the boards, each measuring 9ft by 6ft.
Debenhams’ Neil Roberts said: “While looting and destruction grabbed the headlines, the voices of ordinary people went virtually unheard. These boards, tell us, in their own words, how they felt at that time. They have become priceless pieces of social documentary.