140 years of business up in flames: Family-run furniture shop that survived the blitz is ravaged by riot fires

  • House of Reeves, established in 1867, is now just a charred shell
  • Family owners say ‘Our lives have been ruined by the fire’

The Daily Mail [UK]
9th August 2011

The owners of a 140-year-old family furniture store were devastated today after seeing the charmed remains of the building that fell victim to the riots last night.

House of Reeves has stood on the same corner in Croydon, south London, for more than a century but was targeted by rioters as violence spread across the capital.

Flames ripped through the historic building and spread to neighbouring businesses as firemen battled desperately to quell the inferno.

But today it was looked likely that the damage which was ‘worse than the blitz’ would force the ravaged building to be demolished and rebuilt.

Owner Trevor Reeves said: ‘It has just provided (for) my family and the 15 or 20 staff and families that were supported, it’s just completely destroyed.

‘Words fail me. It’s just gone, it’s five generations. My father is distraught at the moment. It’s just mindless thuggery.’

The burnt out shell of the 140-year-old Reeves Furniture store in Croydon is littered with charred rafters and bricks today after being set alight in the riots last night . Click on the image to view at full size.


His brother Graham told Sky News: ‘Our lives are destroyed, it will probably be someone else next week. It’s horrendous, 35 years I have been down here.’

He said the business was established in 1867, but he now had ‘nothing’, adding: ‘Everything is just gone, we have just got nothing left.

‘I was in the Brixton riots but this is worse. My life is destroyed.’

One eye witness said: ‘The building has survived the test of time. The damage last night was worse than the blitz.

The article continues, with several photos and additional links, at The Daily Mail.

Related: #LondonRiots Tweet of the Day

Class warfare has consequences at Legal Insurrection. The video in the article is an interview from BBC News this morning of two 17 year old girls who participated in the violence.

At Verum Serum, Must See Video of the London Riots: “We’re Getting Our Taxes Back” . The video below is from the article, where John has posted several more. In it a black woman shouts at the rioters that they are hurting local business people under the pretense of having a cause, and that she is ashamed. Sensitive readers should be warned of strong language. [CAJ note: This grandmother has been identified as Lady P, Pauline Pearce, Heroine of Hackney.]

At American Power:

If we allow class warfare to persist in America we will see these scenes around our own country. There are those Communists, anarchists, politicians and race-baiters who will agitate to be sure it happens here.

What will you do? 

Update: Via The Astute Bloggers, UK riots: What turns people into looters?

Before-and-after images of the devastation here.

At Backyard Conservative, Kitchen workers at the Michelin-starred Ledbury restaurant in Notting Hill fought off looters with rolling pins and fry baskets

Update 2: Stickin’ it to ‘the rich’

These people deserve recognition! Heroes of London: ‘It Was Like Being in a War’ But the police in Great Britain either need appropriate training for these circumstances, or laws need to be re-written to protect those who have enough gumption to protect themselves.

Agitators Pose As Orthodox Jews, Attempt To Claim Zionists Orchestrating London Riots

Guardian report on London riots omits the race or ethnicity of rioters….

Melanie Phillips writes from London:

The chickens come frighteningly home to roost

London descends into anarchy

Blogger Square Mile Wife also lives in London and is back at her computer after an absence: London Calling

Trevor Loudon writes at New Zeal Blog, Why People are Rioting–a Statement From the British Socialist Workers Party:

The Trotskyites of the British Socialist Workers Party has been stirring up trouble in the UK for decades.Their Marxist counterparts played a big role in recent events in the Middle East, and now the S.W.P. wants to do the same in once great Britain…

From Blazing Cat Fur, London riots: why did the police lose control?  Sensitivity?

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