The family run furniture shop called House of Reeves was founded in 1867 when Queen Victoria ruled the British Empire and Charles Dickens was at his height. It has been in the hands of five generations of Reeves, who kept it going through the Depression and two World Wars, including the Blitz.
Now it is this heap of rubble, stinking of smoke.
I was in Croydon today and went down to have a look. If the comments from the crowd watching are anything to go by the looters and arsonists had better hope they are not on the jury when their cases go to court.
"Wicked, that was, wicked" said one.
Why was this furniture store burnt down, given that even the most enthusiastic looter would have trouble making off with a sofa? Was it for fun - or was it meant as a distraction to give more time to loot the nearby PC World?
Thankfully there is only a tiny minority who feel like that, and the stories of good deeds, such as the broomstick army of Clapham Junction, greatly outnumber the bad. And The House of Reeves is open for business again as 80 year old Maurice Reeves says determinedly "we won't let this beat us."
London has survived plagues, fires and wars: it will survive, it will rebuild. We won't let this beat us.
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