The riots of the last week have totally freaked me out! (and half the UK population) When I was out in Enfield Town with a bunch of girlfriends Saturday evening, drinking and going from pub to wine bar without a care in the world I had no inkling that the very next evening the ancient market town of Enfield would be swarming with rioters hell-bent on damage destruction and theft. One of my companions that night showed me a picture on her mobile of the trouble underway in Tottenham and I barely registered its importance, riots and Tottenham are old news and I thought it would be a storm in a tea-cup. I used to work in Tottenham High Road, my grandparents were born there and when I was a teenager Tottenham was the happening place . The British Queen Pub owned by little Vince who never moved with out his big Alsatian dog and we drunk Port and Lemonade at 12 p a shot (Decimalisation having arrived some years before) We were underage of course but dressed up to the nines and with fake eyelashes and pan stick we got away with it! No I.D. required back then. After the pub you could either go to the Tottenham Royal ! a massive venue a bit further up! (I wonder if it’s still there?) or Rudolph’s a much smaller club just close to the hallowed Tottenham ground. That I know is still in existence (Well it was before the riots.) As a listed building it has to remain according to my client at THFC. The area was safe and clean and often we would walk all the way home if we missed the last 279 bus. No one drove in those days and cabs were few and far between. Even before the riots I would not consider going there at night as its reputation is somewhat dubious. But I’m sure all the decent hardworking people are horrified by the events of saturday and it is a great shame that the area which already appeared to be in decline has been damaged so badly. I comforted myself with the thought that It was unlikely to happen in Enfield.!! So when word went out on Facebook Sunday afternoon that trouble was brewing in our town, I didn’t take much notice. So I was shaken and disturbed to see the terrible pictures on Sky news of the riot Police fending off a 200 strong crowd in the very area where we had been partying the night before. Enfield Town is only a mile or so from where I live..far too close and they had trashed shops stolen goods and damaged property and here they were taunting the Police who seem helpless. I was enraged, how could this be happening in my town , and why ?. I realised that it had little to do with the death of a man at the hands of the Police. This was just vicious and criminal behaviour. Most of the perpetrators were not from the local area and had been seen coming in on the train. (why the trains werent stopped I have no idea). Home alone that evening I was worried about my children and friends and family. Around 10.30 pm I heard a number of people running up my street and guessed that they were part of the looters. Two shops at the end of my road were damaged. The next day we were advised to leave early from work as more trouble was forecast everyone was anxious and unsettled. The scenes from Monday evenings rioting with be emblazoned in my memory for a long time to come. I was totally horrified as the chaos unfolded all over London. Unable to sleep I sat up till the early hours listening to the helicopter hovering the police cars racing from place to place and getting so angry I smoked one cigarette after another. The live news feed from Clapham, Croydon and other parts of London just kept on coming. The police looked liked rabbits frozen in the headlights and were completely wrong footed. They did a brilliant job but didn’t have enough resources or strong enough methods to quell the mobs. Finally in Enfield the Sony ~Distribution Centre was set on fire and the black smoke was seen billowing across the sky for miles. Its burning still and I can see it five miles away. Yesterday was quieter but the anxiety remained and we shut early with talk of gangs gathering. In fact it was a group of Enfield’s Finest going out to support the Police and take charge of our town and protect it from anymore destruction. Community spirit is alive and well and living here it would seem , and I applaud those guys for showing that when the going gets tough the tough get going!!
With my nerves rattled as we gathered our stuff to leave the office and batten down the hatches my phone pinged telling me I had a message. It was from one of my toyboys who I have yet to meet but we had been talking for a while. A number of my boys had checked in to make sure I was ok, having read that Enfield was so badly effected by the riots and having come here when they visited me, which was very sweet. So when the message popped up saying I was in his thoughts, I thought Ah! sweet, I soon realised this was not what he meant.. The message disappeared and was replaced by one of my infamous “Willy Pictures” I roared with laughter and whooping loudly I showed Chloe. It was extremely impressive and apparently” thinking of me.”.!!!. I do hate it when they are sent with out permission…but it broke then tension and put a smile on my face and with the pair of us giggling we double locked the office and lowered the shutters and went home to watch sky news!!