The riots sometimes seem such a long time ago, and it’s almost tempting to say that things are largely back to normal. Yes, there are a few scars remaining – perhaps most notably the boarded up Party Superstore – but most shops are fully restored and back in business.
But some scars will remain for a while, we will have to wait and see if there’s a long-term effect on trade in the area. It looks like a few stores will not re-open as a result. And the arguments about how those involved are dealt with looks like it will rage for a while yet.
Battersea Buzz, however, looks like it was a success. I’ve said from the start that it really was a means to an end, something to help the community come together and share their ideas. It cannot, therefore, take any credit for anything that happens. But I hope it played a part in what comes next.
And what is coming next?
Well, the Clapham Grand will be hosting a benefit called ‘Up The Junction’ on 8 September, featuring Chris Difford. This will raise money for Victim Support and St Marks.
There is an (unrelated) ‘Up The Junction’ Facebook group discussing a range of ideas to raise money and build the community.
Meanwhile a lot of people are looking at how they can get involved in mentoring – and James Mummery from Future Foundations is helping co-ordinate this.
Some events have already taken place: last Tuesday over 200 runners raised cash with the Clapham Pioneers running club, for example.
I’m sure there’s plenty else going on that I don’t know about (as well as plenty of ideas in their formative stage where we’re continuing to try to put the right people in touch with each other).
Counter-intuitively it seems that the overall effect of the disorder will be to have created a stronger Clapham Junction. The tragedy is that the foundations include so many tales of irreparable loss.