Charles and Camilla return to riot-hit Croydon

Pic: Bhupendra Solanki, CVA

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have returned to Croydon’s London Road one year after being shocked by the devastation of the riots.

The heir to the throne and his wife Camilla visited local charities and schools to see how the reconstruction of the area was progressing.

The couple visited Croydon and Hackney last August after cutting short their summer holiday in the wake of that month’s riots.

Prince Charles listened to local choir the Odudwa Talking Drummers and tried his hand at a little drumming himself at Croydon Voluntary Action, also making and sampled pancakes at Croydon College.

Pic: Bhupendra Solanki, CVA

Karen Chillman, head of volunteering at CVA, said: “He came shortly after the unrest last year, and visited us, and this was really just a follow-up, to see how everyone was getting on.

Chillman said that despite its troubles locals and volunteers had rallied behind the area to help it recover.

She said: “Some things are slower, some of the businesses are still struggling to get going, and there have been some insurance issues.

“But out of it has come the West Croydon Community Forum, which is a real positive move for London Road.

“This sort of visit encourages people to continue to get involved, and it can only be a positive thing.”

Pic: Croydon College

The Prince of Wales was greeted by council leader Mike Fisher and the Mayor of Croydon, as well as meeting Charlene Munro, a local citizen who lost her home during the riots. He also sipped a pint at The Cronx brewery on Vulcan Way.

Speaking in Croydon last year, the Prince said: “I still think half the problem is that people join gangs because it is a cry for help, the fact they’re looking for a framework, a sense of belonging, and a meaning.”

His charity, The Prince’s Trust, pledged to invest £2.5 million in riot-hit areas.

Croydon volunteers will be organising a Carnival of Cultures on London Road on Sunday. See the West Croydon Community Forum for more information.

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