As part of Croydon has been shutting down the Council has closed playgrounds, park car parks and park toilets. There are continuing problems with people keeping a safe distance from each other when they have to go out especially in shops. As elsewhere in the country we are becoming more and more dependent on the work of the low paid and gig economy workers with little sign of serious effort by the Government to support them financially along with the now unemployed self-employed. Delaying the spread of the virus is of paramount importance through hand washing and isolation is very important, with the number of people dying of the virus having reached ten at Croydon University Hospital by yesterday, all with underlying health problems. Reactions are varied. On the one hand a school has refused to take a nurse’s two children, while a couple has donated wedding items to NHS staff. The BBC is promoting Psych’s song while it has been a sad die for Croydon folk song enthusiasts with the news of the death of Julie Felix. Activists are thinking about how they will re-start their activities when they are allowed to, such as re-scheduling events like the Croydonite Festival of Theatre, and the Ruskin House Summer Festival (scheduled for 4 July).
Concerns About The Way Open Shops Are Operating?
A key problem is the difficulty getting customers to keep two metres away from others in shops. In Norbury today the queue of people outside Superdrug were about 1 metre apart. A woman rushed into a shop passing very close to others and had to be advised about distance by a member of staff. There is also the problem of the two metres between customers and staff at tills. New supplies deliveries can be a problem in that in some shops the goods have to be set down near customers with deliverers and staff being close together to unload boxes.
Usdaw which represents store workers is calling on retailers to protect staff with measures including:
- Limiting the number of customers in store at any one time.
- Increasing security.
- Telling customers to shop alone if possible and only buy what they need.
- Enforcing essential workers’ and vulnerable people’s shopping hours
Croydon’s foodbanks are accepting donations.
Croydon Foodbank (West Croydon): Monday, Tuesday & Friday. Noon-2pm. Praise Gate Temple, 46 Pilton Industrial Estate, CR0 3RA.
Salvation Army: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. 2.30-4pm. Croydon Citadel Corps, Booth Road, CR0 1XY
The Vine: Tuesday & Friday. 7-8pm for donations; Wednesday & Saturday for referrals. Down the lane between 11 & 13 Salcot Crescent, New Addington. Lesley.Holland@salvationarmy.org.uk.07906 097473
Trussell Trust Foodbank (Norwood Distribution Centre): Tuesday 10am-1pm; Thursday. 10am-2pm. St Luke’s Church Knights Hill, SE27 0HS. email@example.com. 07722121108
Purley Food Club. Wednesday & Saturday. 10am-noon. Purley United Reformed Church, 906 Brighton Road, CR8 2LN
Elim Church. Saturday. 1-2pm. Mersham Road, Thornton Heath, CR7 8NP
(From Enewsletter of Sarah Jones, MP for Croydon Central)
Sarah Jones advises: ‘Please note: due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, these opening hours are liable to change – I advise calling ahead before visiting if you are planning to drop off.’
Watch Out For The Scammers
A reader tells me ‘I seem to have received regular emails offering face-masks at exorbitant rates — it’s an ill wind, I suppose — and local outlets have been selling bottles of sanitiser at £6 for a small bottle!’
Experience of how people are responding to the crisis will vary from area to area within the Borough. I am commenting on the situation in Norbury on my Norbury Watch blog site. A reader from Addiscombe tells me:
‘All the pubs, all the doctors’ surgeries (with patients being referred to NHS111 or pharmacies), and all the “sit-in” cafés in the Addiscombe-area (including the Croydon Café and Nino’s Kitchen in the Lower Addiscombe Road), are now closed. Some of the bakers and a local pharmacy (Larchwood) are open, but with limited access to customers. The local NWB (which I think is our only local Bank) is on shorter hours, and allowing only a couple of customers in, at a time. Tesco Express, the Co-op, and Sainsbury’s Local are open, but often out of stock. Local buses and the trams are less frequent, and seem to be much less full than usual. Some people I have spoken to are reluctant to use public transport, at the moment. People seem, at present, to be managing, often with informal help from friends and neighbours.’
Know Your Rights
Isolation Notes For Employers
If you or anyone needs an isolation note for your employer then see the advice at https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note
(Thanks to Unite email for this)
The Guardian explains these at:
More Needs To Be Done For Workers
John McDonnell. Labour’s Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer argues that more needs to be done for four sets of workers.
Labour’s Plan can be read here:
Len McCluskey (Unite General Secretary)has appealed to the Prime Minister to act swiftly to clear up the confusion about who can be at work and how insecure and self-employed workers will be supported economically.
Weatherspoons And Its Workers
Customers of Weatherspoons may not realise that the boss is not paying his staff wages.
A Wonderful Voice Has Gone – Julie Felix
Folk fans in Croydon will be particularly saddened by the news that Julie Felix, the folk singer has died. In 1965 she headlined Fairfield Hall, becoming Britain’s First Lady of Folk. The front of the programme for her solo concert at the Fairfield in November 1966 can be seen at:
as well as in the Museum of Croydon’s Fairfield Collection:
You can enjoy listening to Julie Felix on You Tube.
You can see obituaries about her on the Sutton & Croydon and national Guardians websites: