Never knowingly undersold

By - Monday 23rd December, 2013

Andy Dickinson shares a message of hope to warm the cockles of Croydon’s heart

Image by Shawn Collins and used under Creative Commons license.

Dear Santa,

I know I haven’t written to you for a number of years for what I wish most for at christmas. I have become a bit forgetful and neglected to write and fallen a bit behind the times with my needs and wants.

It’s just that I have two new ‘uncles’ now; uncle Hammerson and uncle Westfield and along with grandma Croydon Council and some other relatives, they are going to build me a new shiny steel and glass shopping centre to replace the ones that I’ve had for a number of years. Even though they have been looked after they are no longer what people want (!).

I’ve been really well behaved the last two years since the incidents of 2011, so I really think I deserve this and it would really be the one thing that would make my retail heart complete. I don’t expect it to be delivered immediately, I’m prepared to wait so that it fits in with my new development. But it would be the one thing that would fulfil my retail offering.

It’s something that my uncles have given their other shopping centres, and many towns and cities across the country have one already. It makes a statement about the type of character I aspire to be. I have missed out on this many times over the last few decades due to circumstances and have stood by and seen my neighbours successfully get them.

I’ll get to the point Santa, what I really want for christmas is a John Lewis.


The Heart of Croydon

Andrew Dickinson

Andrew Dickinson

I'm a long term resident of Croydon and I'm lucky to live and work in the borough. As a schoolboy my proudest moments were playing representative football for Croydon where I would fight tooth and nail to win for the borough and contribute towards its sporting reputation. For 18 years I worked up in London and became distanced from the town. Now I've re-engaged with the place over the last 20 years and feel frustrated in finding a way to vent my passion for Croydon (as I'm too old to play football) so I'm always on the lookout for any new initiatives to bring positivity to the place. I live on Bramley Hill with my lovely family and I have an allotment locally. I'm a keen amateur in gardening, environmentalism, permaculture, photography and website design. I'm an oyster mushroom farmer, run a social enterprise called Green Croydon, I'm part of the Croydon Fairtrade steering group, part of the Croydon ReUse Organisation, current chair of Croydon Transition Town and a community gardener; I'm on the borough Food Programme, Parks and Social Enterprise steering groups and a community apple presser. I currently work for the council as an officer creating and promoting community events in the beautiful Wandle Park. I put on the Croydon Environmental Fair each year and the Summer of Love theme and festival was something I dreamed up. I inspired the 'I would make Croydon better by' theme. There's also the Give and Take events in Surrey Street. I started the monthly Arts, Crafts and Vintage market in Exchange Square. Formerly I was a Turf Projects trustee, a Croydon Radio presenter and part of the Old Town business association.Between all this, I write the occasional article for the Citizen. I support local artists and local musicians by enabling the space for them to create I also support local independent journalism.

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