Ealing Bites Back 3 - The Dunkirk Spirit

Broken and boarded shops are slowly getting back to business

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One of the Ealing Green shops at the centre of last week's riot, baby e , opened its door yesterday and within minutes saw a hive of activity.

Blitz style re-opening signs now adorn the front, 'More Open for Business than Usual' and reflect owner Liz Pilgrim's fight back spirit.

Liz says she was absolutely devasted when she first saw what had become of her shop the morning after the riots:

'' It was total carnage there was blood and wine soaking the walls, the tills and wiring had been torn out. Baby clothes were strew all over the Green and a hat stand was used as a torch to ignite fires outside.''

The destruction was demoralising, but Liz has certainly not been defeated. Whilst boarded up, baby e became a focal point and received a huge amount of public support, much of it from children who wrote and painted messages on large paper sheets. 

These have been given to the “Open Ealing” art work shop and are being displayed in an exhibition www.openealing.com.

A fantastic effort of make do and mend from staff , glaziers and decorators has got the shop back on it’s feet and in an emotional statement Liz thanked everyone in the community for their overwhelming support with special thanks to the chamber of commerce, Ealing BID and the Council.

'' I have had lots of help and really couldn't have done it alone - I'm delighted to say baby e is back in business.''

There's more happy news just a few yards down the street. The looted Oxfam music shop will be opening again on Tuesday 30th August.

Manager Tony Lee says about £40,000 worth of damage was caused during the riots mostly through flooding from the water used to extinguish the nearby Ealing Green Local Supermarket and structural damage.

"Fortunately our most valuable thing, the Beatles mural signed by Peter Blake when he came to our opening, was undamaged. It's insured for £4,000."

Deputy manager David Russell next to unharmed Beatles poster

Tony described how an empty open till had been mindlessly ripped out, but a collection box for the East African appeal was left untouched.

However, vital funds have now been diverted from the appeal and support is still very much needed.

The shop urgently needs to replenish its supply and anyone with unwanted DVDs and CD albums should drop them into the Oxfam Bookshop, on the same road, or visit when the store reopens.

Tony and deputy manager David Russell, would like to thank the council and everyone who has donated and contributed to help get the shop open again, including Sailesh Siyani, Chief Executive of the Ealing BID who has donated two computers.

25th August 2011