A 21-year old man has been arrested by police following a suspected arson attack which left a 140 year old furniture store razed to the ground. Reeves furniture store in Croydon had occupied the same corner for over 100 years, but was destroyed by fire, believed to be arson, during the rioting which took place on Monday 8th August 2011.
Although the fire service battled in vain to stop the fire, it spread rapidly to neighbouring buildings causing more damage than the Blitz. It is believed that the building will have to be torn down. The owner of the family run store, Trevor Reeves said:
“It has just provided (for) my family and the 15 or 20 staff and families that were supported, it’s just completely destroyed. Words fail me. It’s just gone, it’s five generations. My father is distraught at the moment. It’s just mindless thuggery.”
The business was established in 1867, founded by Edwin Reeves who introduced an ironmongery, new furniture and an antiques department. The business became a private limited company in 1947 when the son of Edwin, William became managing director and ran the business until he died in 1982. His son Maurice was the successor and ran the company before handing over the reigns to his sons Trevor and Graham.
The company has transformed over the years, being popular for antiques which included Victorian dining chairs and a valuation and auction service, to selling only brand new furniture in the eighties for modern homes. The end of an era has been reached, with the store that had a road named in it’s honour, burnt to the ground.
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