The holy triumvirate is complete. At least it will be. Croydon is to be blessed with London's third Westfield shopping centre. But what exactly will happen when this cathedral of commerciality flings open its automatic doors? Here are six things we think are on the cards...
1. They launch a Westfield Peep Show store
Peep Show did for Croydon what the trams did for Croydon (They both made Croydon cooler, is what we're saying here.) The cult-not-really-cult comedy show certainly deserves its own Westfield store — even if it would look as out of place as Mark Corrigan at a magic mushroom party. Replica editions of 'Kenneth' the dildo and Super Hans' rampant snake would positively fly off the shelves. If things go really well, they could install a mock-up Swan and Paedo pub. Chance would be a fine thing.
2. Croydon International Airport reopens
In the golden age of air travel, Croydon International Airport had the ilk of Charlie Chaplin, Charles Lindbergh and Mary Pickford sashay through customs. With the heralding of this new Westfield, it'll be necessary to bulldoze a few-odd thousand houses, and reopen the old runway, in anticipation of the deluge of today's celebrities. Soon they'll all be here: picture the unadulterated glamour of Callum Best rocking up in a chartered Ryanair, for a book signing at Waterstones. A second golden age is upon us.
3. Croydon applies for city status... again
Its bids for city status in 1954, 2000, 2002 and 2012 wound up in the wastepaper basket, but this time Croydon has an ace up its sleeve. A few in fact — it's the only place to have a Westfield and a Boxpark and an IKEA. Oh yeah, and a minster. (Although everyone's going to be too busy buying new creps from the Adidas store, to be ministering.) Anyway, the upshot is that Croydon becomes almost as important as Ely.
4. The Whitgift Centre goes to knackered shopping centre heaven
Westfield Number Three will be dancing on the grave of the Whitgift Centre — a charmingly knackered old shopping centre that's starred in everything from the opening credits of Terry and June, to an episode of The IT Crowd. With other old school shopping centres like Elephant & Castle and Whiteleys also staring into the void, we can only hope there is life after bulldozer for these clapped out veterans — a Great Half Price Sale in the Sky.
5. The Westfield Triangle is completed
In the same vein as the Freemason architect Nicholas Hawksmoor — with his pentagram of London churches — so Westfield is making its mark on London, pricking out a pattern across the cartography of the capital. And so, as Croydon's Westfield rises, the ominous Westfield Triangle will take shape. What does it mean? That joining up three separate dots invariably creates a triangle.
6. People suddenly pretend they never actually said Croydon was crap
Like that young banker you met at that party in Clapham, who said he'd rather live in Pyongyang than spend a single minute in Croydon. The same one who's now sucking a smoothie at Westfield's Boost Juice Bar, while waiting for his fiance to finish up in the Apple Store. The nerve of some people.