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Debenhams to preserve Clapham riot boards

Debenhams is to preserve the boards displaying messages of support erected during the riots earlier this month to demonstrate how the British public rallied round during the looting.

Debenhams Clapham Junction branch was ransacked by looters as retailers across London came under attack from rioters. Boards covering the windows smashed during the rioting were put up in the windows of the store and later covered with messages of support by members of the public.

The department store will display canvas prints of the boards in its Clapham Junction restaurant and around the store. It is also in discussions with various parties about where the boards can find a permanent home on display.

Debenhams Battersea store manager, Neil Roberts, said: “The generosity of the people of Clapham and Battersea has transformed plain pieces of wood into a testament for our times.

“Their words of support are proof that, in times of adversity, Londoners still have the strength of character to stand up and offer a helping hand.”

Messages include: “We have taken Clapham back. The rioters won’t stop our community”. Others said: “Clapham, we love you. Get well soon”, and “We have lived and loved here for 14 years. How dare you destroy our amazing community”.

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