Thaxted teacher relives ‘scary’ London riots

A TEACHER who began his career at Helena Romanes School in Great Dunmow as relived the moment the London riots came literally knocking at his front door.

Craig Neville, aged 26, from Thaxted, now lives in the borough of Edmonton, near Tottenham, and found himself caught up in the mayhem that has plagued the capital this week.

On Sunday night he was evacuated from his home at 3am when yobs set fire to a garage just a few metres away from his bathroom window.

He said: “We were in bed when we heard the noise and commotion outside, the police came and told us to leave. It was scary because we were not sure what was going on at first.

“The rioters then set fire to a big workshop about 20 metres from our house. It was a massive fire and it soon spread to the houses next door.”

Mr Neville, who teaches modern languages, waited with police for half an hour before the violent mobs moved on to other parts of the area, causing carnage at every turn.

He added: “At one point we thought about going back to Thaxted, where my parents live, just to be safe – but it has calmed down over the last few nights.

Most Read

“On Tuesday evening some people set fire to the recycling centre just down the road from us. We are worried about what is to come but we won’t be moving or anything just yet.”

Elsewhere, there was a lucky escape for a Dunmow-based businessman.

John Juniper, who owns the town’s Bel Piatto restaurant in the High Street with his wife Caroline, also has a pub called the Bill Nicholson in Tottenham.

He told the Broadcast this week: “We have had no damage so far, so really we have been very lucky.”

HAVE you been caught up in the riots? Tell us your stories and tell us what you think. E-mail us at or write to us at 54 High Street, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1EE.