Croydon news at 23 May


Saturday 16 – Saturday 23 June. Croydon Festival of Peace. What Does Peace Mean To You?

The events include talks by Dan Frost and myself on peace movements in Croydon. See flier here:

Peace movements flier

Has Paul Scott got  a new conflict of interest over planning?

Now that Paul Scott has a Cabinet responsibility with Stuart King on transport, environment and urban regeneration, does his continuance as Chair of Planning mean he has conflict of interest? As Cabinet member he is responsible for trying to ensure Council policies are implemented. As Chair of Planning he is responsible for ensuring that every planning application considered by the Planning Committees is judged on its merits within the national, London and Croydon Local Plan policies. Therefore schemes could be rejected even though they might mean Council policies cannot be implemented. As Planning Committee consideration is quasi judicial the Chair should not be held by a member of the executive (the Cabinet).Inside Croydon discusses the issue at length at

Council view on Taberner House deal

News in Brief

Mothercare may shut in Croydon

£5,000 target reached for judicial review of Brick by Brick is now a dead elephant.

Council pulls plug on MyCroydon App (Inside Croydon. 19 May)

7 in 10 Voters did not vote in Council elections (Inside Croydon. 19 May)

Croydon North MP’s latest newsletter contains details about his work on Grenfell and cladding and mental patients. His website is at

Where’s Plan B for the Whitgift?

Andrew Kennedy has re-raised the issue of what happens if Westfield does not happen. More and more people I speak are beginning to be sceptical that it is now a dead elephant. This is what Andrew says:

‘What is Plan B for Croydon? Here most of us are hoping that Westfield takes place in some form or another, but what if it doesn’t? Can we just muddle on? Where are all these people who are supposedly moving into all these flat going to work? Croydon, the commuter town. East Croydon Station is going to be a nightmare and the A23 at Coulsdon already is choc a bloc with commuters in cars and lorries. I refer back to warnings that were given in 2014 by Peter Latham in the Croydon Citizen and Sean Creighton in his blog. Just search for “Plan B”.’

Peter’s article is here:

Is Croydon Advertiser deluded over Westfield’s effects?

What do you think?

Store closures raise concerns


Labour Councillor discusses knife crime

See my discussion piece at



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Selhurst May Festival 26 May

Selhrst Fest

I will be running a bookstall at this event


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History events at 22 May

Black Tudors

Wednesday 23 May. 7pm. Black Tudors: Three Untold Stories

Talk by Miranda Kaufmann about three Africans living in Tudor England – a diver employed by Henry VIII to recover guns from the wreck of the Mary Rose, a Moroccan woman baptized in Elizabethan London and a porter who whipped a fellow servant at their master’s Gloucestershire manor house. Their stories shed light on key questions: how did they come to England? What were their lives like? How were they treated by the church and the law? Most importantly: were they free?

Lock 91, 9 Century Street, Manchester, M3 4QL

Miranda’s book The Black Tudors can be ordered from me at discount price of £15 plus postage.

26 May to 10 June. Wandsworth Heritage Festival

 Full programme can be seen here.

 Wandsworth Heritage Festival 2018 programme

Wandsworth 18th

Wednesday 30 May. 7.15pm. The Wandsworth Area as 18th Century Powerhouse

 The Wandsworth area was an economic and political powerhouse during the long 18th Century. This talk by Sean Creighton will examine aspects of this, including the Huguenots, the networks, the Clapham Sect and the Pitt Government.

Illustrated talk by Sean Creighton

Part of Wandsworth Heritage Festival.

Free. No booking required

Wandsworth Town Library, 11 Garratt Lane, SW18 4AQ

The flier is here:

Wandsworth 18thC flier

Please print off and display on noticeboards.

Wednesday 30 May.  5pm. Being Black in Tudor England/Being English in Mughal India

Talks by Miranda Kaufmann and Prof. Nandini Das

UCL, London

Thursday 31 May. 7pm.  Black Tudors: Three Untold Stories

69 Rivington Street, Shoreditch,  London, EC2A 3QQ

Saturday 2 June. 11am – 5.00pm. Making use of Oral Labour History

 Britain at Work (B@W) 1945-95, British Universities’ Industrial Relations (BUIRA) IR History Group and Oral History Society (OHS)

University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS

 For further details or to reserve a place, please email Michael Gold ( or Linda Clarke (

Thursday 14 & 21 June. 6pm.  Kennington Chartism Project walks

Saturday 16 June. 1.30-5pm. Labour Heritage Annual General Meeting

As well as the formal AGM there will be the following talks:

2018: Centenary of women’s suffrage – for some women –  Barbara Humphries

Bicentenary of Marx’s birth –  Stan Newens

Centenary of Labour Party constitution, local parties & Clause 4  –  John Grigg

Non-members welcome to attend

St Pancras Church Hall, Lancing St, Euston, NW1 1NA

Thursday 21 June. 7.30pm. Campaigning for peace in Croydon 1816-1960s

Introductory talks by Sean Creighton and Dan Frost

 Campaigning for peace and against war began after the end of the Napoleonic  Wars and continues through to today. These talks will review aspects of such campaigning, organisations and individuals involved and whether they were pacifists or anti-war supporters who were prepared to fight if war broke out.

Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Rd, CR0 1BD

Part of Croydon Festival of Peace Croydon 16  – 23 June

The flier is here:

Peace movements flier

Please print off and display on noticeboards.

Saturday 7 July. 10amff. Kennington 1848-2018

A day of workshops and participation: walks, exhibition, debate, vocal relay and Chartist songs

First World War Chemical Warfare

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War to Windrush

WtoW @BFI Southbank

War to Windrush – Black Women in Britain 1939-1948

by Stephen Bourne

 Jacaranda Books (£12.99)

From the author of Black Poppies, Fighting Proud and Evelyn Dove: Britain’s Black Cabaret Queen comes a timely new account of exploring Britain’s diverse, multicultural history during World War II and beyond.

Commemorating the 70th anniversaries of the arrival of the Empire Windrush on 22 June 1948 and the birth of the National Health Service on 5 July 1948, Stephen Bourne’s War to Windrush shines a light on the lives of black women in Britain in the decade leading up to and just after those historic occasions.

Spanning the years from the start of World War II to the arrival of the Windrush, this engaging and informative book acknowledges the diverse lives of black women in Britain in a decade of major upheaval and social change.

Alongside key figures such as wartime heroes Lilian Bader, Nadia Cattouse and Connie Mark, and pioneers in the arts and media Una Marson and Winifred Atwell, War to Windrush pays homage to the unsung heroines who were integral to rebuilding post-war Britain.

War to Windrush includes many rare and previously unpublished photographs from Stephen Bourne’s private collection and various archives.

A much-needed book in today’s political climate.

For further information contact Jazzmine Breary at Jacaranda Books

Iqbal Windursh

Tuesday 5, 12 & 19 & Monday 25 June 7.30 – 9.30 pm 

In the year when we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first Windrush arrivals to the UK. Linford Sweeney will be delivering a course focusing on the Windrush generation who (following recruitment by the British government) landed on these shores in June 1948 and went on to help rebuild a war-ravaged Britain.
Week One – Life before the arrival of the Empire Windrush
Week Two – Rebuilding Britain in the 1950s and 1960s
Week Three – Children of the Windrush Generation
Week Four – Experiences of Windrush Arrivals
Cost £5.00 for all 4 sessions.
To reserve your place call 07932 717907 or email

Friday 8 June. 7-9pm. Musical Legacies from The Windrush: Allan Wilmot and the Southlanders

Wednesday 13 June. 7-9pm. Mothers and Daughters of the Windrush

Saturday 23 June. Noon-7pm. Windrush 70 Years On

22 June 1948 marks the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the SS Empire Windrush and a new era of Caribbean people settling in post-war Britain. Brixton became an epicenter for Caribbean culture. Celebrate the foundation of bass culture music as DJs play classic reggae, lovers rock, ska and hip-hop. Talented poets from Poetic Unity will perform inspired new work. Children can get creative with craft workshops and face-painting. And for those who want to share in conversation join us to consider the waves of cultural, political and economic legacies left by this tenacious generation. Free courtyard activities, music, poetry and children’s workshops.

Black Cultural Archives, Windrush Square, Brixton

£5 for Windrush 70 panel discussion – book here

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History events & news at 17 May

Saturday 19 May.  7.30pm.  Salt-pork and Daguerreotypes: unpacking the evidence from 1848

Talk by David Steele’s  looking at the numbers – how many Chartists were on Kennington Common on 10 April 1848, how many troops were to be stationed in London and for how long.

Saturday 2 June. 8pm. Marx in Soho

Bob Weick’s one-man show of Marx encountering life in contemporary Soho, New York; play by Howard Zinn.

Chetham’s Library Manchester

Tours of Library start at 7.15 and 7.30pm, and special exhibition of Marx memorabilia (limited capacity

Tickets price £15 (£12 concessions) are available via 0333 130 0967 (2-4pm Mon-Fri), or

Tuesday 5 June. 7pm. James Connolly’s 150th anniversary

Connolly Association event featuring launch of a new edition of C. Desmond Greaves’s book Life & times of James Connolly, and  first screening in England of the documentary portrait of James Connolly in the award-winning RTÉ series ‘On Behalf of the Provisional Government’. More details here.

Unison NW offices at Arena Point, 1 Hunts Bank, Manchester, M3 1UN

Friday 8 June. 10:30am – 4:45pm. Factory Occupations in British Labour History Workshop

Unlike in Europe and North America, factory occupation was largely unheard of in British industrial relations before 1970. However, following the successful work-in at the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders in Glasgow, 1971, occupations became an increasingly important weapon for workers campaigning against closure and redundancy, with an estimated 200 between 1970 and 1972. This workshop brings together historians and industrial relations scholars to discuss their current research interests and the future research possibilities for understanding this fascinating period of British labour history and its impact on the British trade union movement.

Labour and Society Research Group, Newcastle University. Registration is free, but please contact to register. Lunch and refreshments are provided

Thursday 14 June. 6pm. ‘One hand tied behind us’ – 40 years on

Talk by Jill Liddington. Old Fire Station, just down the road from the Working Class Movement Library, Salford  to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of this suffrage classic, in tribute to Library founders Eddie and Ruth Frow’s support for the research of Jill Liddington and Jill Norris, and to mark Vote 100.

Admission free; copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Monday 2 July. Final date for entries for Sid Chaplin Memorial Essay Prize

The North East Labour History Society awards the Sid Chaplin Memorial Essay Prize very year for the best essay submitted on any aspect of the labour history of North East England. The essay should show knowledge and the use of primary sources, it should be word processed and generally not more than 10,000 words in length. Essays must be from people who are not employed full-time as professional teachers or writers of history, entries from people not connected with academic institutions are most welcome.

Entries should be sent to David Connolly, NELHS Secretary in electronic form by Monday 2 July for consideration by the Award panel:

Thursday 5 July.  4.30pm. The Relaunch of the Historical Association in the North East

Organised by  Brian Ward (Professor in American Studies) and Connal Parr (Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow in Humanities)

Northumbria University at the Institute of the Humanities (Lipman Building)

Tuesday 10 July. 7pm. North East History and Contemporary Popular Culture

Talk by South Shields playwright Ed Waugh

North East Labour History Second Tuesday talk at Redhills, Durham City as part of a series of events in the week before the Miners Gala.

15 September. Deadline for submission of proposals for Investigating Mid-Atlantic Plantations: Slavery, Economies, and Space

Conference October 17-19  2019 in Philadelphia exploring the creation and development of plantations in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century mid-Atlantic region.

Contact Info: Clarissa Lowry

6-7 December. Caribbean Digital V

University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

Help Save East Greenwich Gas Holder From Demolition

Articles etc on the web

Sean Creighton:

What is happening in Black British History – a review of the Conference held on 10 May

Sam Ali:

Jo Stanley:

Re-CLR James:

Re-Doc Rowe, for History Workshop activist:

Kinder Scout Mass Trespass 1932:

Jeff Green Postcard site:

182 : Joseph Jenkins or Selim Aga, an African Prince – London 1850s

183: An English folksong and its black contributor, 1880s

184 : Robert Cropp, entertainer 1872-1934

185 : The ‘missing’ years of Dr Alcindor, 1901-1905

US Black and Indigenous History databases

Runaway slaves in New England 1770s:

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Croydon events & news at 17 May

Events listing:

Friday 18 – Sunday 20 May. Final events in Croydonites Festival

18 May. Richard DeDomenici – on location & Matthews Yard Theatre
19 May. Anita Wadsworth – Whitgift Centre
19 May. Soho Theatre, Talawa Theatre Company and Natasha Marshall – Matthews Yard Theatre

Reviews are being published in Croydon Citizen.

30 May. 7pm. Croydon Communities Consortium meeting

St Michael’s Church Hall, Poplar Walk

Free but to ensure a seat please book at

Sunday 24 June. Noon –  7pm. Croydon  Food and Music Festival

Restaurant Quarter, South End

Events at Ruskin House

Saturday 19 May. 8pm. Cinema Ruskin – on film – £2 at 8pm.  ‘Murder on Diamond Row’ (Edmond Lowe) 1937 and ‘Painted Stallion’ (episodes 11 & 12).

Sunday 20 May. 8pm. Folk & Blues Singers’ Night

Sunday 27. 8pm. Folk & Blues Four Gone Confusion and Singers’ Night

Sunday 3 June. 8pm. Folk & Blues Famous Last Words and Singers’ Night

Friday 1 June. 8pm. Poets Anonymous – £2 –

Saturday 23 June. Pizza & Prosecco fund-raising evening for Ruskin – tickets from bar £10/£7

Saturday 30 June. Mitch Howard tribute. Mitch was a Folk & Blues Club supporter and trade union journalist. We were at University together working on the student newspaper.

Saturday 7 July. Summer Festival. Organisers Kevin and Luke want to hear from you on 07597909056 or or

Tolpuddle 2018

Sunday 15 July. Tolpuddle coach trip – tickets now available from the bar

Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Rd.

Guide to Planning Register and receiving emails about applications

At the meeting with Residents Associations held earlier this year the planners promised that they would be setting up a method to enable every resident to register and receive email notifications about planning applications whether their neighbours properties, their street, their neighbourhood, ward. That guide is now available and can be downloaded here:

With the new ward boundaries the Planning Register was amended to put in the new ward names. This meant that applications under the old ward names could not be accessed unless the individual property name or application number was known. At the request of the Love Norbury (Residents Association) Planning Committee the register was amended within 24 hours to put back in the old ward names as well.

London elections analysis

Thanks to Andrew Kennedy for drawing this to my attention.

Inside Croydon reports that the Croydon count was shambolic, especially with respect to Shirley South Ward.

Croydon’s growing unemployment crisis

With 10,400 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance or on Universal Credit who are required to look for work, Croydon has one of the highest proportions of claimants in the country (4.2 per cent of the working-age population). The number jumped by 2.355 people on the year before.

Regenerating Croydon from the ground up

 Liz Shepphard-Jones reflects on what positive regeneration means.

Liz says: ‘Regeneration makes Croydon look lovely – no-one would deny it.’ This is highly debatable as I and many others are not fans of the blocks being erected, the lack of communal space between new buildings and the pavement, and the poor designs being approved by the Planning Committee and officers.

But Liz goes on to say: ‘But what is the betterness when it also denies more and more Croydonians, old and new, the chance to be grounded, to truly belong and to plan for their future in safety? One day, all of these fizzy bubbles will go flat.’

Precisely  – and has been at the core of much of what I have written in Croydon Citizen over the last four years, and is central to the 2014 work on the local economy of Croydon TUC, the evidence of many Residents Associations on the Local Plan, and to the Croydon TUC/Assembly People’s Manifesto.

Croydon and families in tall buildings

Council response to FOI request and comment by me


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The Windrush Scandal – We all have the right to be here – 31 May

Thursday 31 May. 7pm

We all have the right to be here

Bringing together all those facing

a ‘Hostile Environment’ from the Home Office


Public meeting organised by Caribbean Labour Solidarity and Women of Colour/Global Women Strike to continue the campaign for justice for the “Windrush Generation” and all others faced with the so-called “Hostile Environment” policies of the Home Office.

Speakers include: Ian Macdonald QC, leading barrister in immigration and human rights law; Windrush generation families from the Caribbean and other Commonwealth countries; People seeking asylum from wars, dictatorships, ecological devastation and hunger; EU nationals threatened by Brexit.

UNITE the Union, 33-37 Moreland St., EC1V 8BB

Windrush Day petition

See also:

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