Come and meet some local authors on Sunday 8 December at Boxpark


Books are a favourite present for Christmas. So why not come and support some of Croydon’s authors whose books range over fiction, poetry, arts and culture; Croydon, Black British and Other histories; autobiographies; plus books for young readers, and some biographies of former Croydon residents, and politics and economics. 

You can discuss their works with some of the authors who will also be pleased to sign copies you buy.

Sean Creighton 11am-5pm. He can also advise on historical research.

Bernadette Fallon 11am-5pm

David Gleave 1-5pm

Maximilian Hawker 11am-5pm

Anna Orridge 2-5pm

Eric Sanders 2-3pm

ELizabeth Sheppard 1-2pm

The authors stall is part of the Made in Croydon Market event.

Made in Croydon

Cathedrals of Britain

Although it does not have a Cathedral, as heads of the pre-Reformation and later Anglican Churches,ome and m the  Croydon based  Archbishops of Canterbury are central to the story of British Cathedrals. Croydon author Bernadette Fallon has written a series of guides to the Cathedrals of Britain. Copies are available at the special price of £10 (normally £12.99). For more information see below.

Croydon History

Aspects of Croydon’s History are on sale: Sean Creighton’s Keen as Mustard – South Croydon History, Croydon Radical History (misc. notes), Suffrage Campaigning, Black African & Caribbean history before the Windrush, Peace and anti-war campaigning in Croydon from 1816-1950s, and What Happened in Norbury. There are also Jeff Green’s Samuel Coleridge-Taylor; David Clark’s Norbury History pamphlets and book; Pam Buttrey’s Cane Hill Hospital. There are  books about or by people who lived in Croydon (Ronnie Corbett, Sue Perkins, Will Hay, Peggy Seeger, Bridget Riley). Croydon Natural History & Scientific Society (CNHSS) member Brian Lancaster’s works are available: Consumed by fire: the destruction of Croydon Parish Church in 1867 and its rebuilding; Gardeners and guardians of the earth, the lives of the Rev. William Wilks – of Shirley Poppy fame, Mary Sibthorp – Addiscombe’s pioneer ecologist (and campaigner for refugees from Nazi terror) (with others), and George Clinch, local antiquarian; and with Ron Cox & Sean Creighton Strange Bedfellows: Croydon’s slave owners and historians. The latest CNHSS Bulletin is also available. There is also Jon Newman’s Death on the Brighton Rd about the execution sites from Kennington to West Croydon.

Books for Young Readers

Emma Hope’s The Tin Whistle and Barriers are the first two instalments of a three book series under the header Jenny D. Bloom. They are action, fantasy stories aimed at young readers that enjoy adventure and mystery. The lead character Robyn is 12 years old and struggling with home life. The first adventure introduces Robyn to another world of long lost relatives, pirates and abduction. Lorna Liverpool and David Gleave offers their illustrated books for primary school children; Lorna: A Dance to Remember and The Hidden Treasures Within; and  David’s about Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (Croydon’s Afro-British  composer), and Dido Elizabeth Belle (18thC Black woman about whom the film Belle was made).

British Black History

The display includes David Gleave (as above) plus his The Walker Brothers & Their Legacy (First World War Black soldiers).  The recently re-printed Jeff Green’s pamphlet on Samuel Coleridge-Taylor published in 2012 for the 100th commemoration of the composer’s death is available. Sean Creighton offers Croydon’s Black African and Caribbean History before the Windrush; John Archer, Battersea’s Progressive & Labour politician (1872-1932); and Politics and Culture, Paul Robeson in the UK. There is also anti-racist activist Marc Wadsworth DVD film Divided by Race. United in War about West Indian servicemen in the Second World War and their experience in Britain after the War.

Other Histories

Other histories include Pam Buttrey’s book Droxfield Railway Station, Katrina Navikas’s essay in Kennington48 – Another Look about the Chartist demonstration led by the Black British activist William Cuffay, as well her important book Another Look; Protest and the Politics of Space and Place, 1789-1848. Stefan’s The Conspiracy of Good Taste examines the repression of C20th working class culture. There are Sean Creighton’s The Importance of Peterloo, From Exclusion to Political Control – Radical and Working Class Organisation in Battersea 1830s-1918, Battersea Women’s Activism 1890s-1914, Organising Together in Lambeth – A Historical Review of Co-operative and Mutual Social Action, Lambeth Radical before Chartism, Kennington 1848Chartism in Lambeth – an introduction, Lambeth History Collection of Miscellaneous Notes and Railwaymen and Brunswick House.


Eric Sanders is an Austrian Jew who came to Britain after the Nazi takeover of Austria. He is 100 years old on election day. Secret Operations is the first volume of his autobiography up to the end of the Second World War. Not A Proper Child, written by Elizabeth Sheppard, is the life story of artist Nicky Nicholls, who overcame a childhood of severe abuse and years spent street homeless and struggling with alcohol addiction to achieve a successful career as an artist. Part love story, part memoir and part protest at a brutal culture which robbed a child of her right to dignity, care and protection, the book pays tribute to the spirit and will to survive of an exceptional woman.

Arts and Culture

Artist Stefan Szczelkun produces books, videos, art works and other activities that are intended to challenge our assumptions about what Arts and Culture is. He is part of what is sometimes called ‘experimental art’. “But shouldn’t all art try to get us to see our current reality in a new light?” His titles on the stall are: Composition, The Conspiracy of Good Taste, Chalet Fields of the Gower, and Improvisation Rites.


If you like poetry then why not come and buy The Selected Poems of James  P. Hotchkiss.

Novels and Short Stories

Eric Sanders has written a two part novel Mazes about the murder of a British  diplomat in Munich and the rise of the Nazis. They are available together at the special event price of £15. Ann Orridge is a co-author of The Word of Freedom – short stories on the theme of suffrage and women’s rights. All profits go to Hestia, which campaigns against modern slavery and helps families in crisis. Maximilian Hawker offers Breaking the Foals set in the historical Troy of myth which tells an original story set within the context of Homer’s ancient poetry.

Politics and Economics

Andrew Fisher’s The Failed Experiment is an analysis of the 2008 crash. Andrew works for Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. The book is at the special price of £3, due to the fact that the publisher has retired and has just a few copies left. There is also Croydon Front Line, analysis of the 2011 riots. As we come to the General Election it is worth remembering the struggle for the vote as discussed by Katrina Navikas and Sean Creighton (see above).

 Cathedrals – Did you know….?

Power, glory, bloodshed, prayer: cathedrals in the UK are as much about human drama as spiritual sanctuary, as much about political wrangling as religious fervour. The Cathedrals of Britain series takes you behind the scenes in some of the nation’s oldest buildings to discover their secrets and treasures – the ideal companion to the stories behind the greatest cathedrals of all. Whether you’re visiting the cathedrals themselves or enjoying the ‘journey’ from your armchair, you’ll find the answer to all of these questions inside:

Which cathedral is the longest in Britain and one of the biggest medieval churches in the world?

Which one of London’s cathedrals was originally vetoed by church authorities and is lucky to be in existence at all?

Westminster Abbey claims to have crowned every English monarch – but one of them was crowned in this English cathedral. Which one?

Which cathedral inspired the nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock?

Which Welsh cathedral is linked to the song ‘Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag’?

The cat in this London cathedral has become a social media celebrity with its own Twitter account and large range of merchandise. Which cathedral?

Which Scottish cathedral is named in honour of a 7th century Greek hermit?

Which cathedral spire was once the tallest structure in the world, higher even than the Pyramids?

Which northern cathedral is linked to one of the country’s best-loved books?

Which cathedral is the final resting place of one of England’s most famous queens, who inadvertently changed the course of Britain’s religion forever?

Which London cathedral still isn’t finished?

Further information is available from

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December events at The Bread & Roses

Hello All,
There is plenty of merriment this December here at The Bread and Roses Pub.

Tues 3rd – Sat 7th ‘Maisie’ Split from his wife Mandy, Dan Reegan takes his six year old daughter out to central London for the day-  ‘Don’t be late. Don’t you dare be late. She’s going to the theatre with her friend Haley to see a show. It’s Haley’s birthday treat and Maisie’s been invited. I want her back by five. I know what you’re like.’ …  ‘What the f**k are you talking about? I’ve never brought her back late, you know that.’

Thurs 5th ‘Clapham Comedy Club’ is back this month with a strong lineup of top comedians, Patrick Monahan, James Dowdeswell, Paul F Taylor, Inder Manocha, Nick Huynh, Jenan Younis MC Sion James

Fri 6th ‘Dreader Than Bread’ DJ Stephen T, joined by a special guest!! You’re guaranteed to be treated to all kinds of Reggae classics on vinyl!

Live music Sat 7th ‘The Cracked’ are a stellar high energy multi-piece ensemble whose Original material is laced with Latin, African, Spanish, Balearic beats and harmonies. A great band for the party weekend of the year.

Sun 8th & Mon 9th ‘Shame’ The story of a mischievous little girl is mirrored by the adventures of a daring woman who is not afraid to feel her own feelings, and asks the audience to do the same. An immersive one-woman show that provokes thru its honesty and at the same time promises to be hilarious, Shame is a vivid and colorful performance that might move you literally from your seat, as you’ll embark on a unique journey of truth and dare.

Tues 10th & Weds 11th ‘The Coach of Christmas Past’ Ebenezer McScroogeCoach has it all – fame, money, a great sports bra and a ruthless desire to win no matter what the cost.
Determined to catapult her 5-a side team, The Tinsel Town Tiny Tims, to the top of the league she’ll stop at nothing to see them succeed. That is, until one fateful Christmas Eve, when a visit from an old friend turns her world upside down…
Funnier than a Christmas cracker joke, more festive than an ugly Christmas jumper and sillier than a pantomime horse (oh yes it is!) this two woman comedy re-imagining of ‘A Christmas Carol’ will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside like you’ve had a few too many mulled wines.

Thurs 12th & Fri 13th ‘Greyhounds’ The year is 1941 and rehearsals for Henry V are about to begin…      Greyhounds entwines Shakespeare’s famous story of ‘warlike Harry’ with the everyday trials and tribulations of small village life during World War Two. Whilst the war rages above them, the residents of Shuttlefield village struggle to stage a production of Henry V to raise money for their local Spitfire fund.

Live music Fri 13th ‘Diz Watson’ one of the rockinest piano players in the world – is a quintessential exponent of New Orleans style piano ­ an exuberant mix of Barrel House, Rhythm and Blues, Rock ‘n’ Roll and Boogie Woogie – influenced by Fats Domino, Huey “Piano” Smith, Dr. John, James Booker and Professor Longhair.

Live music Sat 14th ‘The High Points’ When the feeling is right and your mood is bright The High Points will light up your night. Wake the funk, now your worries have shrunk. Meaningful words and groovy vibes is how they like to write. A unique genre of indie, funk and disco is gripping crowds all around the UK. Headline shows, tours, festival and radio play across continents. The High Points not only deliver you a fun and enjoyable experience but a meaningful and soulful discovery.

Sun 15th & Mon 16th ‘STORIES: Exploring Matters Of A Young Mind’ a series of short pieces written, directed and performed by young people (14-20). The pieces were written in response to how they are dealing with growing up in today’s cultural and political climate and have been developed in collaboration with Distracted Rat, a company of writers from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Tues 17th – Sat 21st ‘The Santa Crisis’ Mayhem and madness ensues as Santa Claus dives into an Identity Crisis – can La Befana, Sinterklaas and the Flog Father bring Santa back to his senses? Will the Elves ever stop striking? It’s a race against Time, Belief and…wait a minute; WHO’S DELIVERING ALL THE PRESENTS?!?!

Thurs 19th Kicking off our new and exciting monthly Jam night hosted by Scotty Watson. It will be a USA combination of showcasing and jamming plus a couple of featured acts every month with a chance to bag yourselves a slot at our B&R stage at Glastonbury festival 2020. Our first event will be Thursday 19th of December. For anyone who’s interested please drop Scotty a message on Insta @scottyrockstar or email us at

Live music Fri 20th ‘Cool Beans Roadshow’ “Mixing up songs, sketches, panpipe performances, aerobic workouts and the most extreme game of pass the parcel you have ever seen – the Cool Beans Roadshow are coming to London for a very special Xmas show! As seen at festivals up and down the country like Glastonbury, Camp Bestival and many more, the gang are promising a festive treat like no other! Supporting are ‘Cliff Rescue and The Helicopters.’ One of the most bodacious bands around, guaranteed to get you jumpin’ and jivin’ with their mix of Surf Rock classics and tropical party tunes.

Live music Sat 21st ‘Precious’ with influences ranging from Rage Against the Machine to Talking Heads, Precious is a band that combine pummelling riffs, intense vocals, and danceable grooves. The four-piece formed earlier this year on Valentine’s Day, building upon a tight musicianship their members developed within previous projects. Their songs are born out of long jam sessions, which have since been refined, bringing a controlled chaos to live performances. With support from ‘3 Men and A Goat.’

Sat 28th ‘The Shakeup’ The Shakeup is as dedicated to pure soul music as The Bread & Roses is dedicated to creating a truly inclusive & cosmopolitan entertainment venue. It is the perfect home for an uncompromising soul club. Admission is free – all you have to do is pitch up & get down.  Dance to: Roy Lee Johnson/ Tommy & The Charms/ Bunny Sigler/ Bird Rollins/ Little Jerry Williams/ Jay Bee Bryant/ Eddie Miller/ The Manhattans/Jimmy Holiday & Clyde King/ The Lovettes/ The Impacts/ Little Anthony & the Imperials/ Eddie Holman/ Joe Tex/ Robert Knight/ Marv Johnson/ Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes/ Detroit Emeralds/ The Incredibles/ Erma Franklin/ Maurice & The Radiants/ Ruby Andrews/ The Contours/ The Elgins and many more!

Sun 29th ‘The Blues Jam’ – Deep rooted blues in the heart of Clapham. The Jam is kicked off by 4 piece band with harmonica great Errol Linton and guitarist Dave Wilson who has been on the scene for years and has worked very successfully in the West End and much more. Sign up from 5pm, all musicians welcome! Free entry.

Tues 31st ‘New Year’s Comedy Special’ – Six Top Comedians plus Compere :Chris Mccausland, Dimitri Bakanov, Jo Coffey, Currer Ball, Sonia Aste, Iffy & MC Sion James -welcome drink, nibbles, sweets & chocs,& party items. Plus live music from Monsoon Radio & DJs to see in 2020.
Tickets for the comedy can be purchased here .The live music will be in the main bar, with free entry all night!

For more information and for tickets on any of our theatre productions please visit

Open Mic Night continues every Thursday throughout December excluding Christmas Day.

We will be open for drinks on Christmas Day so pop on down with your family & friends and have a few festive drinks with us.

The Bread and Roses is run by the Workers Beer Company of Battersea & Wandsworth Trades Union Council.

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History events & news at 2 December

Contents inc:  Memorial 2007 lecture, BSECS Conference programme, Legacies of British Slave-ownership database update, database, the Hibberts, Freedom of Speech in the Anglo-Caribbean World, Slavery Business connections across Britain, the l’Ansons

Saturday 7 December. 2-5.30pm. Songs for the Black Magi II

Spiritual and multi-faith gathering  with an address by Rev Dr Rose Hudson-Wilkin , the new Bishop of Dover, followed by the IDMC Choir led by John Fisher.

Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, Victoria & Albert Museum

To book tickets (£5):

Plus two tours (1) In Search for the Black Magi with historian and gallery educator Peter Ashan; (2) An Interfaith Intercultural Experience with guide and curator Marilyn Greene

Sunday 8 December. 11.59pm. Close of registration for BSECS Annual conference accommodation and dinners

Registration for the conference will remain open until 7 January (11.59pm)

See below for some Conference details.

Tuesday 10 December. 6.30pm. Hidden Racialised Voices

Memorial 2007 Annual Lecture by Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, Deputy Mayor of London for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement.

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London,

Saturday 22 February. 2-5pm. Labour Heritage Labour History Day

Hammersmith Quaker Meting House, Nigel Playfair Ave, W6 9JY.

Saturday 20 June. 2-5pm. Labour Heritage AGM.

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4 RL.

8 -10 January BSECS 18th Century Annual Conference

The theme is ‘Natural, Unnatural and Supernatural’.

Panels include:

Black Women’s Experiences in the 18thC British Atlantic World

Annabelle Gilmore. Businesswoman or whore? Rachel Pringle Polgreen and misogynoir in the 18th C Anglophone Caribbean

Miranda Kaufmann – From Jamaican Enslavement to the Scottish Aristocracy in two generations: Frances Dalzell, a ‘Mixed Race’ heiress and her mother Susanna Augier

Montaz Marche.’ The Blck Girl Next Door?’ Examining Black Female Visibility in 18thC London

Empire and Difference

Emily Webb – ‘I must do my Duty by these Innocents’ Raising a Mixed-Race Family in Blechynden’s Calcutta Diaries, 1780-1800

Samathana Billing – Identifying Indians: Racial Rhetoric and Indigenous Categories of Difference in Colonial Central America

Irian Khruleva – “Natural” and “Unnatural Rebellion”: The Idea of Resistance in Mid -18thC New England

Ainoa Chincilla.  Natural or unnatural? Secret diplomatic practices between Spain and England in the last decade of the 18thC

I will be chairing this panel.

Black Resistance

Andrew H Armstrong. Measuring Moments: Strategies of Protest and Empowerment in a Woman of Colour

Nicola Westwood – Slave Anger, Divine Wrath and Abolitionist fear Tactics

Caroline Koegler. ‘I Often Wished for Death’: Suicide, Trauma and Failed Coping as Resistance in Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative

In other panels

Ryan Hanley. ‘Press X to Liberate’: Playing Games with Slavery in the 18th and 21st Centuries

Liz Potter. ‘The Negro cannot be washed white”: John Jea’s Radical Silhouette and Legible Identity

Niccolo Valmori.’A lady of business’: Elizabeth Willing Powel and the woman agency in the 18thC Atlantic business world

Inder Marwah. Race, culture and Ethnicity in the Age of Enlightenment

Lambeth Radicalism before Chartism

I will be giving a paper on radicalism in Lambeth before Chartism.

Infrastructure and Environment Panel

I will be chair it.

The full programme and registration details can be found at:

Spring 2000 Paisley Radicals 200th Anniversary

The new nine day Paisley Book Festival is coinciding with the 200th anniversary of the Paisley Radicals, the group of weavers who fought better wages during the Radical War in 1820.

The festival will celebrate rebel voices and radical stories, from Jackie Kay, reading new work inspired by the US singer and activist Paul Robeson, to a discussion with Nikesh Shukla, editor of The Good Immigrant, a collection of essays on race and migration.

British Slave-ownership

Legacies of British Slave-ownership database update

The LBS online ‘database has been frozen since January 2019 for various reasons, not least to enable a stable set of results and statistics to be generated from interrogating it. We have, however, been continually adding, amending and correcting entries throughout the year and these resulting changes will be uploaded to the website in early January 2020. For example, we have added over 12,000 more slave-owners, summarised hundreds more wills and incorporated information from members of the public in a further 600 biographical entries. We will release a newsletter in January giving a fuller description of the new data.’ (LBS newsletter December 2019)

Slavery business connections – evidence across Britain

‘The Atlantic slave trade’s legacy of racial injustice continues to vex us. How should a historic wrong be remembered or redressed? It’s a question that has the power to kill, as the violence unleashed by white supremacists in defence of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 demonstrated. While the debate in Britain is less murderous, it nonetheless raises passions.

For many years the debate in Britain centred on the port cities that were directly engaged in trafficking people out of Africa: Bristol and Liverpool. Consider the recent furore over Edward Colston (1636-1721), the Bristol slave merchant whose name is still controversially attached to numerous landmarks in his native city. A mix of lobbying and guerrilla art has succeeded in having prominent buildings re-badged and Colston’s civic philanthropy recast as a problem to be confronted rather than celebrated.

More recently, debates about the impact of Atlantic slavery on British society have broadened out to consider how slave-derived wealth has fed elite institutions and places of privilege, hence the University of Cambridge’s inquiry launched this year into its links to enslavement. Hence, too, the efforts of English Heritage and the National Trust to assess the ways in which stately homes embody colonial exploitation.

But this is not a conversation that has extended to less garlanded rural locations, to places that were wretchedly poor. Yet these places often played a vital role in sustaining Atlantic slavery. Mid Wales is a case in point: there would seem to be little connection between this damp, upland region and racial enslavement in the New World. But there was, because woollen cloth produced there clothed enslaved workers in the Caribbean and North America.’ From Gilder Lehrman Centre 2 December newsletter citing:

The Hibberts – The Bonds of Family


Katie Donington’s new book ‘reconstructs the world of commerce, consumption and cultivation sustained through the extended engagement of the Hibberts with the business of slavery. Across the generations, the Hibberts’ family interests spread from cotton manufacture in northern England to slave factorage and then the plantocracy in Jamaica, to absentee slave-ownership, the House of Commons, philanthropy and cultural refinement in London. It is both the intimate narrative of a family and an analytical frame through which to explore Britain’s history and legacies of slavery.’ (LBS newsletter December 2019)

The Freedom of Speech in the Anglo-Caribbean World


In his new book Miles Ogborn argues that across the Anglo-Caribbean world the fundamental distinction between freedom and bondage relied upon the violent policing of the spoken word. His book offers a rich interpretation of oral cultures that both supported and constantly threatened to undermine the slave system. Oath-taking, evidence-giving, cursing, politicking, sermonising, praying and prescribing healing remedies all throw light on who could speak, where, when, and what about. (LBS Newsletter December 2019) For a broader discussion see Miles’s entry at essays on Radicalism, Labour and Class – Katrina Navikas

Bulletins, magazines and newspapers

Labour Heritage Bulletin Autumn 2019

Articles on Ellen Wilkinson and the Legacy of Robert Owen – Building  Communities’; report on 18th Essex Conference on Labour History (60 years of the Cuban Revolution; The German Revolution 1991, The Housing Question); 2nd part of Jonathan Wood’s article on the Socialist Fellowship and Socialist Outlook. Plus reviews of book Morgan Jones: Man of Conscience and comic book The Many Not the Few, two reprints from the Spanish Civil War (by J. R. Campbell and Bill Alecander). For copies contact

BBC History Magazine  Christmas 2019

Michael Wood: Why Britons need a monument to the victims of the slave trade’; France’s colonial and slavery expansion under Louis XIV; Olivette Otele’s choice of books of the year: Johny Pitts’ Afroean: Notes from Black Europe; Priyamvada Gupta’s Insurgent Empire, and Arthur Asseraf’s Electric News in Colonial Algeria.

The Guardian

The G2 Film and Music section of The Guardian is featuring more articles etc relevant to British colonial and Black histories and their legacies on 22 November, for example featured:

Cynthia Erivo on playing Harriet Tubman in the new film:

Croydon’s rap duo Krept & Konan ‘We see trauma and just act  like its normal:

The Nightingale – the brutal truth about British rule:

Paul Robeson and Wales 1938

The 80th anniversary of a concert featuring singer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson is being marked with an exhibition “Let Paul Robeson Sing!” at the Mountain Ash Workingmen‘s Club.

The l’Ansons – A Dynasty of London Architects & Surveyors

The uncompleted book by the later Peter Jefferson Smith has been completed by members of the Clapham Society.

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Croydon events and news at 2 December

Thursday 5 December. Croydon Culture Network meeting

Welcome from Talawa Theatre Company; Planning for 2020; Update on Borough of Culture; Update on the Clocktower programme 2020; Croydon Music City; AOB section – let the organisers know via if you want a slot.

Aim ‘to celebrate everything that the Network has achieved in 2019 and everything we are yet still to achieve.’

RSVP via

Talawa Theatre Studios, Fairfield Halls

Sunday 8 December. 11am-5pm. Made in Croydon Market at Boxpark

The second market event follows that the successful one held on 1 December. So still a chance to support Croydonians involved in making things, plus titles by Croydon authors.

Made in Croydon

Details of the authors can be seen here:

Made in Croydon Authors Info Sheet (2)

December Events

Bernard Winchester’s December events listings can be seen here:

Diary December 2019

Pantomimes 2019-20

14 December. 10am until 1pm. Hall Grange Reclaiming  the Wilderness Christmas Fundraising Fayre

Jars (medium and big size) and frames (A4 and A5) needed to present Hall Grange residents’ crafts and creations.

Hall Grange Live at Home Community Programme (HLF funded) restoring Rev. William Wilkes Wilderness.

The Wilderness, 17 Shirley Church Road, CR9 5AL

Project worker Marco Galli. 07597135220

Croydon Modernist Society

This new Society has just been launched to celebrate the architecture of the  postwar town. ‘Croydon was once a conventional market town, and was substantially redeveloped in the 1960s and 70s.  Today, it stands as a vision of how it was once thought the future would look.  Croydon’s abundant parking and urban motorway (which dips down into an underpass and later takes off as a flyover) indicate how seriously important motorcars were considered.

The Whitgift shopping centre, once one of the biggest in Europe, was at the core of the retail-focused new town centre.  Numerous office blocks sprang up in the town – the geometric and mosaic-tiled NLA Tower (the 50p Building, standing next to East Croydon station), Corinthian House or V-shaped stilts with a dynamic projecting entrance, and the space rocket booster-like building that sits alongside Apollo House are just a few of the most striking examples.

Elsewhere, there are hidden gems like the St Bernards estate of Modernist housing, the 1960s fire station, which has a drill tower shaped like a space rocket, and Fairfield Halls, Croydon’s concert venue sister to the South Bank’s Royal Festival Hall.’

The Society plans ‘to run a number of events a year to help highlight and explore the architecture of this forward-thinking town, and encourage you to look up and see hope and energy of Croydon, a uniquely space-age town.’

You can join its mailing list here

Not everyone will agree with its view about most of the awful design and concrete brutalism, or the new glass tower monstrosities that are being built in the pursuit of profit and not meeting need. We also need to remember the previous architectural gems which were demolished in the process of making the new modernist town.

Miscellaneous News

New Voices of Young People—dina-motashaw-croydon-high-school

Croydon’s rap duo Krept & Konan on mental health

Interview re-Tawala Theatre



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Made in Croydon Christmas Makers’ Market 1 & 8 December – inc. Authors’ stall

Made in Croydon

MadeinCroydon makers’ markets give you the chance to meet & buy direct from local artists, authors, designers & makers offering unique fine art paintings, prints and cards, hand-made silver & costume jewellery, toys and candles as well as sculpture, fabrics, cushions, ceramics, gifts, woodwork, T-shirts and much, much more.

50 exhibitors across the 2 dates with laid Jazz back tunes

On 8 December there’ll be a  free live concert from the Croydon Philharmonic Choir.

Authors bookstall


Both days will have a Croydon authors’ bookstall which I am co-ordinating. Authors include:

Charles B. Wordsmith,  Pam Buttrey, David Clark, Sean Creighton, Bernadette Fallon, Andrew Fisher, David Gleave, Maximillian Hawker, Emma Hope-Fitch, Lorna Liverpool, Katrina Navikas, Anna Orridge, Eric Sanders, Elizabeth Sheppard,  Stefan Szczelkun and Marc Wadsworth.

The title range includes novels and poetry; Croydon, Black British and radical history; Cane Hill Hospital, Cathedrals of Britain; inc. some books for children and teenagers. There will also be some books by authors associated with Croydon in the past, or about former Croydonians.

As well as supporting local authors

the books make ideal presents.

For further information up to end of Friday 30 November and from 2 – 7 December please contact me at 

Some title images

Mazes 1Marcpaul-robeson-fccoleridge taylor front cover

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Croydon events & news at 24 November

Contents inc: Croydon Local Plan Review events; trees, woods and ponds events; Made in Croydon Market; Green Funding; the Big Conversation; The General Election; Labour and broadband; community buildings; Fairfield Halls; problems with organising Festivals

Croydon Local Plan Review events

The Council has a number of events to talk to the public about the Local Plan Review through to 20 December. The diary and all the documents for comment on can be accessed at:

The ones for the rest of November are:

Drop in sessions at The Urban Room, Croydon Art Store, Whitgift Centre: Wednesday 27 11am-5pm; Thursday 28 11am-7pm; Friday 29 11am-5pm; Saturday 30 11am-4pm

Tuesday 26 November. 5.30pm-7.30pm. Drop-in exhibition Purley library

Wednesday 27 November. 11am-2pm. Drop-in outside the Leisure Centre, High Street, Purley

Saturday 30 12 noon-4pm. Youth Session in the Urban Room

Other events

Saturday 30 November. 2.30-5.30pm. Focus on Trees and Woods

A Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society event

East Croydon United Reformed Church’s Large Hall


Ancient Oaks in the English Landscape by Aljos Farjon

The Great North Wood Project by by Sam Bentley-Toon

East Croydon United Reform Church, Addiscombe Grove, near East Croydon Station

Saturday 30 November. 10am-4pm. Christmas Craft Fair

Handcrafted gifts made by local business and community groups.

Croydon Central Library, Katherine St

Sundays 1 & 8 December, 11an-4.45pm. Made in Croydon Market at Boxpark

Come and look and buy goods made by Croydon people. The authors table I am co-ordinating will have titles written Croydon authors inc: Tom Black, Pam Buttrey, members of CNHSS, Bernadette Fallon, Andrew Fisher, David Gleave, Maximillian Hawker, Emma Hope-Fitch, Peter Latham, Lorna Liverpool, Katrina Navikas, Anne Orridge, Eric Sanders, Fred Scott, Elizabeth Shepphard, and Marc Wadsworth. Fuller details will be posted later this week.

Sunday 1 December. 10am. The Great North Wood  Ecology and history walk

CNHSS walk through some fragments of the Great North Wood, from Crystal Palace to the Horniman Museum, where there is a café. Meet 10am at junction of Farquhar Road/Crystal Palace Parade. Led by Jane McLauchlin and Celia Bailey.

Friday 6 December. 7.30pm: The Great NHS Heist

Film night at Ruksin House. See

Wednesday 8 December. The Croydon Ponds Project.

CNHSS talk by Adam Asquith re-Heritage Lottery Funded project involving The Conservation Volunteers working with local volunteers to research the ecology and history of Croydon’s ponds.

Friday 13 December. 7.30pm.  Sorry we missed you (Ken Loach)

Film night at Ruskin House. See

Green Funding Possibilities

Croydon’s Green Fund

Funding is available for projects promoting environmental protection, green living and sustainable lifestyles.

Pocket Parks Fund – funding is available for creating new pocket parks or refurbishing existing ones.


Croydon’s The Big Conversation – have your say on the six big conversation topics.

Why the Council is running this at the same time as the consultation on the Local Plan Review defies logic especially over the Xmas/New Year period. Consultation duplication and overload?

Tony Travers not as optimistic about Croydon as publicity suggests

Speaking at the Develop Croydon Conference, London expert Tony Travers said:

‘“An unexpectedly abrupt Brexit would profoundly affect the manufacturing and production sectors,” upon which Croydon depends.

In light of this, for Croydon, “the softer the Brexit, the better,” he said.

Despite its flourishing economy, Croydon lags behind other boroughs in terms of productivity, calculated at gross value added per head. With one of the highest proportions of unemployment benefit claimants in the country, Croydon’s large population has yet to unleash every inhabitant’s potential.

“Further education investment is key to Croydon prosperity,” Travers said, noting that policies are needed to encourage and incentivise people who may not previously have done so well in education. Further education funding has been cut by 25 per cent in real terms across the country.’

The General Election

Croydon North Election Candidates

Croydon South Election Candidates

Labour and broadband

Issues around universal access to telephony, cable and broadband have been around for over 30 years. Croydon Council’s digital strategy acknowledges this is a problem. It has been providing broadband into Council estates. It would be revolutionised by Labour’s proposed nationalised broadband service. I discuss some aspects of the background since 1983 in my blog posting at

Consultation on Community Buildings

The Council has been consulting on its community buildings that are under the management of community and voluntary organisations. It was poorly advertised. It was difficult to find it in the Council website. It took ten minutes Google searching to find reference to it on the Croydon CVA website. The consultation took the form of an on-line survey, with no contact details of whom to approach on other issues relating to such buildings. Having been involved in managing and advising on community buildings over the years I have submitted to Hamida Ali, the relevant Cabinet member some views which can be seen here.

Community Buildings

London Rd Food Walk

Kake who runs the The Past and Present of Croydon’s London Rd website has posted details of a food walk she led along London Rd  from West Croydon unto the 848 London Rd.

Be careful where you eat

Is Fairfield Halls shooting itself in the foot

No home for the Croydon Art society to display their work. In spite of all the investment, the Fairfield Halls does not have anywhere to display art. Their focus is on performance art not art for display according to Anthony Waldbaum, chairman of the 150 year old society. The Fairfield cannot accommodate their twice yearly exhibition and neither can the Museum of Croydon, where their present exhibition will be their last. A new policy to be introduced at the Museum is to have 3 monthly displays which duration is far too long for an amateur organisation such as the CAS to find volunteers to man the information desk. Speaking to a member of the BH Live team on my way home past the Fairfield, in the new café opening on Saturday for the first time. They have bare walls and a new studio behind the cafe which might be suitable but ” no plans to use it for exhibition space at the moment.” Remember the ambitious plans to have a gallery in the carpark below with natural light flooding through a basement window, well that’s not happening either. So both the Fairfield Halls and now the Library/Museum of Croydon are failing to provide exhibition space. Photos of the new Fairfield Café opening Saturday 23rd shown below.

Problems with organising Festivals in Croydon

As a result of recent discussions about cultural activities in Croydon I have remembered I discussed problems with organising them back in 2015 at

Some of the issues discussed may still be relevant.


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Great NHS Heist & Sorry We Missed You. Films at Ruskin 6 & 13 December



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