Croydon Education Question Time 24 May

Wednesday 24 May, 7pm

(doors open 6.30pm)

St Andrews High School,
Waynflete Avenue, CR0 4BH
(parking on playground)

Is it correct that school funding is being cut?

Why have class sizes risen in the last two years?

Are teachers overworked?
Are standards falling in our schools?

Why are some schools removing subjects like Arts and Drama?

Should schools be run as businesses?

Do we need Free Schools?

Will opening grammar schools raise standards and increase social mobility?

Chair: Philipa Harvey (local teacher and NUT National President 2016)


Gavin Barwell (Tory MP for Croydon Central 2010-17)
Sarah Jones (Labour candidate for Croydon Central)
Local Headteacher,  Local Parent, Local Student

If you have a question you would like to ask the panel, you can email it in advance to

To make sure you get a seat at the Education Question Time, please register at:

Tea, coffee and light refreshments

How did Barwell and Jones do last year?

Debate on aspects of education in Croydon

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Croydon events & news at 21 May

Croydon Local Plan Hearings

Monday 22 May: housing intensification

Tuesday 23 May: Green Grid

Wednesday 24 May: affordable homes; dwelling mix; housing quality

Thursday 25 May: gypsies; employment

Tuesday 30 May: tall buildings; local heritage; community facilities; sustainable design; transport

Wednesday 31 May: local sites

The agendas, issues and Council views can be seen on:

I am taking part in all the sessions bar: gypsies and local sites. If you have any views on issues in the other sessions about the Plan and what the Council has submitted, that you would like me to consider including in my remarks at the Hearing please email them the day before the session.

The Hearing is open to the public and is being held at the Community Space in Bernard Weatherill House in Mint Walk.

David Lean Cinema film shows

Including Lost City of Z (23 May), Twelfth Night (Globe 2012) (25 May; Beauty and the Beast (27 May)

Tuesday 16 May – Saturday 4 November. The Fairfield Collection

Exhibition Gallery, Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street, Croydon, CR9 1ET

Tuesdays – Saturday 23 May – 28 October. 10.30am–5pm. The Art of Fairfield

Museum of Croydon, Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street, Croydon, CR9 1ET

For further details see Council news release at

Wednesday 14 June. 6.30pm. Whitgift Centre application at Planning Committee

This appears to be the date now set for considering the revised planning application for the Whitgift Centre.

Those who have concerns about details of it need to meet together to draw up the representations they want to make.

Wednesday 21 June. Make Music Day

Catherine Pestano hopes that people will take part.

Saturday 24 June. Croydon Assembly

The Assembly originally scheduled for 3 June was re-scheduled because of the General Election.

Ruskin House, Coombe Rd.

Details will be posted on this blog site soon. Among the measures it supports is the London Living Wage. See below for what the Council and especially Cllr Jamie Audsley are doing to promote it.

Can Labour win Croydon Central?

In 2014 Labour failed to get out an extra 166 voters to win in Croydon Central. 2,733 voted for the Lib Dems, the Greens and TUSC. UKIP polled 4,810. If all of UKIP’s votes go to Gavin Barwell then Labour will lose, unless it can get out to vote the large number of people who did not vote in 2014. The chances are not helped by the entry into the contest of an independent who has resigned from his job as an estate agent. Will small business voters think carefully about why Matthews Yard owner Saif Bonar is backing Labour? Can voters angry over a lot of issues with the Labour Council put that aside in order to stop the re-election of Barwell and send a message to the Tories: not more austerity; now more cuts to living standards; no more inadequate funding of the NHS, etc?

See the bar chart of the  result at the last General Election at

Ian Marvin discusses Croydon’s Take Back Control Conference

I was at the event helping to run the Croydon Assembly stall, but not able to attend any of the debating sessions. The next chance for discussion is at the re-scheduled Croydon Assembly meeting on Saturday 24 June at Ruskin House.

Croydon Mental Health Service cuts threatened

Dealing with Rubbish

Environmental activist Charles Barber discusses the issues considered at the recent Croydon Communities Consortium meeting.

Will Brent Cross get planning permission before the Whitgift?

Developer Hammerson and Standard Life have submitted detailed plans for the £1.4bn redevelopment of Brent Cross shopping centre in north-west London.

Hammerson has also submitted plans in Leicester.

The revised plans for the Whitgift will now be considered by the Planning Committee on 14 June (see above).

Taberner House plans get approval

For the Council’s spin on the approval of the scheme that breaches the mid-Croydon masterplan see

Upper Norwood Victorian Hotel under threat

A planning permission has been submitted to the Council to demolish Upper Norwood’s existing hotel and build a new one.

Its history is outlined at:

Cllr Jamie Audsley cranks up London Living Wage Campaign

Labour Councillor Jamie Audsley is championing the Council campaign to encourage Good Employers.

The Council has launched #GoodEmployer an approach to doing responsible business.

Its Good Employer Charter calls upon employers to take action in four areas: pay, employ, buy, and include.

  • Pay the London Living Wage, a non-statutory hourly rate set independently and updated annually by the Living Wage Foundation to reflect the cost of living in the capital. Currently this stands at £9.75 an hour.
  • Employ: Employers are asked to create employment and training opportunities for local people by working with Croydon Works, the council’s jobs brokerage service that provides a free to use recruitment service to link employers to high quality, job-ready potential employees from within the borough.
  • Buy: support the local economy by investing in the local supply chain and local businesses. Organisations will be able to use the council to promote procurement and supply chain opportunities to the town via the Value Croydon approach.
  • Include: Employers are being asked to sign up to embrace the principles of equality and fairness and implement this practically through approaches such as flexible working and disability access.

Councillor  Audsley has written in more detail about it at

If there are employers you’re connected to who you think would be up for joining, please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

Jamie tells me that Boxpark has just been accredited as a London Living Wage employer of its direct  and contracted staff. This does not include the workers in within Boxpark who are working for other employers.

Croydon Trades Union Council has been arguing for a couple of years that the Croydon Partnership of Westfield and Hammerson should make it a requirement of all new tenants in the redeveloped Whitgift Centre to pay the London Living Wage and recognise trade unions.

The Other Croydon

  • High-rate child deaths

*       Bad drivers

  • Crime

  • Bad businesses

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Caribbean Conversations on Notts TV

Carib_Conv_P2 (1)

Press Release

Museumand, the National Caribbean Heritage Museum, is bringing exhibitions to life with their new, cultural 8-part TV series, merging museum content with television.

Caribbean Conversations explores 8 different aspects of Caribbean Culture. Catherine Ross, the Museum’s Founder-Director, hosts the conversations and is joined by 4 guests from the Caribbean or of Caribbean descent. In each episode, they will be having an informal, candid chat about different aspects of Caribbean culture, so viewers should be prepared to interact with the on-screen fun in true Caribbean style – laugh, cry and burst into song. Viewers will celebrate and commemorate Caribbean culture in a way they simply won’t get to see anywhere else.


Museumand is always looking to tell the Caribbean story, and aims to collect the memories and memorabilia from the Caribbean and the UK in any form – clothing, photos, ephemera, books, furniture and the like. During the TV Series, guests were encouraged to bring their items to add to the museum’s collection so as to sum up, and illustrate, the topic of conversation for that episode, as well as retrieve memories, anecdotes and stories.  Different ones will be on display and discussed in each episode, and the conversation could go in any number of wonderfully memorable directions, so be prepared for anything.

Viewers are invited to contact the museum should they want to tell their story or donate items for discussion. To be a part of the conversation and have your say on each topic, just log on to our website for ‘Caribbean Conversations Take 2’, where we will continue to discuss this topic.

Viewers can join us each week, same place, same time – Mondays at 4 PM on Notts TV, Channel 117 for 8 weeks of Caribbean Conversations.

For more information please contact:

Lynda Burrell: 0746 918 9550 |
Website: | Facebook: Museumand | Instagram: Museumand | Twitter: Museumand

Add to the conversation on social media by tagging #caribbeanconversations and #culturalconversations


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South-West London history talks & walks

Monday 22 May. 2.30pm. Vauxhall Gardens history walk


David Coke, co-author with Alan Borg of Vauxhall Gardens: A History, will lead ‘The Heyday of Vauxhall Gardens’, a Vauxhall Society guided walk, on Monday 22 May. The walk marks the traditional seasonal opening date of this world-famous open-air attraction.

Meet a bit earlier than 2.30pm  outside Starbucks, Vauxhall Station.

All welcome, contribution of £5 to The Friends of the Tate South Lambeth Library welcomed.

Saturday 27 May – Sunday 11 June.  

Wandsworth Heritage Festival

This year’s festival features talks, walks, workshops, and exhibitions celebrating the heritage of our borough. Many events highlight Wandsworth’s rich industrial past, covering topics such as the railway and how it came to transform and define the borough and its occupants; the marks left by industry on the landscape and the river; and the fate of industrial sites and buildings no longer in use.

The full programme can be seen here:


Events include:

Saturday 27 May. 2pm. Battersea High Street Historical Walk

I will be leading this walk for Battersea Society. Meet on the steps of St Mary’s Church. Battersea Church Road, SW11 3EN.

Tuesday 30 May. 8pm. Battersea Nocturne

Jon Newman will lead this walk among today’s ‘landmark’ buildings of
Battersea’s riverside, looking for evidence of earlier industrial landmarks which
dominate James Whistler’s paintings and etchings from the 1870s and 1880s.

Meet beside Whistler statue, north side of Battersea Bridge SW3
£8 (includes pamphlet: ‘James Whistler’s Battersea’)

Please book your place:

Wednesday  31 May. 6pm.  Boom Time – The Social Impact of the Industrial Revolution in Wandsworth and Battersea  

Battersea  Arts Centre Town Hall Talk. FREE but early booking is advised as space is limited.

Thursday 1 June. 7.15pm. The Wandsworth Area as 18th Century Powerhouse

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

Wandsworth Town Library, 11 Garratt Lane SW18 4AQ.

Free. No booking required.

Saturday 3 & Sunday 4 June. 10am-5pm (closed 1-2pm). Exhibition Wandsworth Prison Museum

The newly re-opened museum has displays on the prison’s 166-year history & some of its famous residents.

Free. No booking required.

North Gate Car Park, Heathfield Road, SW18 3HR

Saturday 3 June. 2pm. Tooting Common Walk

Led by Janet Smith & Tooting History Group

Meet at the corner of Tooting Bec Road/Dr Johnson Avenue.

£6 – proceeds to THG. To book in advance go to

Monday 5 June. 7pm. Industries of Wandsworth, Battersea & Putney

Dorian Gerhold examines the borough’s varied industries from medieval times to the present.

Putney Society event at Community Church, Werter Road, SW15 2LL

£3. Pay on the door. No booking required.

Monday 5 June. 8pm. Bygone Streatham. A Lost Corner of Wandsworth

Talk by John Brown for Streatham Society.

Woodlawns, 16 Leigham Court Road SW16 2JP

Thursday 8 June . 7 for 7.30pm. Living Between the Lines.
How the railways shaped Battersea

Find out why Wandsworth Common is one of the most dissected pieces of open space in London, or why three sets of railway lines converge at Queenstown Road. Talk by Dr Sue Demont’s talk on how the railways transformed the Borough.

Battersea Society, St Mary’s Church, £5 on the door (includes glass of wine or soft drink)

Other Events and News

Sunday 18 June. 2-4pm. The War Comes Home

A new project aimed at raising awareness of the Civilian War Memorial in Christchurch Gardens, Cabul Road, Battersea, is being launched with a 1940s-themed tea-party on  event, organised with the help of the Battersea Society and other local groups. Opportunity for people to share their own or their family’s memories of living through the Blitz in Battersea. There will also be a quiz, a singsong and a selection of typical wartime food.

The Grade-II listed memorial commemorates around 500 local civilians who lost their lives in WW2.

Book your free ticket through by emailing

Friday 30 June. 8pm. Wandsworth Historical Society AGM and Talk on Putney Debates

The talk will be by Dorian Gerhold.

Friends’ Meeting House, Wandsworth High St.

Tooting Common Heritage Project seeks extra volunteers

The Project is looking for volunteers to continue doing research on the history of Tooting Common.  For more information and to volunteer, please contact Susanna Kryuchenkova at

Lambeth Local History Forum walks 2017-2018

The new leaflet has just been published and you can download your PDF copy here.


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Legacies of British Slave Ownership News

Wednesday 24 May. Lunch-time. Britain’s History and Memory of Transatlantic Slavery

This event in Oxford will explore the way British people remember slavery through local case histories. Discussions will range from Methodism and working class attitudes to slavery in Portsmouth to the slave-owners of eighteenth century Hackney. (LBS Newsletter May)

To see programme details and to book a place go to:

Thursday 1 June. Teachers’ workshop

New approaches to teaching the history of colonial slavery will be the focus of this all day workshop at the Museum of London in Docklands.

The event is funded by the British Academy and is a partnership between the Antislavery Usable Past project, UCL-Institute of Education, Justice to History and Centre for the Studies of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership (LBS).

The programme is designed to give secondary school teachers and other education professionals access to current academic scholarship and new pedagogical approaches.

It will also contribute towards building a network of educators to offer leadership for the transformation of teaching and learning about transatlantic slavery in schools.

Delegates will have the opportunity to share ideas and to think about the development of guidelines for effective practice and scholarship that can be made available to schools in the coming year.

You can view the programme and book a place here:

Please share with schools and teachers who you think may be interested. (LBS Newsletter May)

Turner Prize

Two black British artists are among the four artists short-listed for the 2017 Turner Prize.

Lubaina Himid champions black identities and questions the way we remember the impact of slavery and migration. A piece from her 2004 work, ‘Naming the money’ was used for the front cover of LBS’s recent book. Himid’s updated ‘Naming the money’ is currently on view at the Walker Art Gallery in Bristol.

Hurvin Anderson draws on his memories of growing up in Birmingham’s African-Caribbean community and visits to Trinidad. The Turner prize judges describe Anderson as ‘an outstanding British painter whose art speaks to our current political movement with questions about identity and belonging’. ((LBS Newsletter May)

Colston Hall

There has been a media focus this month on Bristol City Council’s decision to rename Colston Hall and thus to remove its association with the Bristol slave trader Edward Colston (1636-1721). In Bristol there are also several streets, schools, almshouses and pubs named after Edward Colston, as well as a window in Bristol Cathedral and a local sweet treat, the ‘Colston bun’.

Colston has been traditionally commemorated as a prominent local philanthropist but any recognition of the source of his wealth must undermine this assessment. The debate has involved each side accusing the other of ‘airbrushing history’, trying to ignore the impact of the slave trade by removing the links with slavers on the one hand, or by celebrating those links under the guise of philanthropy on the other hand.

The idea of retaining the name has been called ‘an affront to a multicultural city’ while renaming has been lambasted as ‘politically correct lunacy’. The debate continues with students at the University of Bristol launching a petition to rename the Wills Memorial Building because of it’s  identification with Henry Overton Wills (1828-1911), the first chancellor of the university, whose fortune originally derived from slave-grown tobacco. (LBS Newsletter May)

Modern Slavery & Forced Labour – Publications by Gary Craig

Gary is Emeritus Professor of Social Justice and Honorary Fellow at the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation in Hull.

His recent publications on modern slavery and forced labour have been:

Child Slavery Now (ed), Policy Press (2010)
The experience of forced labour (with others) JRF (2012).
Forced labour in the UK (with others) JRF (2013).
‘The invisibilisation of “race” in public policy, Critical Social Policy, (2013).
‘They never talk about multiculturalism’, with Hannah Lewis, Policy and Politics, (2014).
‘Multiculturalism or assimilation and social exclusion’, (with Hannah Lewis), in Global perspectives on the politics of multiculturalism, Ed. F. Mansouri, Routledge (2014).
The Modern Slavery Act: world leading or a timid start? E-International Relations, (2015).
Vulnerability, Exploitation and migration (ed. with others) Palgrave (2015)
‘Community development in the UK: whatever happened to class?’, in Class, politics and community development, eds. Mae Shaw et al, Policy Press (2016).
‘When I play with the master’s children, I always have to let them win’, in AM Duane (ed.), Child Slavery, CUP (2016).
Child labour: a historical and global review,  in N Frost (ed.), Child Welfare, Routledge (2017)

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Local History Societies frozen out of Croydon Heritage Festival

It is clear from the programme just announced by the Whitgift Foundation for the  5th Croydon Heritage Festival from 24 to 30 June that the local heritage societies have been frozen out as a major feature compared with previous years. 

There is no stall event on North End on the first day. They have not been asked to contribute speakers to a debate on the Monday


Saturday 24 June

National Trust’s Edge City Walking Tours

The Museum of London Archaeology Time Truck in North End offers the opportunity to handle Saxon artefacts found in the local area , while a nearby a Saxon skeleton found under a Croydon driveway can be seen at Croydon Museum.

Outskirts: Living on the Edge of the Greenbelt – bestselling author John Grindrod’s charming new illustrated talk about our national obsession with the greenbelt and his own experience of growing up in New Addington on ‘the last road in London’

‘The Evolution of Games’ – an afternoon of retro gaming for all ages at the Playnation Lounge.

A Heritage Flowers for Bees Forum at Croydon Saffron Central will see gardeners sharing knowledge of flowers local to Croydon which can attract bees.

Amy Johnson: Last Flight Out a one-woman theatre show about the inspiring aviator who had many record-breaking flights from Croydon Airport. The show returns having sold-out its initial run at Croydonites Festival.

A concert marking the 1867 fire at Croydon Minster with a specially commissioned piece written and performed by resident composer and Organist Martin How.

David Lean’s Brief Encounter, his 1945 romantic drama, written by Noel Coward, about British suburban life on the eve of World War 2 – accompanied by a talk with Patrick Cadel, who was assistant director to Lean on his final film A Passage to India.

Lucky Dog Picturehouse’s live soundtrack to The Epic of Everest, a classic silent movie which features the very earliest film footage of the Himalayas and documents the fateful expedition of George Mallory and Sandy Irvine.

Sunday 25 June

Family activities include the Croydon Classic Car Show.

Grade II* listed Croydon Airport will tell the story of early air travel and pioneering aviators. There will be a scale model of Charles Lindbergh’s airplane Spirit of St. Louis, greeted by huge crowds when he landed after his record-breaking 1927 transatlantic flight

Amy Johnson: second showing of film.

Trinity Boys School Choir performing some of its most famous songs at Boxpark – including their contributions to soundtracks for The Hunger Games and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – plus Js Dance Factory and Boom Arts academy bringing a rush of adrenaline with high-energy dance.

Monday 26 June

The story of Croydon’s Evolution: from Roman saffron farms to the vision for the future, via Tudor palaces, Victorian invention, concrete utopias and cultural creativity. A lively discussion featuring representatives of Croydon Citizen, The Whitgift Foundation, National Trust, Croydon Council, Develop Croydon and British Museum.  (Note no local historians)


Victorian paper doll craft workshop at Selsdon Library.

Cuban Fury – a movie filmed in in Croydon at Boxpark.


Thursday 28 June

An inter generational Croydon Youth Theatre show, based on interviews with older residents about the evolution of entertainment in Croydon, at The Shoestring Theatre.

Spoken word performances from Well Versed Ink – South London’s Potent Poetry Night

Friday 29 June

Croydon Youth Theatre: second show performance.

Tales of Croydonia at the Oval Tavern.

Friday 30 June

Magical Garden Elves and Fairies afternoon at Ashburton Library.

Crystal Palace-supporting comedian Kevin Day.

A rooftop showing of 80s favourite Back to the Future at Lost Format Society.


Guided walks including the return of the National Trust’s Edge City Tours, @Croydonist’s Instagrammers tour of cultural heritage,

Town and Country afternoon adventure with Croydon Outdoor Pursuits and Social Events Club#

Open Buildings tours  including the Whitgift Almhouses, Croydon Old Palace, Stanley Halls, the Tramlink depot and Croydon Mosque & Islamic Centre

Library Talks and other events

The East India Company’s links to Croydon.  (Me) (See note)

The destruction of Croydon Parish Church.

Talented artists in Norbury.  (David Clark) (See note)

The River Wandle.

The evolution of Coulsdon, Purley and Shirley Industries

A look back at Fairfield Hall’s heydays with a specially created film at Croydon Museum.

Note: These will be detailed on a future posting.

Full details to be announced including times.

The Foundation’s press release can be seen at

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Croydon News at 17 May


General Election

  • What does the Labour Manifesto actually say?

You can download it and the funding document at

  • Sadiq Khan backs Labour’s Sarah Jones

  • Sarah Jones on Gavin Barwell

Fairfield Halls Works update as at 10 May

Brick by Brick has chosen Vinci as the construction compnay.

Developer Threat to Matthews Yard

A developer wants to knock down 5-9 Surrey St, which includes Matthews Yard

Matthews Yard owner Said Bonor writes about the threat at

Hammerson shares worth hanging onto

The ups and downs of Hammerson’s shares have now reached a stale period with  two research analysts rating  the stock with a sell recommendation, seven issuing a hold recommendation and six a buy recommendation.

Croydon Citizen May Print Issue

The latest print issue of Croydon Citizen includes my discussion article ‘Does the attack on asylum seeker Reker Ahmed represent Croydon?’ Liz Sheppard-Jones and Stuart Millson on fly-tipping,  ‘Planning betrayal at Green Dragon House’, questions to the General Election candidates on fly tipping, BREXIT and local challenges, Marc Wadsworth’s tribute to Darcus Howe, reviews of the Croydonites Festival, and more.

The Editorial team is also looking for new contributors. Have you something to say or to review, or something on local history you want to share?

Its Croydon in April summary is at

Thornton Heath Chronicle

Unless you live, work of visit Thornton Heath you will not now about the Thornton Heath Chronicle, free b newspaper. Issue 6 (April) contains news on the sale of the Orangewood Park historic lodge, massage sticker fly-postings, the big businesses blighting the lives of local resident, TH’s musical and artistic talent, funding problems facing TH schools, cleaning up Norbury Brook, and much more.

This Is the model for other areas to consider adopting.

Thornton Heath house partially collapsed on 16 May

Pollution and the Wandle

Norbury Watch

This is the title of the blog site I run about Norbury events, issues and news.

Sugar Loaf Tesco closes for works

Does ‘Devoted and Disgruntled’ sum up the feelings of Croydon’s artistic community?

Liz Sheppard-Jones discusses the meeting on 2 May.

The Other Croydon

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