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


About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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