Croydon events, news & history at 21 March

Contents: Croydon vs. Universal  Credit and homelessness; Made in Croydon CIC Social; Croydon Museum Home Front Session; Keats House; CNHSS Annual General Meeting; Croydon Lost and Found: Recent Researches on the Paintings of Evacustes Phipson; Mrs Pankhurst’s Purple Feather; May Croydonites Festival; Council Minster Plans catches people unaware; Questions about South Bank University in Croydon; Other News; CNHSS 150 Years Old; Political threat to Green Belt

Saturday 30 March. Ruskin Fund-Raiser

POSTPONED till the autumn due to family illness.

Tuesday 2 April. 6pm. Croydon vs. Universal  Credit and homelessness
Government welfare reforms and the implementation of universal credit are fuelling a dramatic rise in homelessness in towns and cities across the country, with homeless charities reporting universal credit as a factor in a third of people ending up in their care. The situation is both sad and dire. The Council is trying to support people through preventative services. What’s the situation? And what action can we all take now – at the community, council and national levels?

Participants include: Chris Hancock, Head of Housing at Crisis and local support staff; Janet Campbell, Councillor West Thornton;  Tom Copley, London Assembly Member and Labour’s Housing Spokesperson; and Jamie Audsley, Councillor Bensham Manor (Chair)

Skylight Croydon, 13 Surrey Street, CR0 1RG

For background see

Tuesday 9 April. 6.30-8.30pm. Made in Croydon CIC Social

Mr Fox Croydon, 34 Surrey St

Tuesday 16 April at 3 – 4.30pm. Croydon Museum Home Front Session

Museum of Croydon is part of a Heritage Lottery Funded project, Home Front  which is collecting memories of evacuation to create a new soundtrack for a piece of WW2 film which we hold within our collections. This open session is to share details about the project, to view the film and to hear some of the memories that individuals might be willing to share with us.  There will be a recording session in early May.

If you know any individuals or groups who might be interested in attending, they can book a place by telephoning 020 8253 1022 or by emailing

Saturday 20 April. 2pm. Keats House

Croydon National History & Scientific Society (CNHSS) visit. The Principal Curator Rob Shakespeare was Head of Museum of Croydon till last year

Meet by Oxfam bookshop opposite Hampstead Tube Station

Thursday 25 April. 7.45pm. CNHSS Annual General Meeting

East Croydon United Reform Church, Addiscombe Rd

Followed by

Croydon Lost and Found: Recent Researches on the Paintings of Evacustes Phipson

Talk by John Hickman

My note on Phipson, which draws on the work by John, John Brown and Stephen Williams with  additional research can be downloaded here:

Evacustes Phipson, Croydon artist, socialist and land reformer

The CNHSS Transactions to be published in November will include an essay by historian Stephen Williams.

Monday 29 April. Mrs Pankhurst’s Purple Feather

Talk by Tessa Boase. The story of Croydon’s Eliza Philips campaigning against the fashion for feather hats, and the early story of the RSPB

May Croydonites Festival

2 May. Paula Varjack – Matthews Yard Theatre
4 May. Vinicius Salles (6pm) – Braithwaite Hall
4 May. Two Destination Language (8pm) – Braithwaite Hall
8-25 May. Parabolic Theatre Company – Site Specific (Central Croydon)
10 May. Sh!t Theatre – The Front Room
11 May. Vanessa Macauley – The Front Room
16-17 May. Gill Manly & Joanna Scanlan – Matthews Yard Theatre
17 May. Menopause Writing Workshop – Croydon Arts Store
18 May. Ellard & Lech – Matthews Yard Theatre
23-25 May. Anita Wadsworth – Site Specific

Council Minster Plans catches people unaware

There appears to have been very little publicity circulating about the Council’s exhibition and plans for improving the area around the Minister held on Friday & Sunday, with a heritage walk on the Sunday. Key points drawn to my attention by  a reader who went are:

  • They will not apparently be disturbing the ground when building the children’s playground.
  • Moving the cars to the existing car park  will free up the area currently used by cars and make in more pedestrian friendly.
  • Then this space will be freed for more uses.

It is not clear whether they are liaising with the  diocese.

Further details can be seen at:

Inside Croydon discussed the exhibition on 20 March.

If the Council is not to be accused of tokenistic consultation it should consider running the exhibition over several days in the Clocktower, and in the Minister.

Questions about South Bank University in Croydon

Some key questions have arisen about the plans and potential role for South Bank University coming to Croydon.

  • The problems how does one influence South Bank?
  • Via alumni who live in Croydon?
  • Via Councillors who are prepared to listen outside the official loops?
  • Via Student Union?
  • Who will take the initiative to try and get dialogue going?

It has been pointed out to me that Universities are now all businesses seeking to maximise student numbers. Research is pretty secondary. It is doubtful if South Bank has the capital either to seriously invest in Croydon but will be using empty space in the College etc to host classes. ‘On that basis Croydon has had University classes going for years, but it is more like short-term performance art it comes and it goes there is no build-up of a community around the university.’

Other News

Ruskin Square & Westfield compete for Home Office offices – Inside Croydon 15 March

£600,000 Brick by Brick price tag – Inside Croydon 18 March

Council sells property to Brick by Brick, its house-building company for  £1 each – Inside Croydon 20 March

Council sells £10.5m+ assets

Croydon residents invited to contribute memories to council housing exhibit

CNHSS 150 Years Old

Next year  sees the 150th Anniversary of CNHSS. The latest Bulletin (165; March) contains articles and notes on the anniversary, the Church Congress held in Croydon in 1877; built environment changes in Portland Rd and Katherine St;  Ellen Harriott Capon who was tried in January 1918 for trying to enlist dressed as a man; growing orange trees at Croydon Palace and Carew Manor in Beddington; the Croydon Canal and the London & Croydon and London & Brighton Railways; Alfred Russell’ Wallace’s challenge in 1880 to the fact that CNHSS did not admit women as members, finally agreed in 1897; the Purley Natural History and Scientific Society; and much more.

Political threat to Green Belt

Graham Lomas, former planner and social welfare consultant,  discusses the history and political threat to the Green Belt in the CNHSS March Bulletin.




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 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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2 Responses to Croydon events, news & history at 21 March

  1. Jovita Kaunang says:

    Species extinctions are a hot topic nowadays, especially threats to bees, so I invite readers to learn about a couple of bee species that can be found in Croydon and live naturally (not in hives). Just turn to page 55 of the CNHSS’ latest Bulletin (Issue 165, March 2019) and discover that there is more to bees than just the honey bee. Following this is another illustrated article written by Surrey’s moth recorder who is resident in Croydon. After that, I think you will agree that Croydon’s natural history is just as alive as its social history, and deserves equal celebration!

  2. tonycroydon says:

    Fully agree with Jovita there is certainly a revival in Croydon’s natural history, with all the Friend’s Groups of Parks being formed.If you look hard enough there are many varied opportunities in Croydon for many different interests, I think is is becoming a Green Borough or at least the community is going in that direction.However how we engage all of our possible participants to come forward is a challenge.

    Thankfully people like Sean are doing their best .

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