History Events etc in Greater Manchester at 19 June

To Sunday 24 September. In Search of the Basque Children in Salford and Eccles  Exhibition

Salford-based artist Claire Hignett has been researching a group of Basque children evacuated from the Spanish Civil War who came to Salford and Eccles in 1937.  Exhibition opening hours, and details of how to attend the free opening event on Sunday 18 June at 1.30pm, are http://www.salfordcommunityleisure.co.uk/culture/ordsall-hall/exhibitions/basque

Sunday 9 July. 1.30-3.30pm. The Basque Children in Britain

Talk by Simon Martinez from the Basque Children of ’37 Association UK about  story of the 4,000 children who came to the UK as refugees (including over 100 who came to the Manchester area) from the Spanish Civil War in 1937 after the bombing of Guernica, Bilbao and other towns.

Ordsall Hall, Salford.


Barrington Young

The Manchester based Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust appreciation of Barrington Young who has died reads as follows:

‘Born in 1929 in Kingston Jamaica, Barrington came to England in 1954. Already qualified as a printer, Barrington was encouraged by his brother Vincent who was already here having been in the Royal Air Force since 1944. The printing union’s closed shop policies prevented Barrington from having access to a job in his profession. He first worked at a cotton mill in Royton and wondered why he’d come all this way to get paid half what he earned in Jamaica. Eventually he started working on the railways, where he worked for thirty-nine years as a shunter, a goods guard, passenger guard, then senior conductor before becoming  the first black train inspector in the North West. Barrington regaled everyone with stories about his time on the railways. He built an elaborate train set in his cellar and was an enthusiastic member of the Manchester Model Railway Society.

Barrington was passionate about the importance of education. After retiring he became involved in the Mapping Our Lives project – a group of Caribbean elders who documented their lives and went into many primary schools in Manchester and Trafford to share their stories, their island heritage and their experience of making a home in England. He was deeply concerned that so many black children didn’t understand their own history. He kept himself informed about world events, history and politics as he cared passionately about the need for social justice.  Barrington was a committed Christian, a Deacon in his church and taught Sunday school for many years.  He was active in many Caribbean projects and societies and became a stalwart supporter of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre in Manchester.

Barrington is survived by his wife Herta, following 61 years of marriage. Both had come to a foreign land (Herta is Austrian by birth), found love and kept it shining bright. They have three children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  He will be sorely missed by all.’

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Nubian Jak Community Trust
African & Caribbean Memorial
in association with
BAP Theatre


A play about bravery, betrayal, two families, from different sides of the track, competing for a prestigious history trophy. To win it, they have to overcome pre-conceptions, bias, and historical inaccuracies about the two world wars.
It all comes to a head in the hands of a corrupt reality game show host! 

7.30pm Start
Wednesday 21st June

Tickets: £12.50 / Concs £10.00. Under 16s £5. You can buy tickets here:


After show Q & A with
Playwright & Director, Richard Reid 
Jak Beula, Founder, African Caribbean Memorial Initiative

World Premier at
Hounslow Arts Centre, Treaty Centre,
24 High Street, Hounslow, TW3 1ES. 

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Gay men in the two world wars

COVER Fighting Proud

In this new history of wartime Britain, Stephen Bourne unearths the fascinating stories of the gay men who served in the armed forces and on the Home Front. It brings to light the great and previously unrecognised contribution they made to the war effort.

A magnificent piece of work. I was gripped throughout; laughed out loud at times; became blazingly angry at the injusitce, hypocrisy and expediency… and sheer waste.
And, at times, delighted by the courage and refusal of many to bow down to prejudice or to dampen our full potential as human beings.’

  • Keith Howes, author of Broadcasting It: An Encyclopaedia of Homosexuality on Film, Radio and TV 1923–1993

The  book includes the story of Guyanese bandleader Ken ‘Snakehips’ Johnson, who was killed in a bombing raid on London during World War Two.

Ken Snakehips Johnson

Available from Waterstones& all good booksellers
Hardback. ISBN. 9781784538743. £17.99


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Croydon Events & News at 14 June


Monday 26 June – Sunday 2 July. Purley Festival


Tuesday 4 July. 7-9pm. Croydon Communities Consortium AGM

St Michael’s Church Hall, Poplar Walk, Croydon, CR0 1UA

Further details at


David Lean Cinema


Events at Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Rd

Friday 16 June. 7.30pm. ‘The Great Gig in the Sky’

In memory of Jeremy Dodds and fund-raising for the mental health charity Mind.  Jam from 7.30, open mic from 9.00 and ‘Tar Babies’ from 10om to midnight.  £2 admission.

Saturday 17 June.  8pm. ‘Step Lively’ (George Murphy) 1944 and ‘Western Jamboree’ (Gene Autry) 1938.

Cinema Ruskin – £2

Ruksin Folk & Blues Club. £2

Sunday 18 June. 8pm. The Commie Faggots and Singers’ Night

Ruksin Folk & Blues Club. £2

Sunday 25 June. 8pm. Les Elvin and Singers’ Night

Ruksin Folk & Blues Club. £2

Monday 26 June. 8pm. Martin Simpson

Folk Club. £15/£12

Thursday 29 June. 8.30pm. ‘Jazz with Soft Winds’

Standards, Latin, ballads and be-bop on sax, flute, clarinet, guitar and bass.  Free.

Sunday 2 July – Singers’ Night

Ruksin Folk & Blues Club. £2

Saturday 8 July. Ruskin Summer Festival

Sunday 16 July. 8am. Coach to Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival

Reservation £7.  See Roy at Ruskin House.




More General Election News



TfL consults on bus and crossing changes from Purley to Kenley


Criterion Capital Not Selling

has refuted claims that it is planning to sell its £300m build-to-rent (BTR) portfolio. (Property Week 8 June)

The main owner is Aziz Arif. Among its office conversions to residential in Croydon is Delta Point at West Croydon, currently being converted, and Astral House on Norbury’s London Rd, which the Council leases for homeless families.

Croydon’s GPs and Carers

Discussion at


Syrian refugee grateful to Croydon


Another bar bites the dust


Trams to be made safer


RISE owner funds culture pize


The Other Croydon

  • Shootings and stabbings




  • Dangerous Driving




Anti-social hotspots


  • Robbery


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Cultural events – 29 June

Gallery night

Thursday 29 June. 6.30pm. The Loud Life of London

Westminster Arts Library, 35 St Martins Street, London, WC1

‘Waterloo Sunset, Underneath the Westway, Doing the Lambeth Walk, Burlington Bertie from Bow, Baker Street.. In how many tunes has London been evoked, name checked or even played the main character? And the city encompasses a whole other world of sound: birdsong, traffic, street cries, transmissions and myriad others past and present. Come take an audio tour of the city with two sonic explorers.’

Ticket includes an earful of Hendricks Gin Cocktail

Admission: £6.50/8.50 in advance here


‘The sprawling metropolis has inspired musicians and poets since time immemorial prompting many to immortalise their inspiration in song. This is what makes exploring the countless quirks and customs of the capital such an exhilarating experience.

Westminster Arts Library’s  Peter Collins ‘will select some of the more obscure, delightful and strange – with a playlist of his own favourites – to provide a whistle-stop musical mystery tour reflecting the social life of the late twentieth century City in song. His qualifications? A lifelong love of living in London and an addiction to the music of the era.’

‘Then, Ian Rawes creator and curator of the London Sound Survey ‘will take us on a sonic tour of the capital past and present featuring rarely-heard recordings of the city’s life from the 1950s back to the late 1880s. These sounds, captured by broadcasters and amateurs alike, bring to life a rowdy, vocal London filled with vigour and eccentricity. Lavender sellers and fortune tellers, fire stations and sewer workers, the vanished songs of schoolchildren, the propaganda and reality of the Blitz – all these and much more are lined up for a night not to be missed by anyone with an interest in the history of London.’

What is your favourite London contemporary sound?

‘One that’s difficult to get to hear is inside Tower Bridge when the road sections are being lifted. It sounds like an orchestra tuning up, very grand and impersonal, which makes it a good signature for the city. Also, trains tooting their horns from a long way off, but you can probably hear that in most cities.’

What is your least favourite contemporary London sound?

‘Jet engine noise, which is hard to escape as so many flight paths go over London. Long mobile phone conversations where the speaker starts to show off with business jargon: run it up the flagpole, let’s touch base, disruptive.’

What is your favourite lost London sound?

‘The lavender seller’s song, which was banned by the Metropolitan Police in 1952. It has a very beautiful and melancholic sound. I’ll be playing a recording of it on the evening.’

Is the city noisier now than it has ever been? If not, when may it have been noisier?

‘Across its whole area, yes due to the increase in air and road traffic. On the other hand, some streets and neighbourhoods may be quieter now than, say, a hundred years ago. Population densities in inner London are lower than they were at the start of the twentieth century, and more people per acre tends to mean more noise. London had a lot more industry in the past and enormous street markets too, some of which were open late into the evening, and they’ve mostly gone.’

At what time of day is the city at its most quiet?

‘This is relative, since there’s always some traffic noise to be heard, but around three or four in the morning is pretty quiet. From April until June the dawn chorus is at its strongest, but doesn’t usually get going until around four or a bit later. I notice some birds, mostly blackbirds, sing at pretty much any hour, and perhaps that’s down to street lighting. Scheduled flights from Heathrow begin around 4.30am.’


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Mobilising for change in Croydon after GBEXIT


Thursday 15 June 7.30pm. Croydon Momentum Meeting

Saturday 24 June. Croydon Assembly

Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, CR0 1BD



The amazing General Election result in Croydon for Labour should not mask the need for fundamental change in the way Croydon is governed by its current Labour administration. The need for more democracy locally is a major theme at the next Croydon Assembly on Saturday 24 June.

The result in Croydon Central was just what the doctor ordered, while Steve Reed in Croydon North piled on the votes to increase his majority. The result says more about the national change in  Labour’s fortunes under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership arguing for hope not austerity.

Although Gavin Barwell lost the election he is now in charge of  May’s 10 Downing St team. As  friend of Westfield and Hammerson and other developers he is now centre stage and no doubt will try to ensure that the Tory Government continues to loosen planning controls.

Croydon Labour will  be mistaken to think it  will  win the local election next May.  Leader Tony Newman shares much in common with Theresa May’s now much criticised style of leadership: too controlling, not inclusive enough and not listening to his own Councillors.

His  administration has been alienating more and more  people including those  living on Council estates with the Brick by Brick developments. A key person contributing to that alienation is the Planning Chair Paul Scott, whose performance at a recent Planning Committee has angered those present and many who have watched the webcast since.

It was because of this growing anger with the Labour administration over planning  that I argued in Croydon Citizen that people should vote Labour nationally because the national Labour manifesto committed it to protecting the Green Belt,  and the Tories propose to further loosen controls and are threatening to overrule Local Plans.

At the centre of the problem of the way the Labour administration runs, and the previous Tory one,  is the Executive Leader/Cabinet system. Labour needs to start the process of adopting the alternative Committee model  so that people can have more confidence in voting for it in May.


Analysis of the General Election can be seen at:











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Croydon Council Meetings 19 – 29 June & News

Monday 19 June. 6.30pm. Cabinet

The agenda deals with update on Don’t Mess With Croydon – Young People Taking Pride and Campaign, presentation by Cllr Timothy Godfrey on what is happening at Fairfield Halls, Community  Safety Strategy 2017-2020, update on the development of the Legacy Croydon Youth Zone, the Small Business Commission,  entering partnerships to deliver  affordable housing, the lease of the former Ashburton Library, and extension of the contract for rough sleepers support service.

Tuesday 20 June. 6.30pm. Children & Young People Scrutiny Sub-Committee 

Major item: Youth Engagement Strategy and Championing Children in Croydon

Thursday 22 June. 10.30am. Licensing Committee

Thursday 22 June. 6.30pm. Planning Committee followed by Sub-committee

Monday 26 June. 6.30pm. Council

Tuesday 27 June. 5.30pm. South West London Waste Partnership Joint Committee

Tuesday 27 June. 6.30pm. Scrutiny & Overview Committee

Wednesday 28 June. 5pm. Adult Social Services Review Panel

Thursday 29 June. 6.30pm. General Purposes and Audit Committee

Papers can be accessed at


Note: papers usually go up one week before the meeting.

Community Safety Strategy silent on action against deprivation

‘There is a correlation between areas of high deprivation and crime rates in Croydon; more crime is committed in the north of the borough, largely due to a higher population density, and more pockets of deprivation.’ (para 3.10

While the role of deprivation in crime is recognised, the community safety strategy for 2017-20 being considered by the Cabinet on Monday 19 June r says nothing about how to reduce it.

The strategy will focus on:

  • reducing the overall crime rate in Croydon; focus on violent crime and domestic violence.
  • improving the safety of children and young people.
  • Improving public confidence and community engagement.
  • Tackling anti-social behaviour and environmental crime.
  • improving support and reduce vulnerability for all victims of crime; focus on hate crime.

Cabinet may find Small Business Commission recommendations unacceptable

The Cabinet on 19 June may find that it is unable to agree with all of the recommendations being made by the Small Business Commission in its interim report. Can you work out which those will be?

Small Business Commission Cabinet paper 19 June

Small Business Commission interim report June 2017

Council plans to outsource leisure centres, parks and open space

‘The operator will enhance the current offer, deliver significant financial savings, and work in partnership with the Council’s existing services. The Council is seeking an operator who will provide a renewed focus to sport, physical activity and leisure in Croydon, and will make use of all the varied assets in the borough to provide a joined up package developing and managing operations, maximising commercial opportunities and delivering social objectives by adhering to key national, regional and local strategic policy. There will be opportunities to develop existing facilities, and working with the Council and partners to develop sport and physical activity through commercial and sustainable partnerships and investment.’


Council makes £33.9m from parking fines


Planned cycle ways


The Council’s Scrutiny Committee considered the cycling strategy at its meeting on Tuesday 13 June. To see the detailed papers go to


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