How I learned to speak up with Croydon Toastmasters

Posted on June 29th, by Gina Rocque-Drayton in Culture. No Comments

Gina Rocque-Drayton on stepping up, speaking up and overcoming fears

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” (Lao Tzu). My journey as a toastmaster and member of Croydon Communicators began in April 2014. I wanted to overcome my fear of public speaking and increase my self confidence. I’d heard about Toastmasters, so I went along to a session in East Croydon.

Read More »

Event review: Bob Dylan tribute night at the Oval Tavern, Saturday 20th June 2015

Posted on June 26th, by Ian Marvin in Culture. 6 comments

Dishing up Dylan – first come, first served. Ian Marvin listens with interest

Even if not everyone counts themselves as a Bob Dylan fan, they’ll almost certainly have enjoyed covers of some of his songs without even realising it. For example, it took me a few decades to identify the origins of the Roxy Music version of ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’. So I arrived at the … Read More »

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: if David Bowie saw Croydon now

Posted on June 26th, by Andrew Dickinson in Culture. 3 comments

“I hated it with a vengeance”, said David Bowie. Or did he? The clues are all there, thinks Andrew Dickinson

Approximately 300 of us packed in to the Arnhem Gallery last Thursday 11th June to be part of the travelling book-reading-cum-public-debate show, ‘Croydon Til I Die’, which looks at suburban life and questions why it’s so often – and so famously – been sneered at. Although … Read More »

Event review: Pappy’s at the Oval Tavern, Thursday 18th June

Posted on June 24th, by Rob Preston in Culture. No Comments

Mirth this well made is magical, says Rob Preston

There is a lot of festivals coming up in Croydon quite soon. We have Purley Festival, South Croydon Food Festival, Croydon Heritage Festival‘s on right now, and in July the ambitious Ambition Festival. But what about comedy?

Since the closure of comedy club Up the Creek and then the Warehouse Theatre, laughs … Read More »

Has St George’s Walk become the epicentre of Croydon’s independent arts revival?

Posted on June 18th, by Jonny Rose in Culture. 2 comments

Jonny Rose looks back on the year that St George’s Walk broke

As I write this, it is almost a year ago to the day that Andrew Dickinson could be found lamenting the state of St George’s Walk in these very pages:

“This should have been Park Place, a new retail and leisure hub [...] for people to enjoy a café culture lifestyle, and … Read More »

The time-travelling tram comes to Croydon Town Centre

Posted on June 17th, by Liz Sheppard-Jones in Culture. 1 Comment

Put £1.50 on your Oyster and it’s off to the Middle Ages. How Croydon gave H. G. Wells something to think about

What’s not to like about trams? That also sums up how I feel about the Croydon Heritage Festival, back for its third (already!) year in just three days’ time, and launching with Heritage Day on Saturday 20th June in the town centre. They’re definitely … Read More »

Event review: Street Cocktails launch at Matthews Yard, Friday 5th June

Posted on June 16th, by Lauren Furey in Culture. 1 Comment

Total renegade cocktailing. Porn star potions. Lauren Furey brings you the uncensored truth

My curiosity had been aroused when I first heard that Street Cocktails was setting up shop in Croydon’s beloved Matthews Yard. An entertaining Youtube video had gone out in the run-up to the event, on Friday 5th June, featuring its own Matthew Lisle running past local landmarks to the accompaniment of the … Read More »

Event review: What is Tru Luv? The first show in Croydon’s new TURF Space

Posted on June 12th, by Tom Winter in Culture. No Comments

The sensual intensity of this exhibition is a reflection of love, says Tom Winter

As Morrissey once sang, the rain fell hard on a humdrum town as I made my way to the newly christened Turf Space, or as some may think of it, the space where Turf Projects now manifests its physicality. Despite my recent lack of involvement with Turf Projects due to the demands of … Read More »

Event review: Giles Hedley and the Aviators play at Bourbon and Blues, Matthew’s Yard, Saturday 30th May

Posted on June 10th, by Katie Rose in Culture. No Comments

Katie Rose travels to the hot, steamy heart of the blues via Croydon

I’m ordering my favourite coconut truffle tea, an unusual Saturday night out beverage, at Matthews Yard. Next to me blues legend Giles Hedley is ordering a very modest selection of drinks for the band, which he says always surprises those who expect them to be drinking bourbon. He tells me that he conducted scientific … Read More »

Event review: Clive Gregson at the Croydon Folk Club, Monday 25th May

Posted on June 9th, by Anne Giles in Culture. 2 comments

Anne Giles enjoys an evening mixing new tunes with nostalgia at Ruskin House

I have known Clive for many years. Originally from Manchester, he is an accomplished singer-songwriter, musician and record producer who started his professional music career in 1980 as the leader of cult band Any Trouble. Between 1985 and 1992 he formed a partnership with Christine Collister, who came to public attention in … Read More »