History


Keen as mustard: South Croydon’s heritage, part 3

Posted on March 7th, by Sean Creighton in History. 1 Comment

In part three of his series, Sean Creighton continues to delve into the history of South Croydon to see what should be showcased in the Heritage Lottery Fund bid

Croydon’s urban expansion southwards enabled people to travel into London for work, and to run their businesses. One such business was the Mazawattee Tea Company set up by John Boon Densham (1814–1886). He lived in various … Read More »



Keen as mustard: South Croydon’s heritage, part 2

Posted on February 28th, by Sean Creighton in History. No Comments

In part two of his series, Sean Creighton continues to delve into the history of South Croydon to see what should be showcased in the Heritage Lottery Fund bid

Within the area of the manor was the Haling Park estate. The Enclosure Act map of 1801 shows the division of the land into plots, some of which have names attached. William Parker Hammond not only … Read More »



Taras Shevchenko: The poet of Ukrainian freedom

Posted on February 25th, by Sean Creighton in History. No Comments

As the recent events in Ukraine throw the country into turmoil, Sean Creighton looks at the life of a Ukrainian poet who fought for the freedom of his country using words

A few years before he set up home in Upper Norwood, the African American actor Ira Aldridge toured Russia in 1858 and 1859. Among those who reacted to his acting with rapture was ‘the … Read More »



Keen as mustard: South Croydon’s heritage, part 1

Posted on February 21st, by Sean Creighton in History. No Comments

In a three part series, Sean Creighton ponders the history of South Croydon and what should be showcased in the Heritage Lottery Fund bid

Have you ever been as ‘keen as mustard’ about anything? As a Croydon citizen you have more right to be, because the phrase comes from the brand of the locally based Keen’s mustard business. Being told about Keen’s caused much amusement … Read More »



A piece of aviation history

Posted on February 21st, by Dennis Goswell in History. 2 comments

Dennis Goswell shares his memories of Croydon Airport when it was world famous

In the early 1930s my family moved from London to rent one of the houses on the very new St. Helier council estate in Carshalton. It was a great place to grow up in and an exciting event was to first hear and then see an aeroplane overhead. Croydon Airport was, at … Read More »



A tale of two developments: Cane Hill and Caterham Barracks

Posted on February 12th, by Matthew Doyle in History. 2 comments

Matthew Doyle contemplates buildings steeped in Victorian history which are set for regeneration

Two developments. Two lives. A shared sense of history links them both as does proximity. One is in Croydon, the other over the boundary in our spiritual home of Surrey. The Victorian era gave them their birth but their future lies in the residential housing market. Unlike the visual migraine of the … Read More »



Political Croydon: The Sixties

Posted on February 11th, by David White in History. 6 comments

In the first of a new series, Croydon resident and political animal David White recalls what Croydon’s political scene was like fifty years ago

My first real memory of politics in Croydon is the 1959 general election. Nationally the Conservative Macmillan government was standing for re-election under the slogan “You’ve never had it so good”. The Labour Party, under Hugh Gaitskell, was the only real … Read More »



Keep on singing along to Pete Seeger

Posted on February 3rd, by Sean Creighton in History. 1 Comment

Sean Creighton reflects on the life of legendary folk singer and activist Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger’s death on January 27th is a great loss. I call him Pete because he has been part of my musical soundscape since childhood back in the 1950s. He was one of the leading folk singers and developers of the genre and I have used aspects of his life in work … Read More »



Reach for the sky, Mr Gove

Posted on January 24th, by Matthew Doyle in History. 9 comments

Local historian Matthew Doyle highlights the importance of Croydon’s role defending London during the Battle of Britain

I like Michael Gove. People of my age do. He is proof that Joe 90 grew up and became Secretary of State for Education. For sure, he has lit the debate surrounding the centenary of the Great War (that’s the first one for today’s #yoof). Like it or … Read More »



12 Years A Slave – the context

Posted on January 22nd, by Sean Creighton in History. 2 comments

Sean Creighton peels back the Hollywood treatment of this year’s highly acclaimed film revealing Croydon’s own links to the slave trade

12 Years A Slave is an uncompromising film which shows the inherent cruelty that was fostered by slavery. It sheds light on the daily humiliations that kept slaves compliant, though they were able to find ways to express their loathing, defiance and humanity, and the … Read More »