Why I founded the Friends of White Horse Park

Posted on November 30th, by Charles Barber in Politics & Society. 3 comments

Let’s bring back beauty to a forgotten green space in West Croydon

At the beginning of September, I and my family moved a short distance, crossing the boundary between East and West Croydon. While at our previous residence in St James’s Road, I had occasionally walked to Park Hill Park to help out with gardening duties at the walled garden.Having fairly recently given up my job as … Read More »



Croydon can help to save the rainforest

Posted on November 7th, by Charles Barber in Politics & Society. No Comments

Cities don’t have to exclude nature, let’s bring the rainforest’s vibrant energy to Croydon

Croydon is situated in a temperate region and though it contains a number of woodlands, none of them is in the least tropical. The nearest actual rainforests are more than 3,000 miles away in Central America. Yet, when I see bindweed trying to creep up the hoardings of the new Boxpark, when I … Read More »



An obituary for Bart Wolffe, Zimbabwean playwright and Croydonian poet

Posted on November 1st, by Charles Barber in Culture. 1 Comment

The exiled poet and playwright found a home in Croydon and left a message for our time

I was very sad to learn of the death of the accomplished writer, poet and playwright Bart Wolffe this summer, and thought that a few of my fellow Croydonians might like to know a bit more about the life and work of this perceptive Croydon poet … Read More »



Crexit or cremain? Should the people of Croydon vote to leave the EU?

Posted on May 9th, by Charles Barber in Politics & Society. 8 comments

In Croydon’s interests and in our country’s, Charles Barber will be voting to stay

On Thursday 23rd June, the British public and the people of Croydon will make a decision with long-lasting and difficult-to-predict consequences. Whether to leave or remain is one of the most complicated decisions that we, as a people, have ever been asked to make.

The reason that I’ll be ticking the … Read More »



Event review: Beethoven in Stalingrad at the Spread Eagle pub theatre, Friday 1st April

Posted on April 12th, by Charles Barber in Culture. No Comments

Rather than being transported to the battlefield, Charles Barber is left a little too conscious of sitting in a comfortable theatre

A part of me wondered why I’d chosen to go and see a play with the title ‘Beethoven in Stalingrad’ after I’d already read Antony Beevor’s brilliant book about one of the second World War’s most devastating battles. At the end of the book, … Read More »



Event review: the James Oliver art exhibition at Matthews Yard

Posted on March 23rd, by Charles Barber in Culture. No Comments

Aliens have landed at Matthews Yard, says Charles Barber

One of the joys of Matthews Yard is that you never know quite what you’ll find, whether it be on the walls of the café itself, or in the exhibition room. After a recent visit to an opening of an exhibition by the artist James Oliver, I was tempted to slightly adapt an old nursery rhyme. … Read More »



Croydon is covered in rubbish. So what are we going to do?

Posted on March 14th, by Charles Barber in Politics & Society. 12 comments

Charles Barber announces a community campaign for a cleaner, greener and more beautiful Croydon

This March there’s a nationwide campaign to encourage schools and community groups to ‘Clean for the Queen’, to make their local areas more tidy and attractive by organizing litter-picks in time for the queen’s ninetieth birthday. Commendable as such projects may be (and I think that each of us should engage … Read More »



Event review: Tina Crawford’s ‘Unnatural Histories’ at RISE Gallery

Posted on February 25th, by Charles Barber in Culture. 2 comments

Charles Barber went to RISE Gallery and got really into… embroidery

If I told you that the modern, cutting edge RISE Gallery is currently holding an exhibition of embroidery, you might think the place had gone a little bit soft. Yet the wonderful embroidered pictures by the artist Tina Crawford are a far cry from the dainty patterns and flowers you can imagine ladies working on … Read More »



Croydon looks east for its next big party

Posted on January 29th, by Charles Barber in Culture. 2 comments

Let’s celebrate Chinese New Year in Croydon, says Charles Barber

Over the weekend of Saturday 6th – Sunday 7th February, Croydon will stage a celebration of the Arts and Chinese New Year. We hope that you’ll want to join in.

This Chinese New Year celebration has been coordinated by *protected email* and was initially inspired by the Whitgift Centre‘s artist-in-residence, Hale Man, who has created a large copper sculpture called … Read More »



Event review: the Croydon Youth Theatre’s ‘Dear Tim: Echoes of Death Row’, Saturday 17th October

Posted on October 22nd, by Charles Barber in Culture. 8 comments

Charles Barber reflects on a justice system in which another’s confession of guilt offers no protection for a young black man

The week prior to going to see ‘Dear Tim: Echoes of Death Row’ I’d been suffering with a bad cold and sometimes feeling a bit sorry for myself. But if any performance or story had the power to put one’s own minor concerns in … Read More »