Twice Madam Mayor: an interview with Toni Letts

Posted on December 22nd, by Katie Rose in Politics & Society. 2 comments

“I have been fortunate – and I want that for everyone”

Twice Mayor of Croydon, a domestic violence survivor with an OBE for her services to housing and community, Toni Letts has many stories to tell. Funny, poignant and heart warming, her anecdotes are underwritten with her commitment to make a daily difference to the lives of Croydon folk. Describing herself as a “servant of the people”, Toni … Read More »



Hope, warm-heartedness and a takeaway: the third annual interfaith symposium, Sunday 10th September

Posted on October 5th, by Katie Rose in Politics & Society. No Comments

Hindus, Christians and Muslims stood as one in a memorable exploration of faith

On a wet September evening, I find my way to the serene prayer room of the Baitus Subhan Mosque. There is a warm atmosphere of anticipation and keen conversation as people start to meet, greet and find out about each other. The event opens with stalls representing a number of community groups and a … Read More »



Event Review: Shift K3Y + London Mozart Players at Boxpark, Wednesday 19th July

Posted on July 28th, by Katie Rose in Culture. 1 Comment

What happens when you cross a big beats box with a chamber orchestra?

What happens when world class classical musicians get in the mix with top electronic music producers? This was the question posed by an innovative collaboration between Croydon’s resident chamber orchestra, LMP (the London Mozart Players), and Shift K3Y at Boxpark.

The evening’s imaginative joining of musical worlds opened with the lush vocals of … Read More »



Event review: Croydon Bach Choir presents Homo Sum at its summer concert

Posted on July 14th, by Katie Rose in Culture. 1 Comment

The highlight of Croydon Bach Choir’s summer concert was a remarkable new work with a unifying vision by Mark David Boden

On the warm and sunny evening of Saturday 1st July, many of us gathered at Croydon Minster to hear the Croydon Bach Choir present the final concert of its 2016-17 season, featuring the premiere of Mark David Boden’s work Homo Sum alongside opera choruses and arias and … Read More »



Your invitation to be part of Croydon’s first festival of peace

Posted on July 10th, by Katie Rose in Politics & Society. No Comments

We’re crowd-funding a peace celebration for Croydon next summer – who wants to be part of it?

In June 2018, we’re inviting everyone in Croydon to be involved in a cross-cultural, cross-arts, interfaith celebration of peace. As the world remembers the centenary of the end of the First World War, we can make a powerful, colourful, vibrant declaration of peace.

In the words of Father John … Read More »



Event review: the London Mozart Players in Fiona Brice’s ‘Relationships’ at Matthews Yard, Friday 19th May

Posted on May 24th, by Katie Rose in Culture. No Comments

Orchestral manoeuvres in Matthews Yard

One of the unexpected and wonderful outcomes of the closure of Fairfield Halls is the relocation of the London Mozart Players (LMP) to St John the Evangelist church, Upper Norwood. The longest-established chamber orchestra in the UK, formed in 1949 by conductor Harry Blech, LMP has been resident at Fairfield Halls since 1989. Executive director Julia Desbruslais described the move to St John … Read More »



Event review: Hoodoo’s music venue celebrates its first birthday, Saturday 27th August

Posted on September 21st, by Katie Rose in Culture. No Comments

Katie Rose looks back at a year of creative contribution

A hoodoo (also known as a fairy chimney or earth pyramid) is a totem-shaped pillar of rock that forms in desert basins as a result of weather and rock erosion.Famous examples are found in Bryce Canyon in the US and Cappadocia, Turkey. Human imitations, known as cairns, are piles of rocks used over the centuries to mark important … Read More »



Event review: live jazz from Infusion, weekly at Smoothbean! coffee shop

Posted on September 8th, by Katie Rose in Culture. No Comments

Katie Rose tells how Fusion Fridays make Croydon smile

It was back in late June that a fluid collective of jazz musicians and a coffee shop began blending culinary and musical flavours to come up with something fresh for Croydon.

Smoothbean! recently celebrated its second birthday at 2-3 Dingwall Road, just round the corner from East Croydon station. Founders John and Pauline Hennessy were originally intending to … Read More »



The day that ‘Sing for Water’ came to Croydon

Posted on September 2nd, by Katie Rose in Politics & Society. No Comments

Katie Rose, host of Croydon’s ‘Sing for Water’ event, on why its ripples will be felt far and wide

Since 2011 I have been participating in Sing for Water, a choral movement which fundraises for WaterAid. So, having dreamed of organising a cross-choral event in Croydon, the occasion of entering my fifth decade seemed a fitting time to host ‘Water Love’, a singing fundraising party on Saturday 23rd July at … Read More »



Rainbows Across Borders LGBT Asylum Seekers Choir leads the way at Croydon’s first PrideFest

Posted on August 26th, by Katie Rose in Politics & Society. No Comments

Katie Rose talks to members of Croydon’s Rainbows Across Borders choir as it prepares to celebrate LGBT identity on Sunday 28th August

Croydon is preparing to celebrate its first PrideFest, to be held in Surrey Street on Sunday 28th August. I visited Rainbows Across Borders, Croydon’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) asylum seekers chorus, whose members will be leading the parade along with Wayne Trakas-Lawlor, Croydon’s first … Read More »