History


Croydon in the ‘roaring ’20s’ remembered

Posted on August 3rd, by Freda Beaven in History. 1 Comment

Local girl Freda Beaven grew up in Croydon in the ’20s. In these extracts from her memoir, she remembers life in a very different time…

My grandparents lived in the elegant house known as Laurel Villa, 93 St James’s Road, Croydon. This has now been modernised with little respect for its original character. When I knew it there were front iron railings and a front gate into … Read More »



The Museum of Croydon’s centenary commemorations: First World War hospitals and Wallacefield

Posted on July 11th, by Emily Lansell in History. 1 Comment

How Croydon’s volunteers did their bit for the borough’s war effort

Within the collections at the Museum of Croydon there is a wonderful set of postcards depicting hospitals set up for injured soldiers and sailors in the First World War.

The postcards show the six borough schools which were designated as hospitals during the war, which included Davidson, Ecclesbourne, Ingram and Stanford Road schools, as well … Read More »



Progressive, not rebellious: the student occupation of Croydon College of Art

Posted on June 14th, by Daniel Frost in History. No Comments

The strikes and protests in France in May 1968 sent reverberations around the world, and Croydon was no exception

A protest outside the French embassy on Sunday 26th May led to twenty-three people being charged for ‘threatening behaviour, obstruction, and assaulting the police’. Among them was twenty-one-year-old accounts clerk Matthew Feddis, who lived on Clyde Road in Addiscombe. According to the prosecutor, “he was pushing and jostling at … Read More »



Croydon and chemical warfare in the First World War

Posted on May 16th, by Samuel Ali in History. No Comments

How the most brutal of weapons touched the lives of Croydon men

The Croydon roll of honour from the First World War identifies thirty-five cases of gas poisoning amongst Croydon men, with twenty-two direct fatalities, as a result of the gas warfare that was waged by the European belligerents and, later, the United States. Gas, used as a large-scale weapon for the first time, killed considerably less … Read More »



In the hills of Palestine: echoes from the First World War

Posted on April 19th, by Samuel Ali in History. No Comments

One hundred years on, battles from Croydon’s past overshadow Palestine’s future

Having captured Gaza, Beersheba and Jerusalem in 1917, by the spring of 1918 British forces fighting in the First World War Sinai & Palestine campaign had occupied southern Palestine and were ready to push up towards the Ottoman provinces of Syria, Lebanon and, also, into what is present-day Jordan. Amongst the West Indians, Indians, Jews, Arabs, … Read More »



Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and the civil rights movement

Posted on March 23rd, by Samuel Ali in History. 1 Comment

How the Croydon-based composer and musician helped instigate change

In the 50th anniversary year of the assassination of US civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, on 4th April 1968, it’s timely to examine the role of Croydon composer, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, in the early modern US civil rights and pan-African movements. His mixed-race ethnicity, humble beginnings and untimely death make the story of his achievements all the more … Read More »



Digging into the past: a vintage poster with local roots

Posted on February 27th, by Andrew Dickinson in History. No Comments

A local man who became a propaganda legend is remembered…

Wandle Park recently partnered with the Kenley Revival Project to host a World War Two poster-making workshop, using vintage posters from the period as inspiration. Well-known classic designs such as ‘Dig For Victory’, ‘Loose Lips Sink Ships’ and ‘The Walls Have Ears’ all featured.

Much fun was had by all – and some good new examples … Read More »



Did Mendelssohn play the organ at Croydon Minster?

Posted on February 16th, by David Morgan in History. 4 comments

Did the famous composer really play in Croydon? Let’s try to solve a musical mystery

The Croydon Times in January 1867 was clear. Croydon’s historic parish church (nowadays Croydon Minster) had just been devastated by fire, and its celebrated organ, built by John Avery, totally destroyed. “Maestro Mendelssohn played upon it and pronounced it a most excellent instrument”, the paper sorrowfully declared. We do not know the exact evidence upon … Read More »



Historical heroines: meeting Croydon’s suffragettes and suffragists

Posted on January 31st, by Sean Creighton in History. 1 Comment

Many forgotten names from the female suffrage movement resided in Croydon

It’s time to remember the brave women of Croydon who fought so tirelessly for universal suffrage. 6th February 2018 is the 100th anniversary of parliament finally acceding to giving women the vote in elections. This important event in the history of democracy in Britain is also important for the Townswomen’s Guilds across the country, which were … Read More »



Croydon’s wartime Canadian links: the Halifax explosion, December 1917

Posted on January 10th, by Sean Creighton in History. No Comments

Finding out about Croydon’s First World War connections to the Canadian army

On 6th December 1917, a massive explosion in the harbour at Halifax, Nova Scotia, devastated the town, killed nearly 2,000 people and injured nearly 9,000 more. Whether former Croydonians were among them is not known, because so many of those killed could not be identified.

Despite the support of the Canadians for Britain on … Read More »