History


How Croydon played a part in the peace process – back in the 1800s

Posted on September 27th, by Sean Creighton in History. No Comments

Croydon’s Festival of Peace may be a twenty-first-century innovation – but peace campaigning here is nothing new

Important issues across the country in 1877 and 1888 were Britain’s relationship with Turkey and war with Afghanistan. At a public meeting in Croydon in September 1877, the speaker, a Mr Lowe, spoke against supporting Turkey against Russia.

A Workmen’s National Anti-war and Arbitration Conference was held in April … Read More »



The Mussons of Bermuda, Barbados and Croydon

Posted on September 25th, by Samuel Ali in History. 3 comments

Croydon’s links to colonised Bermuda and the West Indies

In January 2001, two portrait paintings sold together at auction – one of Samuel Paynter Musson and the other, of ‘Maid De-ah’, who had been “…the faithful and loving nurse of the Musson family in Barbados and England”. She had lived with the Mussons for several decades in Upper Norwood, prior to her death in 1914. Unfortunately, no … Read More »



Croydon’s peace ballot and the Italian invasion of Abyssinia

Posted on September 14th, by Sean Creighton in History. No Comments

In 1934–5 Croydon residents worked harder than ever to try to promote the cause of peace

Across the country in 1934 a massive campaign started to obtain signatures to the peace ballot, organised by the League of Nations Union’s National Declaration committee and its president, Lord Robert Cecil. Croydon and Purley committees were set up in support, the Croydon one chaired by the mayor with Alderman Peters … Read More »



The original Croydon Peace Festival: the town’s ‘peace weeks’ in 1930 and 1934

Posted on August 29th, by Sean Creighton in History. No Comments

How Croydon promoted the cause of peace in the ’30s

Annual peace weeks were run in the 1920s in Croydon every June. The 1930 week was held between 15th and 22nd June. The mayor acted as president, the chairman was Reverend H. J. Powell, the secretary E. C. Schaefer (who lived at 8 The Waldrons), and the Treasurer H.H. Castle (who lived at 15 Chepstow Road). The … Read More »



Croydon’s Vignalë brothers and the First World War

Posted on August 28th, by Samuel Ali in History. 1 Comment

The story of two Croydon-based, Trinidadian-born brothers who lived incredible lives

Two Trinidadian brothers living in Croydon, Ralph and Otho Vignalë, joined the British Army during the First World War. Sons of a cocoa plantation owner from Arima, County of St. George, Trinidad, they are recorded as living together at 17 Amberley Grove, Addiscombe, in the 1911 census. Their lives give us an insight into the experiences … Read More »



Peace and anti-war campaigning in Croydon from 1816

Posted on August 24th, by Sean Creighton in History. No Comments

Croydon has always been a home for those who yearn for peace

A big thanks is due to Katie Rose for conceiving and organising the recent Festival of Peace. It revives with a modern, contemporary approach the Peace Weeks that were held in Croydon in the 1920s and ’30s. And it carries on the tradition of Croydon-based folk singers, Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, who provided the … Read More »



Croydon in the ‘roaring ’20s’ remembered

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

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 »