History


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 »



Croydon and WWI’s Sinai & Palestine Campaign

Posted on December 6th, by Samuel Ali in History. No Comments

A century on from events in the Levant that changed the world, we should remember the role played by Croydonians

Alan Tegetmeier, London Regiment, worked as a secretary before the war. He was killed on 8th December 1917, outside Jerusalem. He was 26 years-old. Photo owned by Museum of Croydon, used with permission.

Frederick Warren of Thornton Heath fell fighting in the hills outside Jerusalem on 21st December 1917. Before … Read More »



Event review: Secrets of the 1817 Slave Registers Uncovered – a talk by Paul Crooks

Posted on October 17th, by Ola Kolade in History. 2 comments

Black History Month comes to Croydon via an enlightening talk by historian Paul Crooks

October is a unique month in our yearly calendar, fêted by our attempts to lay off the booze in exchange for raising awareness and funds to battle the ‘big C’. For some of us, we get to rekindle our inner child by playing dress up and our high-street retailers get a small boost … Read More »



Remembering Beulah Hill spa

Posted on August 3rd, by Christopher Shields in History. No Comments

Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens and Kaiser Wilhelm all took the waters in Croydon’s forgotten spa

Many of you will have been to the Harvester restaurant at the top of Spa Hill, Upper Norwood. You may have walked along the overgrown track through the spa woods. You may even have played in the children’s playground as a kid in the sixties, seventies or eighties – or your children … Read More »



Twelve things that you might not know about the history of Croydon

Posted on July 26th, by Bernadette Fallon in History. 3 comments

Twelve ways to impress your friends or win a very specific pub quiz

From a Saxon cemetery in Park Lane to the oldest railway system in the world, Croydon has a lot of fascinating history that you might not have been aware of. And here it is.

1. An early Saxon cemetery was discovered under Croydon’s Park Lane in the late 19th century, with almost three-quarters of … Read More »



Event review: Croydon’s evolution

Posted on July 14th, by Charles Barber in History. 11 comments

Dodgy microphones did not spoil an engaging and detailed journey through the borough’s varied and innovative history, but where were the audience questions?

The banqueting hall of the Old Palace School was an appropriately historical location for a discussion on the evolution of Croydon. Expertly hosted by James Naylor, who was a combination of both chairman and compere, the evening consisted of a guided … Read More »



The Fairfield Collection reminisces on Croydon’s entertainment history

Posted on June 29th, by Angela Lord in History. No Comments

How a collection of documents and memorabilia is keeping Fairfield Hall’s vibrant history alive

When Croydon’s Fairfield Halls opened in the swinging sixties, it was the place to be. It was where the Beatles sang “Please Please Me” and Princess Margaret brought her young son on a secret visit to the circus.

Schoolgirls swooned at the sight of their idols on stage. Eric Clapton and The … Read More »



A tribute to Darcus Howe

Posted on April 20th, by Marc Wadsworth in History. No Comments

The towering intellectual, activist and Norbury resident is being laid to rest today

Champion British black rights campaigner Darcus Howe has joined the African ancestors. He died on 1st April aged 74.

After spending thirty years in Brixton, the leading broadcaster, writer and  political activist more recently lived in Norbury.

I met Howe during the three-day 1981 uprising in Brixton, where I also lived. He … Read More »