Christmas spirit and community cheer in CR7

By - Thursday 21st December, 2017

A heartwarming sense of community in Thornton Heath – on a very cold day

Fun at the rink.
Photo author’s own.

On Saturday 16th December, the residents of Thornton Heath put on scarves, hats and gloves to launch its community market initiative with a day of Christmas-themed stalls, live music and a skating rink. Organised and run by local people, it all took place around Thornton Heath station on Brigstock Road, with the rink just a few minutes’ walk away.

Stalls on the opening day featured food, beauty products, children’s books, hot drinks (vital to keep spirits up in freezing temperatures), jewellery and accessories, bags, art and more – all the work of local artists and makers. The spotlight was very much on the creativity of the CR7 community, and it’s intended that this showcase for their work will become a regular feature of Thornton Heath life.

Art and merchandise by cdn_zine.
Photo author’s own.

The highlight had to be the skating rink – small but none the less lots of fun, and a magnet for families. The fact that all this was funded by donations and support from local businesses speaks volumes for the commitment of local people to building up a real community spirit in this part of Croydon.

Delicious food from La Criolla.
Photo author’s own.

The north and south of the borough can seem like worlds apart – the south in the main green, leafy and comfortable while the north struggles with fly tipping, rising rents and a population with more diverse and complex needs.

But in the words of local artist, photographer and designer Wes Baker of cdn_zine: “the nicest thing was that I felt so positive about Thornton Heath today. This project, and various other community-initiated events, have really changed how I feel about and see the future of my part of Croydon”.

It is to the utmost credit of CR7′s residents that they have banded together to support and improve their neighbourhood with initiatives such as the Thornton Heath Community Action Team and now this. They all had much to be proud of on Saturday. Even on such an icy December day, the warmth generated by the CR7 community market can only serve to inspire other areas to do likewise.

Beauty products from local company Brown Angel Natural.
Photo by Rufus Jones, used with permission.

Liz Sheppard-Jones

Liz Sheppard-Jones

Writer and editor. Views personal, not representative of editorial policy.

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