Black history


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 »



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 »



12 Years A Slave – the context

Posted on January 22nd, by Sean Creighton in History. 2 comments

Sean Creighton peels back the Hollywood treatment of this year’s highly acclaimed film revealing Croydon’s own links to the slave trade

12 Years A Slave is an uncompromising film which shows the inherent cruelty that was fostered by slavery. It sheds light on the daily humiliations that kept slaves compliant, though they were able to find ways to express their loathing, defiance and humanity, and the … Read More »