The Francis Frith Collection.
You are here:

The Law Courts c1970, Croydon

The Law Courts c1970, Croydon

The Law Courts c1970, Croydon Ref: C201250

Send photo as an E-card Send this photo as an E-Card

| More

Croydon's local area

View all memories

Memories of The Law Courts c1970, Croydon

Be the first to add a memory of The Law Courts c1970, Croydon

Croydon & local memories

Read and share memories of Croydon and Surrey inspired by Frith photos.

Mishaps in South Croydon

Brighton Road c1965, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

The pub in the middle distance on the right is The Red Deer. On the triangle, which is formed by the junction of Brighton Road & Sanderstead Road, where incidentally I later lived & two of my children were born, stood a horse trough. This trough had not been cleaned or serviced in any way for a number of years. Two friends & myself came out of The Star Pub at Broad Green, which is the other end of Croydon (which on a Friday night had a jazz club). We, having had far too much to drink and having missed the last bus decided to run - yes run home to Coulsdon! One of my friends at that time was a very fast mile runner; we set off and at The Red Deer John (the miler) leapt over the trough my other friend (also a John, now sadly deceased) and I jumped but failed to reach the other side, we both fell in and got a good mouthful of water... Read more

Working in Croydon

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Hi, my name is Margaret Henderson (nee Percy). I lived in Westerham, Kent but worked in the Croydon Model Laundry. I used to travel by bus to Croydon every day from Westerham and then walked down Surrey Street markets to the laundry; you turned left at the bottom of Surrey Street (BHS was on the corner on the right), the laundry was further along on the right, near a bridge. I loved going down the markets in the morning most of the stalls were just begining to start selling thir goods, Christmas was a fun time to shop in the markets. I also remember Fairfield Halls, my cousin and I used to go and watch the wrestling on a Saturday and I remember one weekend we went, it was being televised. Happy days,does any one else remember the laundry?

D.I.Y. And A Trip to The Seaside.

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

My father (who lived 98 years) was an amazing character. Back in the 1950's when we lived in Jesmond Road, Croydon he built this strange 'shed' in the back garden. It was thoroughly air conditioned by the fact that it had only three sides and was made up of bits of old wood, beams, brick and the corrugated iron remains of an old Anderson shelter. His economically driven D.I.Y was totally individual and eccentric. He also built this extraordinary wall made of breeze blocks. Instead of conventionally interlinking them, he merely piled them one on top of the other and then proceeded to defy all the laws of gravity by smothering them in so much cement that the end result resembled a miniature version of Hadrian's Wall. By contrast the next door neighbour had their wall built by a professional builder who gave his expert opinion that my dad's wall was bound to collapse. I payed a return visit 40 years later. The wall was still there but no sign... Read more

Davidson Road School

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Does anyone remember Davidson Road Secondary Modern School? This was late 1950's pre co-education days so although housed in the same building, girls were upstairs and boys downstairs. Seperate playgrounds and 'never the twain shall meet'. There was a girl with long wavy fair hair .Like me she was a prefect, her name was Margaret Connell and I positively worshipped her for the whole of the last year of school...from a distance! I never had a chance to speak to her. It came to the last day of school, my last chance...I followed her from school until she said goodbye to her friend and boarded the 197 bus in Morland road. I cycled like fury after the bus taking the short cut through Cherry Orchard Road and arriving ahead of the bus at East Croydon Station. When she got off the bus I finally got to speak to her. I must have presented a strange cycle clipped dishevelled appearance.I was so excited when she agreed to let me take her... Read more

1942 at 14 Years Old My Life Changes

Crown Hill c1965, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

After our family home in Trafalgar Avenue, Peckham was damaged by the 'blitz' for the 3rd time, my mother decided enough is enough. She got in touch with her sister who lived in the country (South Norwood) to try and get us accomodation near her - this she did. We moved from Peckham to a nice upstairs flat at 34 Whitworth Road. Both of these houses although suffering a pummerling (minor damage from doodle bugs) are stiil standing today (2013). From that moment my life changed dramatically. New friendships were forged, I became a member of the 3rd Queens Cadets in Wellesley Road, Croydon learnig to play the drum and bugle for 4 years. This and the other military training in the middle of the war stood me in good stead for when I became a real soldier when called up for sevice in 1946 aged 18. My other warm memories of Croydon are the Ice Rink in Purley. Not of course really Croydon but all the youth of that... Read more

Gas Masks

Crown Hill c1965, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

At the age of 7 I was told by my parents we all had to go to Wellesly Road to be fitted with a gas mask. I have a clear memory of this horrifying experience. It was one thing then another, upsetting my childhood world. First in 1939 I was no longer allowed to fly my kite in the rec at Thornton Heath, then there was all the blackout palava; now I had to have this horrible mask whose window quickly got steamed up and I couldn't breathe properly. Then a few nights later a stick of incendiary bombs dropped on the next door house (they didn't go off). So life was pretty upsetting for me what with the regular 8 pm trip down the garden to an air raid shelter. I lived and grew up at 4 langdale Rd, Thornton heath.

Crown Hill And Other Memories

Crown Hill c1965, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

In about 1952 appeared in the scouts gang show at Civic Hall organised by Ralph Reader. In 54 attended my final year prize giving before I left Croydon Sec Tech. Still have picture of this event which appeared in the Croydon Advertiser. I also remember well the toy shop Hamleys and many Dinky toys and Meccano kits, my parents bought for me. The Sax One Shoe at the top of the hill provided me with some super shoes; as did Horne Bros in the High St adjacent to the entrance of Whitgiift Middle School entrance. My best friend, Robin Hatton, attended this institution, went to Cambridge, then National Service in RAF training as a pilot and was killed in a Meteor fighter. Terrible loss, we had great fun and fights from about the age of 8. We both attended Waddon Juniour School. Waddon Ponds was one of our meeting places, and after many fishing trips to Edenbridge and other places we tried to stock up the ponds with the... Read more

My Childhood

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

My parents lived with my grandfather - Harry Fiddleman, at 41 Lower Addiscombe Road. Grandfather was a hairdresser so we lived behind and above the shop. I was born at St Mary's Maternity Home. I cannot find any references to this 'Home' anywhere, although I'd love to know more about it. When I was a baby my 'cot' was a drawer - evidently quite common in the fifties. My father worked for his father in the early days, then went on to helping other hairdressers and eventually ended up working for Lloyds Bank in the city. His name was Norman Fiddleman. My mother had trained as a dressmaker, so made various garments at home and then sold them in Croydon market. She had been brought up in Colliers Wood. Her maiden name was Iris Hawkins. Her father was a policeman. Evidently I was well known at the market in 1953/54, in my pram, when I was a baby. We lived with my grandfather until I was about six years old.... Read more

Born in Croydon 1953

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I was born at Mayday Hospital 1953. I had an older brother, John Read, and sisters, Judith and Gillian. John went to the Catholic school St Peters and Gillian and me went to the convent in Lingfield until we all emigrated to Australia in 1962. My memories of Croydon were when my sister Gill and me used to go swimming in the summer holidays at the swimming pools by Croydon Market, down the hill. I remember the tiles all over the walls I think being light green and I think you could even go there to have a bath. My father worked in Regent Street, London, and went on the train in his bowler hat, bow tie and swinging his umbrella. He walked home along the path next to the railway line that lead to the bridge by our road and we would often go to meet him. I remember him spraining his ankle outside the gates to the park by East Croydon and having to run home for help.... Read more


Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

At the same time in Wimbledon, there was also another Kennards and like the poster said, he used to go to Kennards with his mum and nan and so did I (to the Kennards in Wimbledon). I was about 4 or 5 then, just after the war and when I first went there with my mum and nan, I was amazed to see in this great big shop with so many departments, there was a dance floor and a small orchestra playing and a singer. I had never seen a shop playing music with a dance floor where you could sit and have afternoon teas and dance, if you wanted to. I couldn't believe it and like the poster said, I seem to recall seeing a donkey in a manger too, but I can't think why. It felt as though you were rich and someone special. I shall never forget those wonderful days of trams and trolleybuses going through Wimbledon and the two carriage train that went from Wimbledon to... Read more

My Croydon Memories

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

My memories are relating to the mid 1950`s & 1960`s: smelling the ground coffee and Broomfields Bakers, C&A store, a boutique called `Bus Stop` and Martin Fords in the high street, where I bought my first leather coat. I have lots of memories of the old Croydon, especially going swimming in the baths in Scarbrooke Rd. It had two baths, a large and a small. Cost of 6 old pence a session. After, we used to have a hot chocolate from the vending machine for 6 pence and 4 penny worth of chips from the local chippy, as we were always hungry after our time in the swimming baths. Tuppence each way on the 197 bus, total cost for the day, 1/8d. Reeves Corner is where a lot of our family furniture came from, I still have my mothers needlework box that my dad bought for her. I liked going into Grants, Alders & Kennards. Not sure if it was Kennards, in the high street you could put... Read more


Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Was there really a live donkey in Kennards Arcade at some point? Was that just a childhood dream I had? One highlight of my childhood was going to one of the big department stores with my grandmother and mother. Ladies dressed in black played violins while we ate coffee and cake. For a few brief hours we were rich, had a huge house and all the other things I once thought made life fun. I cannot remember if it was Alders, Kennards or Grants. One day I wanted to take my grandmother there for coffee. Alas that wonderful experience had been replaced by a self-service cafe. I have no idea of dates, but was born in 1955 and the self-service cafe disapointment happened when I was a teenager.


Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

My mother Kathleen Reeve used to work in Kennards and I remember that at the end of the day over the loudspeaker system they would play "Now is the Hour". In later years she always used to say how much she disliked that tune! I was only 7 but I too remember the arcade and the sights and smells and how wonderful it was for a child at Christmas time.

Waddon Fever Hospital

I was also in this Fever Hospital with Scarlet Fever for three weeks I was 9 or 10. I clearly remember being rushed there in an ambulance wrapped tightly in a blanket with a bag of sweets stuffed down my front. I felt very bewildered by the whole experience. I recall the nurses were very kind but the food was not so good. A big box of oranges was sent in by one of my uncles which felt very special as I saw no visitors. The oranges were shared amongst us all which was hard. I had the other children to keep company with as I got better. Until today, I have never known where the hospital was. I discover the site is now occupied by Ikea, amongst other stores.. well, I have been there a few times! I now live in Farnham in Surrey. We used to swim regularly at the Purley Way Lido jumping off the high boards. Little did I realise I was having all... Read more

Dees Ford Dealer South Croydon

I purchased my first vehicle at Dees in 1959. I was twenty four and really wanted a car but the prices were high for used vehicles and the registration fees also. I went to Dees with my friend Graham (we met while working at Mullard in Mitcham) and one of the the employees told us they had some used vans for sale. In those days the registration fees for vans was a lot lower than a regular car. We were directed to a location about a mile away where Dees had a body shop and a storage area. On arrival we discovered they had a lot of used Thames vans for sale. Apparently there was some sort of contract with the Singer Sewing machine company whereby they exchanged their vehicles annually for new units. As a result Dees had a lot of vans for sale, in some cases with low mileage. We bought one each. Only problem was the color,... Read more

Willie Graham

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

My grandfather lived in Croydon from approximately 1960 to the end of 1964 (He died in January 1965.) Would anyone out there have met him?This is a long shot,I know. He probably lived by himself and may have bee a recluse because when he died his body was not found immediately, oh, dear. Unfortunately, I had never met him.

I thank contributors in advance, and appreciate all replies.


Croydon And Sanderstead

Brighton Road c1965, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I was born in Thornton Heath, in 1954. We moved to Sanderstead , I think in 1958. I attended Sanderstead Junior School and Ridgeway. I remember Croham Hurst, Purley and Fairfield Halls, my mother worked there. I remember the library on the Sanderstead Road, the Good Companions, the Swan and Sugar Loaf. I am the youngest of three children born to Kathleen Dean (nee Bodger), former FANY, and Denis Dean, RAF Flying Officer, former Whitgiftian. I have two elder brothers; Nick, who went to Coulsdon Grammar and played rugby and Simon, who went to Warlingham and Selsdon. My grandparents (both sides) lived in Norbury. We emigrated to Canada in 1964, but I still consider the UK my home. I remember Allders and Sainsbury's on the road to the railway station. I think there was a Jaegar shop on the corner in Croydon.

South End, Croydon

High Street c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

1948 - 1966 - this is a shot of the Blue Anchor PH, looking north up South End towards the High Street. The turning on the right is Aberdeen Road.

Swan And Sugar Loaf Looking North

South Croydon c1950, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

This is a view of Brighton Road looking north towards the town centre. Out of shot, to the right is the Swan and Sugar Loaf PH. Note the tramlines still in the roadway, but the overhead wires have been removed. The last tram ran in Croydon in April 1951

Croydon18+/Croydon Cemetery

The Swan And Sugarloaf Hotel 1902, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I have just found this site, and although I now live in Manchester I have many memories of growing up in South Norwood and Croydon in the 1950s and 60s. I had forgotten about the donkey in Kennards Arcade, but when I read the comments, the smell came back to me!! I also remember the Croydon 18+ Group in the Swan and Sugarloaf - I was a member for several years in around 1970, and also of the South Norwood Group which met in the Jolly Sailor in South Norwood High Street. We had a visit from Ronny Corbett one month and I remember buying him a beer in the bar - he probably drinks in grander places these days! As regards Croydon Cemetery, does anyone know anything about the mass graves of air-raid victims there, or where the records might be?

Elmwood School

High Street 1900, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

remembering elmwood school with the big mast in the field as a partition between the boys and girls...the dinner lady mrs.higgins(she made me eat egg not believing i was allergic to it!) the headmistress before miss french,miss jobbins...real old school...miss peters...strict,miss clark,mrs mullings,ms davies,miss my class there were about three or four carol`s...carol mahoney,carol farquharson,carol levy and me,i also remember a few girls names ,i remember one girl whose family were emigrating for either australia or new zealand,adele rowland...have i jogged any memories???


High Street 1900, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

as a child i always remember croydon high street to be very colourful and fashionable, i used to love going to allders bargain basement,there was something for everybody,che quevara,c&a`s,martin fords,kennards,there were so many shoe shops,stylo,ravels,freeman hardy willis,dolcis,russell and bromley,saxones,real happy shoppers those days...with all these new buildings and the pulling down of real historical places it doesn`t seem so bright again or so happy...

Swan & Sugar Loaf & Red Deer Pubs

North End 1966, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I lived in Croydon (Howley Road) for 40 years. I remember now & then going to The Gun Tavern in Church Street or The Rose & Crown, also in Church Street. I worked at the Royal Automobile Club HQ in Lansdowne Road (Routes Dept). I also went to the Surrey Cricketers in West Street plus both the Swan & Sugar Loaf (now Tesco) & Red Deer (now soon to be a Morrisons store). Then again I remember the Classic Cinema in Brighton Road; I guess many will remember this cinema. I'm wondering if anyone knows the name of the cinema opposite the Rex Cinema in Norbury before it became a Gateway store & what year this store closed?

Ex. Ashburtonian

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I remember the wartime years and being evacuated with the school to Polegate. At the time I was five years old and went with my twin brother Terry. We returned when we were seven years old. Eventually in 1951 we migrated to Australia and I am now living in Wellington Point Queensland. I am now married with three children, 3 Grandchildren and 1 Great Grandchild. At eighty years old my memories are still clear , we used to live at 395 lower Addisciombe Road. Hello to anyone who may remember us.

St.Matthews Church East Croydon

St Matthew's Church c1965, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

As a regular church goer to St.Matthews Church in the late fifties and early sixties,it holds many memories of church baazars and fetes that were held . I still have in my possession church books awarded to me for attending every sunday. Recently in the past during a long awaited visit i could not find this church. Then discovered it was demolished in the early seventies,which i was shocked and angered that a holy place of god was gone from consecrated ground. MY brother would have the same opinion as me on this church. May god be judged! Brenda Lukes(nee Brooks)

Duppas Hill Remembered

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

A lot has been posted about Wandle Park but what about Duppas Hill? I well remember the gun emplacement at the top of Duppas Hill and I remember the noise they made when they were firing, I lived not a stones throw away in Abbey Road. Another thing I remember about Duppas Hill was the fact that it was indeed a hill and during the winters we had some good toboggan runs down these slopes. Oh such happy times! If anyone remembers or would like to chat my e-mail address is

Scarbrooke Road Swimming Pool

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Sorrry to correct the lady who wrote about the swimming pool having two pools. In fact there were three pools - two indoors and one outside where I learned to swim and got my swimming certificate - which was in those days a 'stifficate'. Oh, how I remember Miss Heritage correcting me! Anyone who wants to chat, you will be welcome. My nane is john Knapp and my e-mail address is I look forward to hearing from anyone who either remembers me or would like to chat about old Croydon. Kind regards to you all.

Davidson Road Secondary School

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I remember the school very well, I left in 1953. Does anyone recall some of the teachers names such as Mr Bonner, Headmaster, Mr Burrows, Science Teacher, Mr Chambers, PT and Geography. The school captain was Phil Jones and I was vice captain. Phil and Mike Woods were great friends of mine. I remember looking out of the woodwork class windows trying to see the girls in their playground. I also managed to get a date with one of the girls but when I went to collect her from her home her father said she and I were to young to go out so I left dejected. It was a very happy time and I remember the school with very fond memories.

Davidson Road

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I remember the road very well; I went out with a young lady who lived in the road and went to the school, although she left in 1948. I met her at a club in West Croydon where she and her sister went in the evenings. Their names were June & Hazel Lucas and at first I thought they were relatives of mine but no, and in 1953 I married June at St Martins on the corner of Stretton Rd and Moreland Road. Sadly, now a block of flats.

Croydon From The Old Days

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I remember when Kennards use to have pony rides in the Arcades. I also remember Grants used to be a very posh department store. I moved away from Croydon in 1990 but can remember going to the old Croydon Hospital on the London Road, West Croydon for an xray. Last time I went to croydon was 8 years ago, I didn't like it and if I had to drive through it now I am sure I would get lost!

Croydon, Shirley & New Addington

Crown Hill c1965, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I was born in Croydon in 1943, moved to Addington, then Birchington (Kent) before returning to New Addington in 1953 where I attended Wolsey Junior School & Fairchildes Secondary School. Shirley Secondary, Lanfranc Boys School & finally John Ruskin Boys High. I have many vivid memories of life in New Addington in those early days for this large sprawling estate. Built on a windswept hill several miles from Croydon, life was tough as many parents were unemployed. The winter weather was often extreme with heavy snow & howling winds; no wonder the town was dubbed "Little Siberia" I am trying to research the polio outbreak that virtually closed New Addington for a month or so in the 1950's. Has anyone got news items or memories please? My three brothers & me lined up each month to have our hair cut in a pre-fabricated garage; the business was run my a Mr. Scutt. Unmade roads full of muddy puddles didn't help the general air of an unfinished job. The older part of... Read more

My Dad

Crown Hill c1965, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

My dad was born in Croydon in 1936, he lived in Milton Road. His name was Ray Simmons and he had two brothers, Reg and Ken. He married my mum Rita in 1961 and I was born in Mayday Hospital in 1962. I can remember spending my holidays visiting my nan and uncles, going to the Whitgift Centre and feeling grown up having a glass of lemonade in the Windmill pub at the top of Milton Road and getting a big K lolly from the corner shop. All happy memories. My great nan and grandad had a shop in the road behind Milton Road

Lived in Croydon Until Emigrating to Canada

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I was born in Croydon 1947. The only house that I remember living at was Bridle road, I went to Benson Jr. School. My Mum, worked at Mechanism in Croydon and I can remember riding the bus from school to Croydon on half days, where my Mum would meet me. I remember shopping at Surrey Street market, my Mum had a relative named Hodder who ran a market stall. We went to Canada in 1954. I have returned to Croydon on an average of every other year since then. My Auntie Gert lived on the road under Pitlake bridge leading to I think Wandle Park. My grandparents lived on Kynaston Road, Thornton Heath. On my visits to Croydon I remember the baths, and the smell of the coffee shop. My cousin and I often took the bus from Selsdon into Croydon. My cousin went to Selsdon School, where I would accompany her when I was over visiting - cannot see that happening today. I moved back to Croydon when... Read more

Memories of The 1950s

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I was born in1930, in Jarvis Road South Croydon. My memory is of starting at the Davis Cinema (the largest in Europe when it was built). I remember seeing Nat King Cole perform live at the Davis. My mates and I would start with 1/2 pint in every pub between the Green Man and working along, with the same in every pub to West Croydon. We had a 1965 London cab which we bought for £30. We, the seven of us, painted it in gaudy colours and called her Priscilla. We later drove in her to Nice, via Paris. We flew over to Le Toquet, fare £30, there all the way without any trouble apart for one puncture. After our return we sold the dear old cab for the same as we paid for her £30. This was in about 1956 and was writen up in The Advertiser. I have so many memories of this period, which are still very clear.

Wandle Park

Wandle Park c1970, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I grew up in Lower Church Street, next to the Pitlake ph. As kids we used to play all summer long in the park. By then the boating lake had been drained and it was just a big circular ditch with the island in the middle. The river was still there with, if I remember, three bridges crossing it. We used to go over the iron footbridge from Waddon New Road past the shelter on the right to the cabin for sweets and ices (by the first bridge) and then played football or cricket. In the swing rec there were two sets of swings, one for the smaller kids with bars that lift up to put there legs through. The larger swings were on 15ft chains and seemed to fly really high. There was a very high slide, a metal rocker horse (with very pointed ears) that held about six kids. A box like roundabout and what we called a 'witches hat'. Most of these rides have been removed now... Read more

Paradigm Brigade (Boys & Girls Brigade)

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I wonder if anyone remembers the Paradigm Brigade (PB) and the youth club in Northwood Road Thornton Heath? I joined the brigade which was run by "Cap" (Mr Atwell) in the 50's, and like so many other boys and girls in the area, had a great time with them up to the time my family moved from Thornton Heath to Shirley. After this I lost contact with everyone, except Doug Atwell, who sadly passed away several years ago.

My Memory of Croydon

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I remember having a donkey ride at the back of Kennards, by the arcade, which was a real treat for me. Also having my ears pierced in the arcade and you could smell the incense from the indian shop. Going to Surrey Street market on a Saturday with my mum to get shopping of fruit & veg. A stallholder used to shout out, "Rhubarb, Rhubarb` I mean bloodshot celery". Another crying out "Don`t forget your Bananas". There was Charlie who had a stall opposite the flower stall and cockle & winkle stall by the steps, I loved a plate of cockles. Charlie sold lots of goodies, toys and gifts at real bargain prices, even then especially at Christmas where he always pulled a crowd. And I never missed a visit to the pet shop that had a very old parrot. The butcher shop with the front completely open and sawdust on the floor. Happy days! Does anyone remember the supermarket up there called Prideaux`s?


Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I remember the donkeys in Kennard's Arcade, I had my ears pierced in the little shop in the arcade.


Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Ah! Croydon, I lived in Croydon from 1956, but before that, used to visit my nan who lived in Wallington and was treated to a Kennards trip - and yes they did have pony rides and a wonderful arcade with a clock that struck bells. Grants was the posh shop and had a balcony tea room. I think there was another shop opposite but cannot remember the name. Such a shame about Allders going, is the Alms Houses stll there? I worked in Croydon in Suffolk House and then for a tobacconist Cavendish in W.Croydon. It has changed so much, not for the better.

Waiting For The Bus

Town Hall c1965, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

If my memory serves me well (now that is a song from way back) I used to wait for the 197 bus outside the Town Hall, Croydon, to take me into Addiscombe where I attended Davidson Road Secondary School. With my friend Michelle Allen, we travelled from Shirley on the bus but can not remember the number of that particular bus, it waited on Shrublands Estate for people to board.


Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I was born in 1947, and can remember at 5 years old going on the horse rides with me sister, we got photos too.


Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I was born in 1950, and only left when I married in 1973. I remember the donkey rides in Kennard Arcade in the 50's - they had little bells on their harnesses and for sixpence you could have a ride which seemed like for ever but was probably only a few minutes long. Then into the little zoo with monkeys, and I seem to remember there was a bridge going over from one side of the arcade to the other. There was a pet shop right at the bottom which I always found facinating - babby rabbits and kittens on display in the window. One of these tiny rabbits ended up in my bedroom cupboard after my friend and I couldn't resist the smallest cutest grey fluff ball - it was only discovered when my mother investigated a nasty pong coming from my room. Luckily after a ticking off mum said that Bunkie could stay as long as he was put outside! I too remember the music in Kennards Blue... Read more


Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Anyone out there know the Barham family? They lived in Goodwin Road, Waddon. Dad was a fireman. The kids were Audrey, Alan and Sidney.

Croydon in The 50's & 60's

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I remember the lovely old donkeys that gave rides to children in the 1950's. There were usually more than two of them and they walked along the back of the old Kennards store. I had a ride on them. There was an arcade that ran from the front to the back of the store, and it was lined with little shops. One one them did piercing of ears. Also along the road at the back was the Swap Shop - a fascinating Aladin's Cave of all sorts of things. It was still there around 1978, but has been demolished for redevelopment since then. I remember Bill Haley & the Comets appearing at the old Davis theatre - I think there were punch-ups too & queuing to see Elvis Presley in his early film, Love Me Tender, at a cinema in the High Street. Also there was Eros cinema almost opposite, and the Sample Shoe shop at West Croydon...full of all sorts of stylish shoes.

Cornfields And Swimming Pool at Purley

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Does anyone remember the swimming pool and cornfield at Purley Way, Waddon. I used to live in Goodwin Road. I also remember the orchard behind the cornfields where we rode our track bikes. I'm 72 years old now. Happy days....

Wandle Road

Town Hall c1965, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Although I was born in Newcastle on Tyne, I came to Croydon when I was nine - about 1958. My maiden name was Fawley, and my parents (Ron and Irene) had a sweet and general shop at 6 Wandle Road. It was near the swimming pool in Scarbrook Road, and a lot of trade came from there after swimming (do you remember how hungry you were after swimming?) The shop used to advertise what was on at The Grand Theatre, and sometimes we used to get free tickets. I went to Howard school before South Croydon Secondary Modern - Mr de Voile was the head and he was always telling us 'how lucky we were' - heavens knows why. I have very fond memories of old Croydon - the market, the town hall and library, Turtles in Crown Hill, C & A, Swears & Wells - the fur shop, Lyons tea shop in North End where Macdonalds is now, Wilsons coffee shop in North End where you could smell the... Read more

James And Horner Newsagents

London Road c1950, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I was bought to live in Croydon when I was about 5/6yrs and my parents actually ran the newsagents James and Horner (if my memory serves). I remember living next door to a furrier, and only just having found this site my memories are very happy ones. I do remember visiting the Davis Theatre to see "Swan Lake" with my mum; also do a photography shoot for Jack Setty Furrier which I think was also opposite..

Croydon Train Crash Sussex rd Sth Croydon Oct 1947

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I well remember this crash, I had just walked past where the crash happened to buy bread for my mother. I was only seven years old, but ii will always be on my mind, because ten years later my first job after leaving school was to become a signal box boy at South Croydon signal box.

Kennards Arcade And Surrey Street Market

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

My dad had a shop in Kennards Arcade, mending, making and selling dentures. I helped him on Saturdays selling his own brand of denture cleaner called 'Sparkdent'. My first half-crown pay was spent on a Buddy Holly album that I still have. A family story goes that one of his lady customers came dashing in and asked for a new pair of dentures as hers had fallen into someone else's basket of veg/fruit in Surrey Street Market and she did not dare to ask them for them back!

Surrey Ice Cream Parlour

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I wonder if any one remembers the Surrey ice cream parlour, half way up Surrey Street on the left bottom of the steps leading up to the main road. Oh how I wished we could get ice. This was just after the war. I was born 1935. Also does anyone remember the lady who used to sell fresh boiled beetroots? This was later but I have no idea when. Anyone with any info please get in touch, my e-mail is:

Surrey St.

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I have only just discovered this website and felt compelled to respond.
I was born in Heathfield Gardens, South Croydon in 1948 and my maiden name was Murphy. We moved to Wyche Grove near the Purley Arms, South Croydon when I was about 5 years old and we lived there until 1963 when we moved to the Isle of Wight. Something of a culture shock!
I remember trips up to Surrey Street market, noise of the stall holders and the old cabbage leaves and squashed bananas etc. near the stalls. I also remember the back entrance to Grants from the market and always thought it was something of a haven to get up into the decent surroundings of that nice store.
I went to Purley Oaks Primary School and then John Newnham, getting two buses to school and thinking nothing of it. I can remember getting quite excited when the new Routemaster bus came to Croydon and it served my routes to school in Addington.
We left Croydon just as... Read more

Town Hall Sunken Gardens

Taberner House c1970, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

The Town Hall gardens was once the terminal for the atmospheric railway to London.
A little before my time!

Registry Office

Taberner House c1970, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

We got married in the old registry office which was oppoosite the old Town Hall (beautiful building}, then we went down into Town hall Gardens (is this the correct name?), down the slope next to police station for photos. My name is John Knapp.


Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I have just discovered this website tonight and the strange thing is that I was thinking about Surrey Street market only last week. I moved to Croydon when I was a small child in 1955. My grandmother and I would always go to the market and buy our fruit from a young dark haired man that we knew by the name of "Bananas", his stall was at the top right hand side as you went in from the Kathrine Street end.

Surrey Street

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Tom Grossmith, my grandmother's uncle, had a business in Surrey Street in the late 1800s making gaiters and knickerbockers. When I was 15 I would cycle to Croydon from Wallington to try to find his shop. There was a butcher's shop at the Crown Hill end of Surrey Street and my mother would give me 15 shillings to get a leg of lamb. I soon found out that a leg of mutton only cost 12/6d so I would make half a crown for my trouble.As my pocket money was only 6d per week, this was a considerable perk. I have since discovered that my great grandfather also had a business in Surrey Street and it was he who made the cornucopia which stretched across Katherine Street for the visit of Queen Victoria to Croydon.

BHS by Barbara Lewis

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I worked in British Home Stores way back from 1959 to 1966, in those days it was at the top of Church Street. I was a supervisor in the clothing department and our manager was Mr Denson, he employed a retired manager to work there for about three months to train me, his name was Mr Morse, he was very tough and precise but I certainly learnt a lot about underwear and clothing, how to work out and order from this country and abroad. In those days the shop had counters and staff were polite and customers were not kept waiting. How different to nowadays when you pick up your purchase and wander around looking for an assistant or somewhere to pay. We were a happy crowd back then and when Mr Denson was promoted to the number one store in Oxford Street he asked for me to go with him as manageress, unfortunately I had to refuse as I suddenly lost my father and had a lot of family commitments. It would... Read more

More Memories From Barbara Lewis

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Us oldies enjoy remembering the simple pleasures we had of Croydon, as someone said - the little zoo and the donkeys in Kennards arcade. My favourite was that staircase in the middle as you went in by the doors, to me as a little girl it always seemed so grand. Later on, about the year 1942, I saw little tables with manicurists sitting at the top of the stairs that adjoined the hairdressing department, I then and there stopped biting my nails and had an interview, I was accepted and after about two-weeks of being trained to manicure by one of the older girls, there I was with my own little table with two shiny chrome bowls either side, a complete manicure set and lots of lovely nail varnishes in amazing colours! One day (a day I will never forget) I saw three young American soldiers watching me, I heard one say, "Go on then, it's worth having your hand held for only two shillings and sixpence!". Unfortunately his hands were very rough... Read more

This Was Written by my Mum Barbara Lewis

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Reading childhood memories made me remember a few of mine. When war broke out I was 10 living in Lyndhurst Road, Thornton Heath. I used to wander up to the pond to an old shed in Thornton Road to watch horses have their horseshoe's replaced, I can still remember the smell and heat of the big soldering iron. Also, going back even further, being carried up the iron staircase at Croydon Airport to watch planes and learning later that it was to watch Amy Johnson take off.
My school in 1939 was the convent ran by nuns near warwick Road, most of the time was spent in the cellars owing to air raids. I later moved on to Norbury Manor. One thing i never found out was why none of my school friends had a gas proof room like us ! My Dad and two men did this in our living room early in 1940, the fire place was completely blocked and all doors, there was only a small... Read more

The Whitgift Spirals

The New Shopping Centre c1970, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I can remember that every time we went to meet my Granddad (he would wait outside Allders in George Street on Tuesday mornings after catching the 403 bus from Chelsham), we would have fish and chips in the BHS cafe and he would make my mum walk up to the top floor.

We'd then either go into the top floor of Woolworths (which had a huge mosaic of a swordfish on the wall) or into WH Smiths, just so I could run full speed down the spirals. As I was about 3 or 4, it felt like I was going supersonic!

When Nanny died, he bought me two little baby dolls from Zodiac Toys - one black and one white and everyone was shocked at him. I loved those dolls because he got them for me.

My brother would take me to see films at the Odeon by Marks and Spencers - and we used to walk home because the bus service was... Read more

Lanfranc Girl's Prize Giving

Technical College, The Denning Hall c1965, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I too remember the Godrey Talbot talk at Prize Giving. I also remember we were given the afternoon off school to get ready, and given book tokens before the event to purchase a book that would be presented on the night. I see now how lucky I was to live in the centre of Croydon, until I moved when I was 12 years old. I had such freedom. I would go Christmas shopping on my own after school with saved pocket money. Woolworth down from Crown Hill was my favourite place. I went to the Croydon Parish Church Infant and Junior school. We had the best teacher in Mr. Thompson, he lived in Kent and taught us grammar school maths when we were 9 or 10 years old. I have never forgotten what a great teacher he was.


Wandle Park c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I left Croydon in 1954, as a child of 9. I remember Kennards as a place of wonder, full of joy. I specifically remember the day when they had a fish stream in their basement, a real stream, concocted of metal channells. I remember St Mary's Church and the school where I went, and of being caned. It was a wonderful time, and I miss it, and Rupert, and Sidney, and Tommy Smith.

Croydon - an Adventure

North End c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

We lived in Coney Hall and tended to shop in Bromley. As such, believe it or not, a trip to Croydon was a real treat. Kennards, Alders, the market .. what excitement.

To cap it all I might catch sight of a trolleybus (654,630 I believe). You can just see the wires at the top of this picture. Sadly I don't think we ever had the need to travel on one.


The Parish Church Hall c1970, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I was a Girl Guide here from 1969 to 1975. We used to meet every Friday. Guide captain was Mrs Pamela Ferries. I enjoyed many camping trips to Kent/Sussex (travelling in the back of a removal lorry), what fun!

Is This West Croydon Methodist Church?

Wandle Park c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I used to go to West Croydon Methodist Church (mainly the Sunday School) when I was a kid, from about 1940-ish to 1946-ish. I am not sure if THIS is the same church and would love to know if anybody can identify it.

Methodist Church And Sunday School

London Road c1950, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

This part of Croydon was where I once lived, during and after the war. I have been searching for a photo of the Methodist Church which I attended as a child, mainly at their Sunday School. In this photo I can see the spire of the church and it is the nearest I've come across. This lovely old place must have been demolished in the late 1950s or some time in the 1960s as it has simply disappeared in later photos. What a shame. I'd really love to get a photo of the front view of the church but my search has been in vain, so far. I remember that one could get from London Road at Croydon through to Handcroft Road by walking down the path beside the church. Does anybody remember this place at all? I'd love to hear any memories of others. My email is: pg.harfleet at if you care to contact me on this topic.

Endless Summer.

Wandle Park c1970, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

My school days at John Ruskin began in 1941. The art master's name was Mr. Smoothie and we thought he was a riot because he wore coloured socks. I have fond memories of the wooden railway bridge that crossed to Wandle Park. Every summer in prewar days there was a fair in the field beyond the pond.

Crossing The Railway Footbridge to go to Art Lessons

Wandle Park c1970, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I attended John Ruskin Grammar school in the 1950's when it was in Tamworth Road. Our 'Art lessons' were held in a church hall across from Wandle Park and we had to walk across the railway footbridgre to get there and back. The art master was Mr Gee and we were at times late because we too had spent time on the railway bridge watching and waiting for the trains passing beneath us.


Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

My father's brother Hugh Lewis from Portdinorwic, North Wales, was a shoe buyer at Kennard's (11 - 13 North End) until the early 1930s. Are there any photos of the store from around that time, I wonder? I presume the area has been demolished and re-built by now, but if there are any photos / memories, I'd be glad to see them. Many thanks, Gareth Lewis (Cardiff)

My Name is Silvya Waston

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

My name is Silvya Waston, born 1943 at St Mary's, went to school at Fair Childs, lived in Grenville Road. My dad was John Waston, if there is anybody out there who knows me please email.

The Croydon Sweet Club

The Swan And Sugarloaf Hotel 1902, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I have great memories of going to the Croydon Sweet Club and dancing the night away to sounds of the Liquidator and many more reggae songs, dressed in two-tone tonic suits and doing a lot of stomping. I was only 14/15 years old and was still at school and had my first ever drink of cider at the Sweet. I lived in Mitcham but used to go to Croydon. I remember pony rides at Kennards store when I was a kid and then going to Lyons tea house as a treat. Grants, Kennards and Alders ruled long before the Whitgift Centre was built. My great-grandfather ran the Swan and Sugar Loaf pub. My maiden name was Lindsay.

My Mum

Davis Theatre, High Street c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

My mum worked as a telephonist at the Davis Theatre, probably in the 1960s, and I used to go and meet her there. I remember watching 'Giselle' performed by Galina Ulonova and Nikelei Fediachev (sp?) of the Bolshoi Ballet. I think it was on stage but it could have been a movie. I also met Eileen Joyce the pianist and Mum came home one day with a signed copy of her book which I still have.

Cherished Memories

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Finding this site has brought many wonderful memories back to me. I was born in St Mary's Hospital, Croydon. My maiden name was Chappell. I lived in Purley Road, South Croydon not far from the Red Deer until 1957. Every Saturday I travelled to Croydon with Mum or, when old enough, on my own or with friends. Usually Kennards was my first stop where I made for the Arcade to see the ponies and other animals etc. It was a magical place at Christmas with Santa's Grotto and lovely decorations. Then I would go across the road to Allders which seemed a huge shop to me. Then along the High Street to Martin Fords or C&A. I loved Surrey Street Market. I learned to swim at the swimming baths down Scarborough Hill at the end of the market opposite Millets. My teacher was called Ross Eagle. I remember the water was always freezing cold and was always glad when the lesson was over. Then maybe I would visit the posh... Read more

Where I Was Born

Hospital 1894, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

This is the Hospital where I was born

Kennards 2

Surrey Street Market c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Reminiscences of Kennards Arcade brought back memories for me too. As a child, I was in Croydon for most of the war and "ponies", as we called the arcade, was a favourite spot when shopping. It helped with the war effort by displaying informative and morale-boosting mini-exhibitions along part of its length. Three of these stand out - a "daring" live silhouette of a glamorous young lady, probably inspired by cartoon character Jane, taking a bath in the recommended meagre depth of water; a reconstruction of a coal mine, through which one could walk, to encourage the recruitment of "Bevin Boys" who were detailed to the pits instead of to the armed forces; and the exhibition of an intact "doodlebug" - the flying bomb to which we were subjected.

Croydon Town Hall And Library

Town Hall c1965, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I too remember the town hall and library and the damage done during a wartime bombing raid. The repairs took a long time to do but were so good it was impossible to see where the damage had been done. The reference library was second to none and it helped my brother and I pass our exams.

Lime Tree Walk

Tree Walk, Whitgift Middle School c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Boys were not allowed to cycle on the school premises so I had to walk this leafy lane twice daily. I was scooting my bike homeward towards the Wellesley Road entrance one afternoon, expecting to hear a prefectorial shout ordering me to walk, when an air gun pellet struck me painfully between the shoulders. Looking round I saw a group of embarrassed sixth-formers seeking to dissociate themselves from a red-capped prefect holding an awkward bundle. In my anger I mounted my bike and rode the remaining 50 yards to the exit without further penalty.

I sometimes settled in the shade of these trees with my chums when swotting for finals or watching cricket on a Saturday afternoon.

The destruction of the avenue was, in my mind, a great loss to Croydon when the school site was re-developed in 1966

Leslie King (

Lanfranc Girls' School Prize Giving

Technical College, The Denning Hall c1965, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

Between year 1962-65 I seem to remember that the Denning Hall was used on at least one occasion for Lanfranc Girls's Prize Giving Ceremony. I also think the Fairfield Hall may have been used as a venue. I remember one year receiving prizes from Mrs Godfrey Talbot. I was a member of the school choir which would perform during the course of the evening ceremony.

Registrars Office

Taberner House c1970, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I remember attending the Registry Office which was part of Taberner House to notify a death of a family member. Also to get married.

18+ Group

The Swan And Sugarloaf Hotel 1902, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

The 18+ social group used to hold meetings here. Previously they used to be held in rooms in the Blue Anchor nearby.

Buddy Rich Concert

Fairfield Halls c1965, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I remember attending concerts here between 1969-1974; especially 'Buddy Rich and his Orchestra'. The best of these being the year that Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Lane were in the audience and we ended up with 'extra time' and a wonderful impromptu encore .. what a memorable evening.

Croydon Town Hall Library

Town Hall c1965, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I remember many very happy hours in the wonderful library. Besides the books the wonderful architectural details, the grand staircase and all the lovely dark rich  wood everywhere. The new library may have more space and all the modern facilities but by comparison it is soul-less and cold.


The Underpass c1965, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I remember going under on my scooter en route to Beddington only to find the wind turned me completely round so I was facing where I had come from!

Foundation Scholar.

Whitgift Middle School c1950, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

I was a pupil at the school from 1943 to 1948 from the age of 10. I used to travel there from Norbury on the tram, having won a Scholarship from Norbury Manor School. I came from a typically working class background and to be fortunate enough to attend this school was a considerable advantage. Mr. Clayton was Headmaster, with the imposing Dr. Shutt his deputy. It was wartime of course, and many morning assemblies in Big School were marked with the latest news of deaths of old boys. I particularly remember Mr. Taylor our Art master announcing the landings in Normandy in 1944, and the bombing of Allders. My time there is remembered with gratitude, but it was difficult at times due to the cultural differences with life at home. I now realise how hard it must have been for my parents, who found the way of life and social mores of the school completely foreign to them. They never visited the place during my time there. I... Read more

Fair And Lake - Wandle Park, Croydon

Wandle Park c1955, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

A travelling fair each summer here was both a delight and a way to earn a few shillings when the fair ended. I would help dismantle the rides and stalls, working hard from morning to evening for about five shillings (25p) some of which would then be spent next day on hiring a rowing boat on the lake! The families who owned the rides were generous and very hardworking. I loved those times and it seems such a shame that the boating lake is no more.

There were little arched footbridges here and there and I shall never forget the way the water was reflected on the underside of the bridge as the boat glided under each one. There was an island in the centre of the lake and sometimes I would stop the rowboat in the rushes around the middle island. It was like being beside an island in the sea for a 12 year old lad, keeping a sharp eye peeled for... Read more

Watching The Steam Trains From This Bridge

Wandle Park c1970, Croydon
Enlarge photo |  More about this photo

This railway footbridge was one of my favourite places as an eleven and twelve year old lad, back in 1946 and 1947.
I would stand for ages in the centre of this bridge just waiting for the next steam train to rumble and thunder beneath me. Clouds of steam and smoke would billow up, strongly smelling and smutty stuff but highly exciting too! I would try to count the trucks or carriages as they passed below. Some of the freight trains seemed endlessly long, truck after truck after truck - with tons of coal uniformly filled and neatly mounded.

I was not "train spotting", or collecting engine numbers or anything like that. It was just the sheer joy of seeing and listening to these fascinating machines pass beneath me on this super footbridge - so long ago, but still as fresh as ever in my memory.

Davidson Road Secondary School

My name is Hazel Lynch (nee Greenslade) I remember Davidson Road school with fond memories I left in 1947 after serving as School Captain. Miss Linington was Head Mistress, and Miss Deane, Miss Davies and Miss Emdin were teachers. In my last year on Friday afternoons we were allowed to choose our own activity, I chose Miss Emdins class where she narrated the story weekly of the '39 Steps' You could hear a pin drop, she was a superb story teller. Although the boys and girls were completely separate, one year a rounders match was arranged boys v girls and one of our girls knocked out the back-stops teeth! My mother attended school here also my children Corinne and Noel Evans. I am in touch with Marion a former pupil, who lives in Western Australia, also June Phillips, Marion became a Nurse, June a shorthand typist and I a Clerical Supervisor so the school did us proud!!

Early Years in Upper Norwood

I was born on Brixton Hill in 1937 but my family moved to Upper Norwood very shortly after. We were close to St Joseph's Catholic School on Crown Dale and had an idyllic time before we were evacuated to Peterborough. When we returned in 1946 St Joseph's was full so I had to go to Rockmount. Not a happy place for me apart from Miss Hansor who taught me most of my present vocabulary, and John Morgan and Miss Badcock who taught me to appreciate classical music and encouraged us all to go to the Civic Hall Concerts. In 1948 I took the eleven plus and ended up at Heath Clark - then in Winterbouirne Road, Thornton Heath. Again, not a particularly happy experience apart from Mr Birtles who taught me French and enabled me to speak the language still, remembering nearly all my grammar and using a a fairly good accent. Charlie Cochran helped me to appreciate Shakespeare but all the science and maths teachers failed dismally to teach... Read more

Park Lane Croydon

I can remember going to the circus in the car park in Park Lane. It would have been in the early 50's which then became the site of the Tech College in later years. Also across the road was the fire station, before St George's tower block was built.

Can anyone remember the coal yard in Dingwall Road on the right hand side from George Street.  I went to Coloma prep school in the 50's and hated walking up Dingwall Road on my own to catch the bus at East Croydon home.

Boarding & Quarantine Kennel

I worked at a large boarding & quarantine kennel for a year or two back in the late 60's or early 70's, in the Croydon area and I wondered if anyone remembers the name or even location - or anyone that might have worked there. I always thought it was owned by Spratt's but I don't know if I'm mistaken - I loved working there and don't even remember why I left.

Mayday Hospital Croydon

I am Irish and did nurse training in the Mayday Hospital from 1962 until 1965. The work was very hard, but we, the student nurses, enjoyed a good social life. I loved visiting all the shops in Croydon but had very little money to spend; we earned about 12 pounds per month (yes per mont). The Irish nurses went dancing in an Irish club in Balham, some of us met our future husbands there, as I did. We married in St Marys Catholic Church, Wellesley Road in 1965. We are still together and live in Ireland now. I enjoyed my years in Croydon and visited it in 2010. I wonder where all of my class of Sept 1962 are now. I remember Mavis and Ruth, also Jennifer, and a lot of Irish girls who returned home in later years. I lived at Broad Green Avenue in Croydon and got married from there in November 1965. I shared a flat with Eileen O'Connell who also was my... Read more

Good Old Days!

I was born in 1948 and lived in Galpins Road for the first 15 years. Remember many school mates living down the road. I went to Gonville Primary School; still know all the teacher's names, even though it was in the late fifties! Played in the Mayfield rec nearly every night, so mum knew where I was! Moved to Beddington. When I left school at Pollards Hill Secondary in 1965, went to spend four happy years at ‘the handy shop’ at Reeves Corner selling electronic components. Made many friends with the customers - they were the 'good old days!'

YWCA (mixed)

Does anyone remember the Y.W.C.A club at Sydenham Road, just off of Wellesey Rd in the late 40's and early 50's? It had a dance hall in the back garden. I think it was run by an American lady named Miss Murdoch, she was the typical bobby soxer; wearing sneakers and white ankle socks. It was a great place to go and have a good time dancing to decent music.

St Stephens, Warwick Road And The Youth Club

I lived in Langdale Road and became head choirboy at St Stephens. Have fond memories of many parts of Croydon. Does anyone know of what became of Coral Parkin in Beverstone Road. She and I met at the youth club and were good friends. We used to get neighbours lace curtains twitching outside her house, and then my house. Just innocently kissing and cuddling to 'give the neighbours some entertainment'. Remember there was no T.V. in those days.

1945 To2012 Croydon

I came to Croydon after being evacuated during the War. I lived in Sydenham Road. First school was Tavistock Infants in Grenaby Avenue, since demolished, then Sydenham Junior School (demolished) then Tavistock Seniors when boys and girls went there but were segregated by a wall right down the playground. We used to try and look over the wall but always got caught by a teacher. That school was also demolished, I got married in Holy Trinity Church, Selhurst in 1959 to a girl from Gloucester Road; still together now 53 years later. That church also demolished. I live in Selsdon now, so many memories of days gone by. Princess Road boys club, teddy boy days in the 50s, drape suits made in Blake Brothers shop in the high street. I could go on and on but won't know when to stop. I worked in Hearn and Sons butchers shop South Croydon in 1953 - used to go to the slaughter house down... Read more

Market & The Gloucester

I was born in Northcote Road just around from the Gloucester in 1947. My grandparents were Burtons. I lived there until we migrated to Australia in 1961. I have so many memories but have never been back to England. I went to school at Sydenham Road primary and then to Tavistock Girls secondary in Tamworth Rd. My grandmothers family - the Bradstocks had a stall in the Surrey St market. We went to the market often. I remember attending Ballet performances at the Davis I think, and swimming in the pool near the market with school. Oh so many memories raised by looking at all the entries on this site. I would love to know what happened to Sheana Lewis, Dorothy Buttle and Dorothy Strudwick who I went to school with and also a girl named Penelope who I was friends with in Primary school but who went to selsdon Grammar. contact

Stanley Road

I was born in Keston Road, but when war was declared my parents moved us to South Harrow. We returned after the war to Stanley Road into a shop which was owned by one of my aunties. It had previously been occupied by another of my aunties who had 3 small children and had found it difficult to manage. The customers were varied and quite colourful. We were opposite to a public house called The Pauline Arms. They regularly had pub outings and the regulars, which were mostly men, would load the luggage boot of the coach with crates of beer. In the late evening they would return rather the worse for drink and would tumble out of the coach into the arms of their respective wives who propped them up in order to get them home. On one occassion a fight broke out between the men and a pile of jackets were deposited in the road as the 2 sides squared up... Read more

Change Gear

Does anyone remember the groovy big boutique called Change Gear that was on the corner at West Croydon? The clothes were outrageous, including patchwork satin jackets, Minnie Mouse shoes and handkerchief skirts. Upstairs was some kind of cafe where I think lots of pot smoking was going on. I have a dress from that shop still.


I remember my first job in Croydon, it was at Grants. Back in 1966. Just finished school and thought I was so grown up. I liked working there, did not stay long went on to London. Croydon sure has changed these past 40+ years. But it will always be the same in my memories. Not been there since 1970. Maybe some day I'll make it back for a visit.

Tarentella Coffee Bar - Happy Memories

I met my husband of 41 years back in the 60's, I lived in Shirley, a very new housing estate then, called Shrublands. We used to ride around Croydon and Norbury on his scooter and often visited the Tarentella coffee bar near Pollards Hill on the main road through Thornton Heath to Norbury. My husband's mother worked part time in Miss Shears wool shop, on the main road. We also met friends in the Wimpey Bar, Norbury near the Norbury Hotel, my husband lived in Goston Gardens.

Coffee Bar South Croydon

The coffee bar at South Croydon with 'steps' was known as the Chalet Swiss. So called, as it resembled a typical Swiss wooden building. It was one of only a few places 'teenagers' could meet. Another was the Tarantella on the A23 towards Norbury.

Croydon, Surrey Street And A E Pearce

I have very fond memories of Croydon, especially Reeves Corner which has now been destroyed. I was born on Fairholme Road in 1974, but moved to Wallington when I was three. But we shopped in Croydon most Saturdays, catching the 157 or the 154 to the bus garage. I was wondering if anyone knew what business A.E Pearce on Surrey Street, next to Ye old dog and Bull, was? I also used to work in the NLA tower next to East Croydon station and had many a Costa Coffee there. In addition, I worked just down the road. My nan used to work in the pub that became the Blue Orchid. Lots and lots of memories I could write about. Definately want to know what A. E Pearce business was. If anyone knows, please reply.Thank you, Lainy. I moved away from Croydon 6 years ago now and do miss the hussle and bussle o

Coffee Bars

I was born in Croydon in 1945 and lived in Victoria Place near Duppas Hill Lane. I went to the Howard School, then on to St Andrews School. My friends and I used to go to a coffee shop in South Croydon, I think it was it was in Lower Selsdon Road. I remember you had to go up a few steps to the front door. Can anyone remember the name of this coffee shop? Thanks, Cliff (Kip) Carver.

Some Memories of Croydon in The in 1950's

I was born in Croydon in 1948, and lived there until 1960. Some of my memories are going to the fish & chip shop in Surrey Street and munching on the chips as we walked home to Edridge Road. Also, the Saturday mornings at the Classic Cinema in South Croydon. I used to go to Beulah Infant School, Thornton Heath, Howard Junior School and spent a year at Fairchilds Secondary School, New Addington. Another memory was when Liberace appeared at the Davis Theatre. We didn't see the show but caught a glipse of him as he left the stage door. My grandfather used to have a small cafe in Handcroft Road, Broadgreen. It was known as Bunny's Snack Bar.

Ice Skating

I was stationed at Kenley in the RAF and used to go ice skating nearly every day, walking down from Kenley. I still ice skate, I have been to all the London ice rinks and Hampton Court and my regular one at Guildford. I am 84 next week.

Fever And Festival

I remember January 1951, my second year at Croydon Parish Church Infants' School, I was six. I was beginning to wonder where about a quarter of the class had gone. Then I fell ill and Dr Schofield (not sure which one, there were two brothers, Dr James and Dr Robert) said, "It's scarlet fever!" I was taken, with my Ration Book, to the Isolation Hospital at Waddon. I was there three weeks, and found out where my classmates were! We were not allowed visitors, not even parents - that was hard at only six years old! There was one very kind nurse named Seneca, who used to keep in contact with my Mother for some time afterwards. I was pleased to be home for my sister Glenda's fourth birthday. Unfortuneately, she went off to the Isolation Hospital on that day, as she had caught scarlet fever, but not from me.

Later that year, my Dad took me to London for the... Read more

Longheath Gardens

I attended Ashburton Primary for a short time before transferring to Monks Orchard, The Glade. My parents moved from Colleridge Road, which was on the housing estate behind the fire station, to Longheath Gardens in about 1959/60. I remember walking to Monks Orchard with my friend, her cat would follow us but always stop at the main road and when we crossed the cat would watch for a while, turn and go back home. Mr Critchlow (not sure of the spelling) was the headmaster of Monks Orchard, I can remember being sent to his office on an errand and the smell of cigarette smoke was always evident. I remember him giving out sweets as a sort of "thankyou". I think he drove to work in a sports car, have no idea of the make. In the juniors I'm pretty sure there was an open fire and often the free milk ended up very warm by the time you got to drink it! The class took it in turn to be... Read more

The Gloucester. West Croydon.

I was born in 1949 in Northcote Road just across the road from the Gloucester. My uncle, Eddie Clements, lived there up until January 2012. He has just recently passed away. I have fond memories of the area. I went to Tavistock School in the 1960s. I spent many hours playing in Whitehorse Road Rec. Stanley Halls was a night out for me when I was not really old enough to get in. Later I moved to Pemdevon Road just off of Broad Green. The ABC cinema was a regular Saturday morning place to go. The manager used to threaten to cut the cartoon if we wouldn't calm down and be quiet. When I left school I got into motor bikes and used to frequent Thornton Heath Pond and the Nightingale Cafe in Biggin Hill. I now live in West Sussex. To me Croydon has changed but not for the better. You can take the Boy out of Croydon but you can't take Croydon out of the Boy.

Parsons Mead, Norbury, Winterbourne, Selhurst, Top Rank Suite

My grandparents moved to Parsons Mead when grandad was transferred to Croydon Co-op. My mum, Eunice Moat, was head girl at Selhurst in about 1937. I went to Winterbourne In the infants we learnt the maypole dances. My partner was Trevor. The Junior girls were on the ground floor, the boys on the first floor. Classmates were Christine Ogilvie, Susan Hoppy, Lynda Payne, Christine Sendjak and Christine Tomashevski. The headmistress Miss Bray had a Morris minor. An early memory is of the donkeys at Kennards. Also a Croydon festival or Son et Lumiere with a re-enactment of a fire. Dancing on Tuesday nights at the Suite and my first burger at the Wimpy in Croydon.

Does Anyone Remember Skip? I am Also Looking For The Son of Irene (Rene) Maiden Name Reeves.

Hello, does anyone remember Skip? He used to take boys from poorer families on day trips, swimming, to the beach etc. Also, I'm looking for the son of Irene Reeves, this wasn't her married name, they may have been Hussey. She was my mum's favourite auntie on her dad's side, and I'm looking into the family tree and getting stuck.

Orchid Purley

All the Mowtown and Reggae groups in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Shirley Avenue

I lived as a child in Croydon. My memories were the shops, tea at Alders, a special treat of milk shake at Macdonalds (there was only one at that time and it tasted better!). There was a sweet shop at the bottom of Shirley Avenue where I would stop to buy sweets on my way back from school. My mum would ask me go to the Butchers shop on lower Addiscombe which I did not mind since they were ever so nice. Ashburton Park was great especially when the fair or the circus came. The library was great. I had such great memories of Croydon and hope to be able to return and show off the sites one day to my family. A special hello to my piano teacher, Mrs. Goslett ... Wherever she is.

Air Raid Shelters Being Delivered

I was born in Abbey Road 1935 and I can remember air raid shelters being delivered by horse and cart, was it Carter Pattison? That name rings a bell. I can remember going out into the road after an air raid to collect shrapnell. I left Croydon aged 23 when I got married, My memories of my early life were great despite the worries of the air raids. Wandle Park was a great place to go and play, but when Mum had time She took us to Beddington park (no gas works or factories near there). I can remember going up to Surrey Streett to help Mum buy the vegetables. Mum used to take us to the Methodist Church opposite the main hospital on Sunday afternoons. We were very well treated there, although we were not Methodists. One day the Dagenham Girl Pipers gave a performence and I fell in love with Pipes and Drums. If anyone would like to get in contact with me my e-mail is

Old Pub of Croydon.

Southbridge Road, South Croydon. I am looking for the name of a building that was at 94 Southbridge Road in Croydon. I am presuming it was a pub... we have a photo of it - looks like a pub but is it?

Lanfranc Girls And Boys

I have finally found a site where the Lanfranc name is Girls and Boys. I lived in Rosecourt Road in Croydon from the age of 11 until we moved to Kent when I was about 17. My brother Alan went to Lanfranc boys and I to the Lanfranc girls school. Alan was the light of my life, I say was because he went to Norway on that awful day. I loved him dearly and have just started reading the "Lanfranc Boys" book written by Rosalind Jones. I would like to thank my dear ice-skating friend Carol (Brown) Thornton for what she put in the book, (please get in touch). Also Bill Cooper, Barry Lee and Barry Sturgess. Thank you all for your input (made me cry), it will probably be a long time before I finish the book through the tears. We had loads of fun living where we did behind Lanfranc girls school, sometimes I would creep out of bed just before the whistle... Read more

Fiona Stewart, Are You Out There?

Looking to re-connect with Fiona Stewart (maiden name), daughter of Ken and Hilda Stewart. Fiona, my Mum (Lilian Holmes) and I used to visit you when we lived in New York. I now live in Canada. Where are you now?


My father came from Croydon, he was Peter Odonoghue, my grandparents lived in Stanley in Stanley Road with my Aunt Patrica (Pat). I remember going to Kennards arcade for the pony rides and one Christmas had a red cape brought from there. My mum's sister still lives in Thornton Heath. Sadly my parnets are now dead so I can't tell them about this site. Croydon brings lots of happy memories for me. I now live in Suffolk.

The Six Bells Croydon

My dad Les Seary was a member of the Buffs that met at The Six Bells Pub and my mum Gwen would stay in the bar with the other wives why they had their meeting. I also remember going with my parents to your aunt and uncle's pub The Hare and Hounds and I thought it was wonderful as it was in the country. How my brother, sister and myself enjoyed sitting outside the pub drinking our pepsi and eating our crisps and on special days a bar of Cadburys Dairy Milk! wonderful memories.

Mitcham Road.

I was born in Thornton Heath in 1960, but now live on the Mitcham road, near the old Queen Vic pub. We know our house is over 150 years old, but have no photos of either the house, or surrounding area, which shows what it was like in the past. There are so few photos available from archive sources for this area, and would dearly like to hear from anyone who lived (lives) in the area, who may have a photo of anything between the Queen Vic pub, and Sumner Road.

Orchid Ballroom

I remember the Orchid Balloom in Purley, I had so many super nights there, dancing and meeting up with friends. My sisters and I went there almost every Saturday, jiving the night away. I even met my husband there, and we are still together, I came from Kenley in Surrey, not too far away from the Orchid. There are no such ballrooms to go to now, sadly. Oh, those were the very happy days...

Belmont School

We lived in Earlswood Avenue, Thornton Heath from 1949-52 and used to walk or sometimes catch a 16/18 tram to Galpins Road, on the border of Th Heath and Norbury, where my brother and I attended Belmont School. It was run by a lady called Miss Jeffrey, and has long since closed. It was based in two houses in Galpins Road, both of which have now presumably reverted to residential status.
I remember the last trams, and the subsequent demolition of Thornton Heath tram depot and the building of the new bus depot.
We used to go fishing in Thornton Heath pond - sticklebacks, carefully taken home in jam jars, to survive usually but a few days.
Croydon itself - magical Surrey Street, wonderful Kennards arcade, and that SUPER toy shop in George Street.
Good days. We were poor (so was everyone) but we were extremely happy.

Orchid Ballroom

Oh yes, wonderful evenings spent waiting for the invitation to dance. I have photos of the exciting evening when the TV cameras came and televised us jiving. I even remember the site when it was a skating rink.

Growing up in South Norwood And Visiting Central Croydon

I was born in Rotherhithe in 1939 and moved with my parents to south Norwood when I was 3. I went to Cypress Primary School during the last year of the war and remember vividly walking from home in South Norwood Hill to school following nights of air raids and dogfights over our house. My memories are of passing spaces where the homes of my schoolfriends once stood. Also collecting waste newspapers at school and harvesting fruit from the school grounds. I recall sheltering in the public air raid shelter in Portland Road when shopping with my mother. My parents took me to Croydon regularly on the 654 trolley bus and we visited the Kennards Arcade, a wonderland with shetland pony rides. Sometimes we had tea in the tea room upstairs, decorated with lilac blossom murals and listened to the "Gipsy" string band while we ate. My brother and I attended post-war parties hosted by Corona Drinks company when they were behind Stanley Halls. I went to John Ruskin Boys Grammar School... Read more

Lanfranc School

With the 50th anniversary of the tragic air crash involving my classmates in 2011 I thought I would add a few memories. I could so easily have been on that plane had it not been for the fact that I wanted to buy my first cycle. I saved half the cost towards one I had my eye on. The plan being to ask my parents for the other half instead of going on the school trip. A cunning plan that worked and now I am a retired father of two and have my first grandchild. I no longer live in Croydon where I was born in Mayday Hospital (1946) and lived for a while in Rochford Way before moving to Woodcroft Road in Thornton Heath. Now I live in Sussex but have made several visits to Croydon (Mitcham) Cemetery to pay my respects to the boys interred there. When I went to evening classes at Lanfranc we used to dare each other to ride down the cycle track that divided the... Read more

The Six Bells, Handcroft Road

I'm not a native of Croydon, but I remember visiting The Six Bells when my uncle was the landlord there during the 1960s. I was in the army at that time, based in Harrogate, Yorkshire and when heading for home in Weymouth when on leave, I would lodge there overnight on my way. My uncle's name was Ralph Beaden, and aunt was Chris (Christine). They sold Courage beers if my memory serves me correctly and I enjoyed many a pint there. Upstairs, at the front of the building over the public bar, there was a meeting room that was used by the Buffs (Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffalos). My uncle and aunt moved out the The Six Bells sometime in the late 1960s and took on The Hare and Hounds at Upper Warlingham.

Home Sweet Home

I was born in Lancing Road, numnber 38a, and have an elder brother John. I can remember at one end of the sStreet corner was a vegetable shop and the other was a junk yard, at the other end was a sweet shop and the other side was a grocers by the name of Hopkins, where I can remember going for a half pound of broken biscuits. Around the corner was Purely Way Roundabout, where my dad took me every year to stand and watch the London to Brighton old car race. My memories of May Day and the Croydon General Hospital's embedded in my thoughts as I was ill quite often. My first work was in the A G I factory, and then I moved to Reeves furniture shop delivering new and auctioned goods. I often think back to my mates Colin Parker, Dave Dulerway, Peter Jones and Rodney Fife, and many more whose names have gone from me. During the week there were a horse and cart delivering vegetables, an ice cream... Read more

The Orchid Ballroom Purley.

Ah yes, I remember it well.  It was magical to go there and dance the evening away.  So many great bands in the 50's.  The floor was great, the music super.
I learned to dance at a place called Quinns dance school near south Croydon.  Tony and Marjorie were great teachers and MC's.  I was born at Mayday hospital, and was raised in Riddlesdown, near Purley.  Attended St Annes College in Sanderstead till 1950, then went to work in London.
I remember the trolley cars that ran along the Brighton Road to Croydon where I shopped with my parents and siblings.  Loved the Davis theatre and saw Maurice Chevalier and some wonderful Ballet performances there.  My favourite stores were Kennards, Grants, and Allders, where my friend and I went for lunch sometimes  and had "beans on toast" all we could afford back then.  They had "tea dances" there too. I learned to swim in the great city pool near Surrey Street.  I visited Croydon in 2004 on a trip from... Read more

Further to my History of The Granada Thornton Heath

I have been searching Google Earth photos, I cannot find any trace of The Granada Thornton Heath. It appears to have now been demolished. What a shame, a part of my childhood has disappeared completely
John Wimpenny 16.5.2010

Pitlake Bridge

Maybe a bit later but I remember a shop on Pitlake Bridge that sold unusual foreign plastic kits and Toys - There was another in Southbridge Road as well, or maybe the same one moved there.. I also recall going into a sort of bookshop with a small printing press near the window. My Dad was a printer and I think wanted to show me the machine. From what I know now, this must have been a left wing / anarchist hangover from the Croydon Brotherhood Church of the turn of the century. Does anyone else remember these, both on the actual raised bit of the bridge near Reeves Corner? Something I will always regret is in the late 1960s when an old photographers and wireless shop opposite Reeves Corner closed down. There was skip FULL of old photos and radio valves being thrown out. I did salvage a few - but that must have been a treasure trove lost forever.

St. Saviour's Road, Croydon

I lived at 86 St. Saviour's Road - early 50's. I've so many memories of the area - the small garage halfway along the road, the local Greengrocer's (Pacitis), the shops on Queen's Road - including the Fish Shop as well as Jacobs' Sweet Shop in Queen's Road and so on.

St Saviours Road, Croydon

I was born in Croydon (St Mary's Hospital I think) in 1948. We lived in St Saviours Road until I was aged approximately 5 or 6 when we moved to the West Midlands. We would always go back though and spend some of our summer holidays there with my Aunty Gwen (Wood) who was my mum's (Eileen Partridge) sister.

Brother of Christine Brown/ Brooks, See Previous Memory.

I was born in Mayday Hospital in 1938 and was brought up in Clarendon Road, West Croydon. I went to the Croydon Parish Church, Waddon Secondary Modern and Stanley Technical Schools. I would walk over Pitlake Bridge taking my sister Christine and myself to the Parish Church school and like her, I remember well how it all used to be before it became the current Jubillee Bridge. I used to know John Phillips, Fuzzy May, Audrey Latta, Maurice Eastman, Alan Eastmond, Tony Greenhead, Len Harvey, Brian Wilson/Wiltshire and many others of my era and would like to hear from them or any others that might read this and remember me. I have lived in Sydney for 36 years now, but tend to come home to Croydon every year as Christine still lives there. I also miss England greatly and despite doing well over here, I should probably never have emigrated so far away from what I know and remember. So, if there is anyone out there that wants to say... Read more

Pitlake Bridge Area

I was born in Clarendon Road and live there now. Pitlake bridge years ago before it was changed to Jubilee bridge had shops on either side, provision shop Hallidays?, the butchers, a hairdressers, Wally Whitbourne's grocery shop, sweet shop, Weenole's newspaper shop, fish & chips, the right hand side had another sweet shop, a tv etc shop, the pubs were down further and the Alms Houses, Cottons?, the baby store and the veg shop and the traffic lights and so forth. I went to Tavistock Secondary Modern Girls' School where there were steps going down Pitlake bridge where there is now a Church/Mission Hall. I remember The Black Boy, the Six Bells public house, Reeves, another fish shop in Handcroft Road, the Post Office on the corner of Derby Road. I was one of the girls that worked with the horses in the ring in Kennards and also went to Beddington Park on a Sunday giving rides to the children, ponies were called Maisy, Lane, Snowy, Sceptre, Susan etc. The smaller Sheltand ponies... Read more


I started my first job at UDT in George Street, Croydon in 1957 (age 15). I met my husband at the Orchid Ballroom, Purley on 21 May 1960 and left my job in London to work at Milne & Russell, South Croydon prior to getting married in 1963. When I next returned to Croydon I drove the wrong way up George Street! (It wasn't one-way in my day). The concrete jungle had begun to replace the lovely old buildings, Grants was a shambles and Kennards was no more. I've never been back. Prefer to remember the old Croydon - happy days.

S Ede

Grant Brothers, Stuart Hunt & Ellis Kensington

Oh how wonderful to come across this site. I was born in Beckenham but worked in Croydon. My first job was receptionist at a solicitors office - Stuart Hunt & Co. - I met my first boyfriend there and there was a wonderful clerk who took me under his wing and he and his wife stayed in touch with my mum for a number of years. I also worked at Ellis Kensington in the Whitgift Centre. I remember Kennards arcade and the pony rides, Surrey Street Market, seeing the Everly Brothers, Jack Jones, Segovia and probably others I can't recall at the Fairfield Halls. My mum worked at the Davis Theatre on the switchboard and I'd often get the bus from school and go there to meet her after school. I got to see the Bolshoi Ballet perform and Eileen Joyce the pianist - I have a signed copy of her biography. What wonderful memories. Does anyone remember a boarding and quarantine kennel run out Wallington way I think? I worked there... Read more

The ORCHID BALLROOM Purley, Near Croydon

Did anyone ever go dancing in the Orchid Ballroom, back in the 1950s? I most certainly did, even though I was only approaching my 17th birthday!

This superb dance venue, with its huge floor, revolving bandstand and some of THE best dance-bands in the country was hugely successful in those long-gone days and was the place where many lasting relationships were formed.

One evening I was lucky enough to be there when "Come Dancing" was being broadcast! What a privilege that was.

Another memorable night was when Victor Sylvester and his Orchestra were guesting there. The great Victor, so elegant as he conducted his small ensemble.

Although the place no longer exists as a dance-hall the memories of it linger on. I can still see myself walking down the carpeted steps to the pay-box on the left, searching the crowd within to see if I knew any of the dancers.

One evening I asked the resident bandleader if we could... Read more

Croydon Union Infirmary

Hi all, I am trying to trace my family, does anybody know of the Union Infirmary? I think it was a poor house. Any info or pics would be gratefully recieved.

Lanfrancs Air Disaster/ Kennards

Year: 1956 I was born in Croydon and used to go to Gonville School where I sat next to a boy named (I think) Geoffrey Green. My father moved us to Sussex before I went on to secondary school. A few years later, the Lanfrancs air crash happened. I believe that I knew most of the boys who died on that day. Had I still been in Croydon, I would have been one of them. I also knew some girls whilst at Gonville - in particular Tessa Hopkins and Celia Pinkerton - I used to have a crush on them! Once in a while I wonder whatever happened to them - it was all such a long while ago but sometimes it seems only yesterday. Whilst living in Croydon my father often took me to Kennards Arcade - I remember the donkey rides! But the main attraction was the pet shop where my father would buy tropical fish. Now I live in New Zealand...

Croydon, Thornton Heath And Norbury

I was born and brought up in Croydon and although I now live in the Channel Islands I still regard it as my home. I remember living in Northborough Road, Norbury and attending Norbury Manor Infants School only briefly. We used to go to the ABC Minors on a Saturday morning and my mum used to clean a dance studio next door. We moved to Lower Addisombe Road about 1964ish and we lived at 11 Alexander Road. I vividly remember Halls Butchers on the corner and the general store and sweet shop next door, and the owner who always wore a brown button-up overall and wore the hugest glasses. I also remember Fishers clothes shop and Mr Boxall's horse which lived under Windmill Bridge. We used to play in the rec at the bridge and watch the Brighton Belle pass by. My friends at that time were Linda Tullett who also lived in  Alexander Road and Yvonne Amy an Indian (I think) girl who lived on the corner of Alexander... Read more

Buddy Rich Concert in Fairfield Hall

I'm not sure of the year but I attended a Buddy Rich concert once in the
Fairfield Hall. I was living in Holland at the time when I heard of the concert and as he was my idol, I rushed to make a reservation by phone. However, due to transport difficulties, we arrived late. Imagine my surprise when the management apologised and said "We've had to give you two folding chairs - and they're on the stage!". Incredible as it may seem, my wife and I sat on the stage and if I had stretched out my hand, I could have touched Rich's bass tom-tom. This could never happen today - and knowing his temperament, I'm amazed that we were tolerated. What a performance - I felt every rim-shot through my feet!
I wonder if anyone remembers seeing us - or was it just a dream?

Lanfranc School Air Disaster

I lived in Frith Road, Croydon and was in the same class as some of my friends who went on the trip to Norway. My parents couldn't afford the price for the trip (at that stage their were seven of us!). I went with the Mitcham Road Surrey ACF on summer camp instead. A strange thing happend whilst at camp one night, everybody was assembled and the air disaster was announced, I remember being very sad at the thought of not seeing boys I had known a long time. I remember that one of the Officers was also a teacher (not at Lanfranc) and that very sadly his brother was one of the teachers killed in the air crash, he of course went straight back home. Then of course there was the funeral, like, I expect, most of the children I was a bit confused at the ceremony, but the reading of the names brought the reality of it all to life.
My parents are remembered at Croydon Cemetery... Read more

The Toss of A Coin.

It was my brother Quentin Green who tossed a coin for the last seat on the plane that was to take 34 boys and two masters (Mr Budd and Mr Beacham) to Stavanger in Norway. One boy had to give up his place at the last moment (although there had been, I have come to know, many boys whose parents had to remove them from the trip because they could not afford it), and according to the newspapers at the time this boy was named as Denis Fields whose widowed mother could not afford the last payment. So my brother Quentin (also known as 'Greenfly' and 'Kew Green') tossed a coin for it. Quentin always called heads. He did so this fateful time - and won. Only he lost. I have always wondered who the other boy was but have never been able to find him. I would love to know what he has done with his life. I am now reaching the final stages of research into the whole... Read more

Waddon Etc

I was born in 1948 and lived in Waddon Court Road until 1963. I remember the joy of Waddon Ponds just three doors away, and rRunning the gauntlet with the park keepers such as 'Pegleg', a cruel nickname following the 'legend' of a leg break by a swan!

The paper shop next door to Coopers was Wickhams and at the other end of the parade was the cafe run by Mr Coombes. He had a daughter Susan. The Saturday milk round finished here with two rounds of toast and an orange juice. The UD milkman was Maurice. This was about 1957/8. After the milk round I had a job with the butchers, Poulters if I remember rightly. One Saturday morning the bike fell over in Court Drive and one or two joints of meet became unwrapped and fell on the road! A quick wipe off and rewrap and I don't think anybody knew a thing. I used to buy 'Autosport' in those days and I kept all the... Read more

Norbury And Thornton Heath in The 1950s

Memories of Norbury and Thornton Heath are still vivid for me as I revisited the area a couple of years ago and many of the places I recall are still standing. Sadly, many are not. The Rex cinema was a favourite haunt and nearby was 'The Grandison School of Dancing' where I learned ballet for several years. Both now gone.

Does anyone remember going to Mrs Nicholson's nursery school in St Philip's church hall, Norbury? Or Sunday School at the old Methodist Church - now pulled down, although the church hall where we babies were weighed and measured in the 1940s is still there.

For many years the Granada cinema remained, converted to a Bingo hall, but on my last visit a couple of years ago they were demolishing it. The Savoy/ABC at Broad Green was also being demolished.

How I would love to see my old school - Croydon High - again, but alas the old buildings which were full of character (used to be private... Read more

Any Memories of Bill Black?

There was music shop on the Thornton Road in the mid 1950s, run by a Ada Lilian Rose who lived there with her three children. It's a bit of a long shot but I'm actually trying to trace someone called William or Bill Black who was a trombone player in The Billy Cotton band, who we think lived in the area and visited the shop around this time. I also know that he worked as a motor mechanic, possibly locally; was married and had a son around 8 years old.

If anyone has memories of any of this information, I would be very grateful if you could let me know. Thank you.


Theses photos have certainly brought back so many memories, how great to see it all as remembered, but to bring it all back correctly - the mind changes things! I loved Kennards - the smell and the sounds of that arcade will always live with me, I remember getting to the top  of the arcade and hearing the jingling of the ponies' bells and feeling so excited - also the beautiful smell of the Indian shop - I don't think I ever knew what it was. There was also a back entry to Grants, from Surrey Street I think? The smell of the greengrocery and the sound of the shouting vendors is also a strong memory - I hear it is still there. I lived in Norbury from 1950-1971, I used to get off the bus for school at West Croydon. The photo has reminded me of that very big electrical store - was it Ketts? I walked to swimming in Scarbrook Road every week past the building site that... Read more

The Waldrons

I was born in Mayday Hospital, lived in Croydon in 1952 with my family and Aunty Cis (Bassett) in the Waldrons and I remember playing in the spinney opposite the house. I remember the house being very big but then I was young. The last time I visited my aunty there I think was around 1965 and I hid because I didn't want to go home, which then was Darlington, Co. Durham.
My dad was Bill Eaton. I was very pleased to see the old photos of Croydon, my birth place. It is very special.

Does Anyone Remember William Reddington?

William Reddington owned or ran a shop in croydon around 1945-7 then emigrated to Canada. Does anyone remember the name of the shop ir him? He was my grandfather but I don't know much more about him than that. I think it may have been a paint shop or something like that.

Little Road, Addiscombe.

I moved to 11 Little Road when I was three. Opposite our little Victorian house was the playground, attended everyday by a lady who used to sit in her little hut and make tea. The road was a cul de sac, two rows of Victorian terraced houses, our semi detached 2 up 2 down house, and then a detached house at the top of the road. It must have been very old, thinking back the date it was built, probably around the 1700s. The road ran under Windmill Bridge and underneath were lock ups which the local green grocer used to house his horses that pulled his cart of veggies. Mr Boxall, I think, was his name. The playground had a large slide which, when the Queen's train passed through for the yearly races she attended, us kids would sit on and wave to the Royal train as it went through. She never did slow down and wave back! We had the biggest conker tree in the area, and we... Read more


, Sonja, I have lost your phone number, this is Margaret Matheson-Redpath. I live on canturbury road Please send your email again, Marg


I was born in Croydon in 1962 and lived in Milton Road.  I can remember visiting my nan and my dad's two brothers Reg and Ken.  They were really happy times and I can remember knowing I was near nan's when on the train I saw the playground in Addiscombe!!  My uncle Reg used to work at the Fairfield Halls and my Uncle ken & great uncle Stan on the buses.  My dad Ray and mum Rita lived in Croydon until about 1965, when I was three when we moved to Lincolnshire.  Lovely to read things on this site, I just wish dad was still here to have a look.

Lanfranc School For Girls

Yes me too! Having just stumbled across this website and having read your stories.
My dad was born in Bute Road just off the Mitcham Road and then moved to Albion Street number 7! He is now 99 and lives in Ewell. I was brought up in Aurelia Road my best friend Joyce Lucas, Michael Cocklin Robert Cocklin and his little sister Mary Cocklin, Beryl Mitchell Linda Tanner Christine Doors Eileen Morris and Tommy whose surname I have forgotten but his sister died of diabetes aged just 16. Anne Condon whose father had the off license in Thornton Road. How us kids used to play cricket, rounders hop scotch until it was too dark to see, jacks, two balls and we even used to climb up on top of the "Acan Tab" on the roof to see the workers down below, health & safety then, dont think so! We used to go "rabbiting" over the cemetery, ride our bikes all over Mitcham Common and beyond.... Read more

Fish And Chips

l was born at Westfield Rd. My dad's brother and his wife owned the fish and chip shop on Pitlake Bridge (which is now renamed Jubilee Bridge). There was also a paper shop called Weanholes, it belonged to an old woman, she was about 80, no teeth, always looked as if she was chewing her gums ah ah. l went to Croydon Parish Church School. And Sunday School at St Edmond's which was at the bottom of our road next to the park. We would all gather there to play hop scotch untill the street lights came on or we heard our mums calling us in. l remember the slaughterhouse and yes you did have to run inside your house if one got loose. Does anybody remember the sheep that was killed and they fould a baby that was a few days away from being born and the men saved its life and bottle fed it and would walk it about on a collar and lead for many years. Trudie... Read more

The Pictures And Being Young & Stupid

Hi Keith, I had actually written to you two months ago, but they (the site) must have sensored my message because I had written my e-mail address. I had mentioned that when I told Ken (my brother and your fellow mate) that you had responded Ken wanted to contact you. Ken is fine and living in San Fransisco, Marg is fine and living in a suburb of San Fransisco, and I recently moved to Tucson (out in the hot desert). Unfortunately, Ralph died of a viral infection of the heart about 15 years ago, my dad died in 1970, and mum past away 5 years ago.

Tell Sue that I had a crush (thought she was sweet) on her while growing up, and tell her I remember Marg getting into big big, BIG trouble over taking the cutains down, but funny on hind site. I guess Marg must have been inspired by the movie, "Gone with the wind"!

Sorry to hear... Read more

Rex Cinema Norbury

I was so excited when I discovered this site I just had to join!
I lived in Melfort Road from 1942 'til 1956 and went to Winterbourne and the Manor.
The story about the Rex echoed mine. My wife worked in the office block for CITB in about 1960/2. As kids we alternated between the Rex and the Granada and bunked into the Rex to see Blackboard Jungle, so much like the Manor! My first job was at Loverings opposite the Granada.
I have been on Friends ReUnited for years but not had much luck. I was a street kid (my dad died when I was 9) so TH and Norbury was my stamping ground.
I look forward to seeing; and adding, more memories of the old place, last visit 2004.

Bert Barnes


Kennards had the little zoo where a monkey in a tiny cage reached out and pulled my sister's hair. This was about the year of Queen Elizabeth's coronation. We went down to Woolworth’s and were given free Union Jack flags.
Upstairs in Kennards there was another area with penny slot machines. Inside each glass case there was a scene that was activated when you put the penny in. One scene was a haunted graveyard with a drunk drinking from a bottle with his back to a gravestone. When the scene started to move the drunk would take a swig from his bottle and a ghost would arise from behind the gravestone.

Wonderful Memories

What an unexpected pleasure it was stumbling quite by accident upon this website this evening! I was born in Croydon in 1948 and lived in West Croydon till 1955.
I have very vivid memories of the high street, even of being 'bumped' down the Surrey Street steps in a push chair! My very first memory in fact..
Siselys sweet shop was at the top of Oakfield Road, where I lived ... and a visit there after a shopping trip was a treat indeed ... watching the soft molten sweet being poured onto the huge (to me) copper slab to be cut and cooled into sweets was magical.
There was a pawn shop on the corner of Oakfield Road, the brass balls hanging above ... and I also remember a dress agency next door to that, where high quality second hand ladies clothes were sold. I still have a handbag of my late mother's from there.
Kennards arcade was the best place to be sure, ponies, exotic perfumes sold... Read more

Waddon Ponds And Kennards

I remember beautiful Waddon ponds with its ducks, and coots and swans, and cycling around the park. I also remember the trolley buses that went up to Croydon, and going to Kennards, and the ponies and the arcade, I still dream of it even now, and the Walls ice cream factory in Purley Way with the ice cream machine outside, and the sound of the factory hooters and the sound of the aeroplanes. I think they built a big Sainsbury's on top of Purley Way but Sainsbury's used to be in Church Street with the Co-op and lots of other shops. I also remember going up to Crown Hill where there was a big coloured lighting sign in the evenings, I expect a lot of this is gone now, it was all so beautiful. Looking back now, I remember how they tried to demolish the Town Hall and everything, but that it is still there now. Dad had the bike shop in Purley Way, Coopers, when everyone cycled and we... Read more

Pitlake Bridge

I was born in Cuthbert Road, West Croydon, next to Pitlake Bridge, and have a vivid memory of when the manholes on the bridge exploded.
Wandle Park was our playground, and a fairground or circus had its winter storage next to the park. I was christened in St Edmund's Church which was also next to Wandle Park, but I think must have been demolished.
On the two corners of Westfield Road, where it met Cuthbert, were two shops - one a grocers and the other a 'fancy goods' store - they were run by two brothers (twins?).
The slaughter house was at the end of our road, and it was awful to hear the terrified animals squealing. They often escaped, and people used to leap into our gated sideway for safety, especially when it was a bull which had escaped! No wonder I'm a vegetarian!


Growing up in Croydon

Through WW2 we lived in Stanley Road, number 73, at that time an off-licence which my mother ran whilst my father was serving in the RAF. I went to Boston Road  school and remember we had small boxes of emergency rations in case we were trapped in the school by an air raid. We were bombed out in 1944 by a V1 that hit further up the road and severely damaged no 73, for a time we lived with relatives in the Birmingham area and then moved back when the house and shop were repaired. When my father was demobbed we moved to Midhurst Avenue and he worked as a lorry driver.

I remember the winter of 1945 as we had serious fuel shortages and we went and bought coke directly from the gasworks and collected wood for the fires. In the 1940s I attended Selhurst Grammar School leaving in 1950 to work as a medical laboratory technician.  

Childhood Dreams

I came across this website by accident, what a treat. I was raised in Croydon, actually Addington. My nana and granddad lived at 195 Purley Way in Wadden. I spent many happy hours there as a child. I would spend several weeks with my grandparents just before Christmas every year while my mom worked at the post office in Croydon for extra Christmas money, my dad was a postman there for many years. One thing in particular that stands out is lying in my nana's bed and listening to motor cars and bikes on wet pavement going over the bridge in front of the house. When we visited them, every Sunday for dinner we used to walk up Purley Way past the gasworks where my grandad Stagg used to work. My mom would toss small stones up at the windows and my grandad would look out. Anyone remember Walls Ice Cream in the machine? We would always stop for a sixpenny... Read more

The Pictures

I was born on Clyde Road in 1950, and in 1954 moved to Caterbury Road in West Croydon, where I attended school Elmwood, and then Lambfrank (spelling?).  Mr Reeves was a teacher at Elmwood, and always answered anything he didn't like with a WHACK on the bottom from one of many different shoes that he kept for punishment (depending on how much punishment he wanted to inflict that day). But the good thing about him was that, all we had to do was to ask a question and the war and he would talk for the next hour non stop about the jerry's.

I like other writers here also remember Kennards and what a joy it was to be there.  We didn't shop too much, because funds at the time were very limited, and Kennards was not the place where we went to buy, (only look at what others could afford).  But I do remember going to the pictures, and seeing "Old Yeller" at the Davis, "The Horse Soldiers"... Read more

Kennards + Waddon


On finding your memories pages I simply had to add my own contribution as my memories of Croydon and area are so dear to me.

My grandparents lived in Waddon, just off the Purley Way, and I visited regularly on holiday, when my Grandad (Grampy) a city commutor took me everywhere.

I remember Kennards so clearly and with great pleasure, the arcade running down the hill outside the store, with its baby rabbits, puppies and kittens and then finally going in to find the carosel of four ponies going round and round to the tune of the Teddy Bears Picnic.  I believe this was done away with in later years and three ponies were walked, carrying children, in and out the columns outside the front.  Oh what a delight to ride the Trolley Bus into town and to know that I was going to Kennards that day.

When I was a little older, all of ten, I was allowed to go into 'town' by... Read more

Further to Cinemas in Croydon

I grew up in Galpins Road, Thornton Heath and as a youngster joined the ABC Minors at the Rex Cinema, Norbury sadly now demolished and replaced by an office block. I saw many of the MGM Musicals at the Rex, including Singing in the Rain. I also used to go to The State Cinema, Thornton Heath later to become The Granada. Here I saw many an Abbott and Costello film. I joined the forces in 1954, and was stationed abroad in Singapore. Here in my spare time I worked as a projectionist at The Astra RAF Cinema in Tengah. On leaving the forces in 1957, I applied for a projectionists job with Granada, and for about a year worked in the projection room of the Granada, Thornton Heath.  I remember the Chief Projectionist's first name was Les. I did not stay here for long, Granada Cinemas sent me to Clapham Junction Century, where I was employed as a second projectionist for a few years and met my wife who worked... Read more

Sisleys Sweet Shop

My Mum, sister and I used to go to the Savoy at least once a week, and used to walk from the Sample Shoe shop down the High Street to the Savoy, passing on the way Croydon General Hospital. Along the left hand side of this High Street was a sweet shop that sold their own sweets "home made" and they were delicious!
Coconut Squares were my favourite. The shop used to smell gorgeous. I wonder if any one remembers this shop.
I also remember the Odeon , the Scala , Hippodrome (down Surrey Street)Pallidium, Eros, Classic Davis etc Cinemas. I think there used to be one in the High Street roughly where Allders arcade is now.
                          Can you remeber Kennards arcade, that used to have the little Zoo, and ponies you could ride ? Happy Day's. Croydon was nice then before it became a concrete jungle. Have long sinced moved away, but I still remember the Old Croydon with... Read more


I lived in Croydon until 1969 ( the year I got married and moved away ) My Dad - Len Marsh - was a Cinema Manager with the ABC chain, and we lived very near the Rex Cinema, Norbury, closed in 1962. Dad was based there for a time, but acted as Relief Manager all over the South London area : cinemas he managed at various times included the Regal, Purley, Mayfair, Tooting, Ritz, Balham, Majestic, Mitcham and the Regal, Streatham. Also others whose names escape me at Forest Hill, Brixton, Elephant and Castle and Camberwell. His last job before leaving cinema management was at the ABC ( formerly the Savoy) at Broad Green, West Croydon. Most of the cinemas he worked at are long gone, I suspect, but if anyone has memories of cinema - going in Croydon during the 1950's/60's, I would be delighted to hear from you. Anyone remember the small cinemas in Croydon High Street, the Odeon and the Eros ? There was also the... Read more

Explore your past > Croydon > Photos of Croydon > Photo of The Law Courts c1970, Croydon

© Copyright 1998-2014 Frith Content Inc. All rights reserved.