150th anniversary

2020 marked the 150th anniversary of the formation of our society.


It was in February 1870 that Henry Long, a chemist of the High Street Croydon since 1857, placed an advertisement in the Croydon Chronicle calling for gentlemen interested in a society for conversation and the exhibition of objects to contact him. For a transcript click on ‘About the Society’ above. Henry Lee was chosen as the first President and on 6th April 1870 the inaugural meeting was held. In those early days membership was for men only but remarkably for the time it was stated that the club “must be totally free from exclusiveness as regards the social position of those desiring to become members”.

At the time microscopy was a growing interest due to great strides that had been made in its development, hence our original name of the Croydon Microscopical Club. Many similar societies were formed around this time, but few have survived. With a couple of name changes along the way, to Croydon Microscopical and Natural History Club in 1877 and to Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society in 1902, we are pleased to say that we have continued meeting and publishing even through the two world wars.


Our anniversary year will be marked by special events when these may safely take place including for each of the Society’s areas of interest and on the context of our formation. Included in the celebrations will be a project to collate information on the publicly-owned open spaces of Croydon past and present. Any members who have an interest in participating in this project, perhaps on a particular open space or aspect such as the geology, plant or bird life, are welcome to contact us by email at information@cnhss.co.uk.

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