Annual General Meeting, with Presidential Address

CNHSS Bulletin - AGM edition title pageThursday 23 April 2015 saw the 144th Annual General Meeting of Croydon Natural History & Scientific Society. The meeting took place in the David Sweet Hall at East Croydon United Reformed Church. Members of the Society voted to adopt the Directors’ Report and the annual accounts, and appointed the officers of the Society and Ordinary Members of Council, who together form the Directors of the Company and the Trustees of the charity.

They were elected as follows:

President: John I Hickman

Vice-President: Jane McLauchlin
Vice-President: Ronald Brooker
Vice-President: Celia E Bailey
Vice President: Ian G Payne

Hon. Curator: Christopher J W Taylor
Hon. Editor: Brian Lancaster
Hon. General Secretary: John B Grieg
Hon. Librarian: Paul W Sowan
Hon Treasurer: T Paul Rainey

Ordinary Members: Brenda Hawkins, Carole A Roberts, Tony Skrzypczyk, Mark Tyson, David Waghorn.

The meeting also approved an increase to membership fees for the Society, to £18 per annum for Ordinary Membership and £175 for life membership.  This will take effect from January 2016.

Presidential Address: Mr Ian G. Payne ‘History & Circumstance’

After the conclusion of formal business, and some refreshments, the Society’s President, Ian Payne, gave his second Presidential Address under the title History & Circumstance. Family research reveals 18th Century Inventory, Red shirt bandsman, Saskatchewan land grants, downed aircraft, Pogroms, Auschwitz, Nazi era insurance policies, mental asylum, questions of Jewishness, stolen grandparents and much more.

Twitter hashtag (including for the Presidential Address): #CNHSSAGM15

A new website for the Society

Image of keyboardFor some time, Croydon Natural History & Scientific Society has maintained an Archive site through which you can view past issues of our Bulletin as well as the Croydon Bibliographies for Regional Survey, which details our library acquisitions over an extensive period. The information on this site is useful to researchers, but the Society’s Council felt that a more engaging ‘front door’ was needed to put the Society’s work more prominently before the public and to engage people in our activities.

The result is this new site, and at a new address: The archive will remain over at, and we will make sure that there are links between the two sites. We are still developing some of the content, but we are starting with information about our events, talks and walks, as well as details of how to join the Society. In time we will also use the site to showcase some of the items the Society holds in its collections, and the particular project work that our members are pursuing under the Society’s banner. We will continue our Twitter and Facebook activities, linking them up to the new site, and if you are signed up to our regular newsletter email, you can expect links from the Newsletter back to the new site.

We hope that you will find it a great way to keep in touch with all that the Society is doing. As we continue to develop the site, we’d love to hear your views about ways in which it can better present the work of the Society. If you’d like to provide us with feedback, you can use the form below.

Many thanks,
Mark Tyson, Web Manager.

TALK: “Stores, wars and theatres: the High Street Croydon 1901-1958”

Monday, 27 April – Carole Roberts

Grants, High Street, Croydon as it looks today [Wikimedia Commons/ Creative Commons: Philip Talmage]

Grants, High Street, Croydon as it looks today [Wikimedia Commons/ Creative Commons: Philip Talmage]

This talk included Grants and other High Street stores in the first part of the Twentieth Century, the effects of the First and Second World Wars on the High Street, the Grand and Davis Theatres.


EXCURSION: Tunbridge Wells

Saturday 28 March – led by Celia Bailey

The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells [Photo: Chris Whippet, Creative Commons license]

The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells [Photo: Chris Whippet, Creative Commons license]

Looked at The Pantiles and Chalybeate Spring, and the Opera House, now a pub. In the afternoon visited the Museum & Art Gallery with Victorian paintings, Local History and Tunbridge ware.


TALK: Erith Forest

Wednesday, 11 March 2015 – Jane Sidell

Jane Sidell, Inspector of Ancient Monuments for English Heritage, talked about her research of the lost Bronze Age forest and the surviving stumps and roots.

Twitter hashtag: #CNHSSErith