Our event programme for 2015

We arrange two full programmes of events, covering about six months each and running from April to October and November to March.  The listing below covers April to October 2015.  Take a look, or you can download the printed version in pdf format. Nearer the time of each event, clicking on its title will take you to a page with more details.

The vast majority of our talks take place in the Small Hall at East Croydon United Reformed Church, Addiscombe Grove, Croydon CR0 5LP – where this is not the case, the event listing will confirm the alternative venue, so do check. East Croydon United Reformed Church is convenient for East Croydon station, Tramlink and many buses, and there is parking available on site.

If you are not a member, you are still very welcome to attend. There is no entrance fee for our talks, but we do invite non-members to consider a small donation of £2.

APRIL 2015

Wednesday 8th – TALK – “Dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park”
Professor Joe Cain of UCL London will discusses how the dinosaurs fit into the larger setting of the park and into the history of science.

Sunday 12th – BOTANY WALK – “Early Spring flowers”
A walk in Happy Valley SSSI for the first signs of Spring. Meet in the car park on Farthing Downs, Ditches Lane, Coulsdon. TQ301571 at 14.00. Led by Jane McLauchlin and Malcolm Jennings.

Wednesday 15th – ENTOMOLOGY – Members’ evening (Beginners Room)


Followed after refreshments, by the Presidential Address given by Ian Payne, “History and Circumstance.” Family research reveals 18th C 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.

This event will take place in the David Sweet Hall, East Croydon United Reformed Church

Monday 27th – TALK – “Stores, wars and theatres: the High Street Croydon 1901-1958”
This talk by Carole Roberts will include 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.

MAY 2015

Monday 4th – WALK – “Bank Holiday Bluebells”
A walk to see the bluebells at In Wood and other Spring flowers at Dollypers Hill Nature Reserve. Meet at the end of Canons Hill, Coulsdon, nearest the wood, at 14.00. Led by Malcolm Jennings.

Wednesday 13th – TALK – “Beneath the Strand and theatre-land – insights into Anglo-Saxon London, AD 400 to AD 886”
Lyn Blackmore will outline the development from an archaeological perspective, showing how our understanding of the growth and decline of the trading settlement of Lundenwic has changed since the 1980s.

Monday 18th – TALK – “The Making of Penge”
A talk by Martin Spence based on his book ‘The Making of a London Suburb’ about its transformation from rural solitude to railway suburb.

Wednesday 20th – ENTOMOLOGY – Members’ evening (Beginners Room)

Saturday 30th – WALK – “Chipstead Valley”
Meet at Chipstead Station at 14.00. A circular walk led by Paul Sowan.

JUNE 2015

SUNDAY 7th – WALK – “Barking: Medieval and Tudor”
Mark Tyson will lead a walk taking in the ruins of Barking Abbey, founded in 666AD by Erkenwald, first Abbot of Chertsey, for his sister St Ethelburga, with surviving curfew tower. Then one stop on the tube to Eastbury Manor House, a brick-built Tudor house of around 1573, with walled garden, wall paintings and original turret staircase. £4 admission to house. Meet East Croydon station at 10:00 or 11:30 at Barking Station.

Wednesday 10th – TALK – “Rosetta and Philae – unlocking the secrets of comets”
Prof. Andrew Coates talk will look at the mission and some of the results of last years, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft, the first to go into orbit around a comet (67P) and Philae landed after bouncing initially, sending back historic images, and will discuss why comets are important.

Wednesday 17th – ENTOMOLOGY – Members’ evening (Beginners Room)

Whitgift Foundation’s celebration of Croydon’s rich and colourful past, and future including talks workshops, tours, music, art and Performance. The Festival starts with Croydon Heritage Day in North End. Ends Sunday 28th July.

Sunday 28th – MUSEUM OPEN DAY
Regulars at the Museum will be there from 13:30 to 16:30 to show you round and answer questions. There will be a handling collection available and series of short talks on the fascinating artefacts from the Museum including some of the many items it has dating from the Stone Age. For directions to the Museum please call our Curator: Chris Taylor, on 020 8668 9570. Parking is available on site. Come along; enjoy the collections with tea and cakes.

Monday 29th – TALK – “Goldilocks in Brittany”
A repeat of the popular talk by Yvette McKinnel about living under duress in occupied France in World War Two but this time she will be selling her booklet of the same title.

JULY 2015

Monday 13th – TALK – “Waterloo – the 200th Anniversary”
Chris Shaw chairman of the Shornecliffe Trust, will give a talk on the famous battle complete with mud from the Belgian battlefield.

Wednesday 15th – ENTOMOLOGY – Members’ evening (Beginners Room)

Sunday 19th – WALK – “Coulsdon Wildlife and History”
A ramble over Coulsdon Common looking out for wildlife in general, and with a bit of history added into the bargain. Meet in the car park behind the Fox pub, Fox Lane, Coulsdon, at 14.00. Led by Richard Dargan.

Saturday 25th – WALK – “Mole Valley II”
East bank from Dorking to Mickleham via Box Hill and the banks of the Mole (return by bus). Meet at Dorking Station (The main station, not Deepdene or Dorking West) at 14.00 led by Paul Sowan.

Monday 27th – TALK – “Is childbirth to be considered an illness?”
Birth, death and burial in the Croydon and Godstone Poor Law Unions, 1835-1866’, a talk by Brian Lancaster.


Monday 10th – WALK – “Croydon Concrete Safari”
A walking tour analysing the larger buildings of Croydon, the vision that built them, and both the success and failure they represent. An open minded exploration of the unique influences on Croydon town centres landscape. Led by Tom Smith, Wandle Park Volunteering and Learning Officer. Meet outside the ECURC at 19.00.

Wednesday 19th – ENTOMOLOGY – Members’ evening (Beginners Room)

Saturday 29th – EXCURSION – “Walthamstow” 
To visit The William Morris Gallery, Frank Lloyd’s other Lloyd Park, and the Vestry House Museum of Walthamstow history. Meet at Walthamstow Central Station (main Entrance) at 10.00. (Victoria Line from Victoria, or trains from Liverpool Street) Pub lunch or Picnic lunch, Led by Paul Sowan.

Monday 31st – WALK – “Bank Holiday Heather”
A walk on Addington Hills looking at the blooming heather and the wildlife within it. Note this walk includes some short sharp climbs. Meet at 14.00 in the car park next to the Chinese Restaurant off Shirley Hills Road, Shirley. Led by Jane McLauchlin and Malcolm Jennings


Wednesday 9th – TALK – “The Story of the Crystal Palace High Level Railway”
The great High Level station opened just 150 years ago on 1st August 1865 and played an important part in bringing millions of visitors to the area. Bernard Winchester will give an illustrated account of the origins of the railway and its stations, its chequered history, and its ultimate fate.

Wednesday 16th – ENTOMOLOGY – Members’ evening (Beginners Room)

Monday 21st – TALK – “Going Down Holes – Forty years of exploration with Subterranea Britannica”
Paul Sowan will speak on geology at home and abroad as seen from underneath.

Monday 28th – TALK – “This is Wren –the Classical, the Baroque and the City of London churches: his life and career as scientist, astronomer and architect – focusing on the churches”
A talk by the City of London guide, Tony Tucker.


Wednesday 14th – TALK – “Puerperal Insanity in Brookwood Asylum 1867 – 1900.”
Using evidence from asylum casebooks, Helen Gristwood’s talk will examine the treatment of women admitted to Brookwood Asylum.

Monday 19th – TALK – “Vanished City” a second talk by Tom Bolton
London is constantly on the move. There is so much change all around us that we scarcely notice it, but places that are vanished and forgotten include some of London’s most famous – and infamous – neighbourhoods.

Wednesday 21st – ENTOMOLOGY – Members’ evening (Beginners Room)

Monday 26th – TALK – “Croydon’s Lost Cricket Grounds”
A talk by our honorary member, Roger Packham.

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