Our event programme for 2016/17

We arrange two full programmes of events, covering about six months each and running from April to October/November, and then again through to March.  The listing below covers October 2016 through to April 2017, and is also available in pdf form.

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.


Saturday 1st – VISIT – “Benjamin Franklin House”
Meet outside Embankment underground station, river exit, at 1.40pm. Cost £6 payable on entrance (reduction for National Trust members). Numbers limited to 12, please pre book with Brian Lancaster on 020 3561 4549.

Saturday 8th – BOTANY WALK – “Croham Hurst Fungus Foray”
A walk in the ancient woodland of Croham Hurst for fungi and other fruits of the forest. Meet at 14:00, by the junction of Croham Manor Road and Bankside. CR2 7BN. Leaders Jane McLauchlin and Malcolm Jennings, in conjunction with Surrey Wildlife Trust.

Wednesday 12th – TALK – “After the fire: Rescue and recovery at the Cuming museum”
It is three years since the fire in the building in Southwark, which housed the exhibition galleries. Judy Aitkin, Curator of the Cuming Museum, looks at how the museum dealt with that, how the collections fared and discusses some of the conservation challenges.

Saturday 15th – WALK – “Fire! – Fire!”
A walk and visit to the Museum of London to commemorate 350 years since the Great Fire of London. Meet at the Monument at 10:00, we will go to the top, and then walk through areas associated with the fire. Optional Pub Lunch followed by a visit to the Fire of London Gallery (free) and Fire! Fire! Exhibition (£8.00 – £6.40), led by Celia Bailey.

Monday 17th – TALK – “Brooklands into the 2nd Century”
Tim Morris of the Brooklands Trust will outline the history of motoring and aviation on this site, the Museum itself and its future including the current £8m “Hangar Project”.

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

Monday 31st – TALK – “The Classical Roman World, with special reference to Roman Britain”
A talk by Stephen Humphrey.


Sunday 6th – BOTANY WALK – “Addington Hills Fungus Foray”
A woodland and heathland walk on Addington Hills for fungi, the ‘rotters’ of the natural world. Meet in the car park at 10:00 on Addington Hills off Shirley Hills Road, next to the Chinese Restaurant. CR0 5RF. Leaders Jane McLauchlin and Malcolm Jennings, in conjunction with Surrey Wildlife Trust.

Monday 7th – TALK – “Eating Your Greens, the ecology of vegetables”
An illustrated talk by Jane McLauchlin.

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

Covering its ecology, geology and the 19th century campaign to save it as a public open space. A series of illustrated talks by society members. As usual tea will be provided. David Sweet Hall, ECURC 14:30.

Sunday 27th – WALK – “Croham Hurst”
A chance to see this SSSI site for yourselves. Meet at 11.00 by the junction of Croham Manor Road and Bankside, South Croydon. This walk will be led by society members.

Monday 28th – TALK – “‘Capability’ Brown and his legacy” 
How it influenced subsequent generations and still stands valid today, a talk by Michael Symes, commemorating the tercentenary of the landscape architect’s birth.


Monday 5th – TALK – “A Third Christmas Miscellany from the John Gent Postcards Collection”
A festive presentation, introduced by John Hickman and Carole Roberts.

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

Thursday 29th – WALK – “The Diehards Christmas Walk”
A chance to get back to what you really like, looking at historical sites, botany, ornithology and entomology and ending at a hostelry. Meet Celia Bailey at the Phipps Bridge Tram stop at 11.00 to head north along the Wandle.


Monday 16th – TALK – “Jane Austen – People and Places”
Sylvia Solarski, will discuss aspects of her life in London, Surrey and some of the other Home Counties.

Wednesday 18th – ENTOMOLOGY – Members’ evening
(Beginners Room)

Monday 23rd – TALK – “Beddington Sewage Works 1960 to 1987”
A talk by Robin Ashford on his involvement in its design, construction and management.


Monday 6th – TALK – “A very large collection of very small things: The microscope slides of J T Quekett”
A talk by Hannah Cornish, Museums Collections Assistant, Royal College of Surgeons. The CNHSS early beginnings were as a Microscopical club, with links to the Quekett club.

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

Monday 20th – TALK – “Wildlife in a Surrey Garden”
The private nature reserves better known as gardens attract a host of visitors, many of which often go unnoticed. Nature photographer and author Jeremy Early will be showing us a wide selection of the wildlife recorded in the garden.

Sunday 26th – WALK – “Croydon Old Town”
To see what of historic interest survives, and sites of important lost structures. Led by Paul Sowan, meet at Croydon Minster west door at 14.30.

Monday 27th – TALK – “Growing up in radical Croydon: Grace Oakeshott, her associates and their aspirations in the late nineteenth century”
Jocelyn Robson will explore the social and cultural context in which Grace grew up, went to school, developed radical interests and became a campaigner for girls’ technical education.


Wednesday 8th – TALK – “Glories in Gold and Glass – St Paul’s Cathedral Mosaics”
Dr. Heike Zech, senior curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum will discuss the William Blake Richmond cycle of designs, one of the Cathedrals treasures.

Sunday 11th – BOTANY WALK – “Trees as geological indicators”
A walk around Croham Hurst identifying trees in Winter and seeing their relationship to the geology of the Hurst. Meet at 10:00 by the junction of Croham Manor Road and Bankside. CR2 7BN. Leaders Jane McLauchlin and John Hines, in conjunction with Surrey Wildlife Trust.

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

Saturday 18th – VISIT AND WALK – “Bankside and the Elizabethan Theatre”
To include a visit to the Rose Theatre, (£3), and the Globe exhibition/theatre, (£15). We will look at the area associated with Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Optional pub lunch and ending at the George Inn, the only remaining galleried inn in London. Meet at London Bridge Station upper concourse meeting point near the Shard, at 09.15, led by Celia Bailey.

Monday 20th – TALK – “On your Knees”
Hearthstone Mines in Surrey and the hearthstone trade. An illustrated talk by Paul Sowan on a rural mining industry which operated from about 1820 to 1960.

Monday 27th – TALK – “The Defensive Installations of Tandridge District”
A talk by Bob Evans reviewing various fortifications and defences in East Surrey from the Iron Age to the Cold War.


Saturday 1st – WALK – “Coulsdon Common to Kenley”
About 2 miles over the commons and Kenley Airfield. Meet at the Fox PH on Coulsdon Common (bus 466) at 14.30. The walk ends at Kenley Station, led by Paul Sowan.

Monday 3rd – TALK – “Sopwith Aircraft and the Great War”
This talk by David Hassard, Joint Project Leader of the Kingston Aviation Centenary Project, focuses, with many historic photographs, on the aviation industry in Kingston upon Thames from 1912 to 1918.

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

Followed after refreshments, by the Presidential Address given by John Hickman, “Pictures of Croydon on a Few Bob a Week”. David Sweet Hall ECURC, 19:45.

Sunday 23rd – BOTANY WALK – “Springtime at Kings Wood”
A walk for Wood Anemones and other early Spring flowers. Meet in Kingswood Lane, near the wood, at 14:00, access via Limpsfield Road. CR6 9AB. Leaders Jane McLauchlin and Malcolm Jennings, in conjunction with Surrey Wildlife Trust.

Monday 24th – TALK – “Tom Byron: emigrant to Canada and pioneer cattle rancher”
A talk by Nigel Elliott. Tom, the eldest son of Edmund Byron, chose to emigrate rather than inherit the Coulsdon estate.