Our event programme for 2018/19

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/April.  The listing below covers August 2018 to April 2019, and to October 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 starting at 19:45 – 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 some 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.


Wednesday 14th – TALK – “Addington”.
A talk by Lindsey Ould, Borough Archivist for Croydon and Honorary Archivist of St. Mary the Blessed Virgin Addington. Addington is an ancient parish about four miles from Croydon with a Grade 1 listed church dating from c.1080. It became part of the County Borough of Croydon in 1928 but retained its unique village atmosphere well beyond this time. This talk will provide an overview of the development of Addington and an insight into some of its residents and buildings of interest.

Wednesday 21st – ENTOMOLOGY MEMBERS’ EVENING. Beginners Room, ECURC.

Saturday 24th – FOCUS
Our annual Focus Meeting which will this year concentrate on Women’s Rights to Vote and Learn. As usual tea will be provided, and there will be a chance to pay subscriptions for 2019. At the David Sweet Hall ECURC starting at 14.30.

Monday 26th – TALK – High Street Croydon People.

(Postponed – “Source and Serendipity: 50 years of Family History”.
A talk by Brenda Hawkins. Getting the best of both worlds: exploring the family history revolution and how old techniques may resolve modern problems. With a few happy accidents thrown in.)


Monday 3rd – CNHSS CHRISTMAS TALK – “In my Grandmother’s Footsteps”.
A talk by Eleanor Redshaw. I am named after my Grandmother, Eleanor Higginson, who was born in the East End of London and I knew her well. She protested in London, was arrested, went to Holloway Prison, did the Hunger Strike, was forcibly fed and was let out under ‘The Cat & Mouse Act’.  Like her, I have been on marches and give talks about the Suffragette Campaign.

Wednesday 19th – ENTOMOLOGY MEMBERS’ EVENING. Beginners Room, ECURC.

Thursday 27th – WALK – “The last walk of the year – Central Croydon history”.
Led by Paul Sowan. Meet at the Clocktower steps Katharine Street at 14:00.


Wednesday 9th – TALK – “The Regent’s Canal”.
A talk by Roger Squires. The Regent’s Canal was built between 1811 and 1820. It connected the Grand Junction Canal’s Paddington Arm, opened in 1801, to the Thames at Limehouse, where a new interchange dock also was built. The presentation reviews the history of the canal and then takes the audience on a journey along its length.

Wednesday 16th – ENTOMOLOGY MEMBERS’ EVENING. Beginners Room, ECURC.

Monday 28th – TALK – “The Other Byron Girl”.
Brian Lancaster uses, among others, the letters that Eva Byron, Edmund’s youngest daughter, wrote to her brother Eric in the first decade of the nineteenth century to illustrate the frustrations of a young woman who envied the freedom of her three brothers.


Monday 4th – TALK – “The Blue-green Revolution: Why our Future Depends on our Knowledge of Plants”.
This talk by Dr. Tim Ridgway will be a discussion of mankind’s historical and future dependence on plants, including the potential application of new technologies.

Wednesday 20th – ENTOMOLOGY MEMBERS’ EVENING. Beginners Room, ECURC.

Sunday 24th – ECOLOGY WALK – “Winter Trees in Kings Wood, Sanderstead, and woodland management according to ‘A practicall treatise on Planting and Management of Woods and Coppices’ by S.H. Esq., Dublin 1794”.
Meet at 10:00 at the end of Kingswood Lane, Sanderstead, TQ354597. Led by Jane McLauchlin and Malcolm Jennings.

Monday 25th – TALK – “Living on the Edge of the Green Belt”.
John Grindrod tells the story of the Green Belt through social history and one family’s experience living on the edge of Croydon. John Grindrod is the author of Outskirts: Living Life on the Edge of the Green Belt, which has been shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize, and Concretopia: A Journey Around the Rebuilding of Postwar Britain. He grew up in New Addington.


Monday 4th – TALK – “A Varied Nursing Career”.
Yvette McKinnel returns to give a talk about her nursing career beginning from the start of the National Health Service and including nursing in the Royal Navy in Malta, in Netley Military Hospital and in Queen Alexandra’s Hospital Royal Navy Nursing Service.

Sunday 10th – WALK – “In the footsteps of Frank Lloyd and W.H. Mills”.
Led by Paul Sowan. A short walk at Coombe. Meet at Lloyd Park tram stop at 14:00.

Wednesday 20th – ENTOMOLOGY MEMBERS’ EVENING. Beginners Room, ECURC.

Monday 25th – TALK – “Conan Doyle – the South Norwood Years”.
A talk by Bernard Winchester.  Doyle lived in Tennison Road, South Norwood, from 1891 to 1894.  This talk looks, with some humour, at his life and works during this period in the context of his surroundings.


Sunday 7th – ECOLOGY WALK – “Spring Flowers in Happy Valley and Devilsden Wood, Coulsdon”.
Meet at 14:00 in the public car park beyond the Fox, off Coulsdon Road, TQ 318569. Led by Jane McLauchlin and Malcolm Jennings.

Wednesday 10th – TALK – “The Grand Theatre and its place in Croydon”.
This talk by Carole Roberts will look at the Grand Theatre sixty years after it closed: its performances and in the context of the other contemporary theatres of Croydon, two of which, the Davis and the Empire, also closed in the same year.

Wednesday 17th – ENTOMOLOGY MEMBERS’ EVENING. Beginners Room, ECURC.

Saturday 20th – VISIT – “Keats House”.
Meet by the Oxfam bookshop opposite Hampstead Tube station (Northern Line) at 2pm. We expect to meet Rob Shakespeare, its Principal Curator, for the first time since he left the Museum of Croydon.

Followed, after refreshments, by the Presidential Address given by John Hickman. David Sweet Hall, ECURC, 19:45.

Monday 29th – TALK – “Mrs Pankhurst’s Purple Feather”.
A talk by Tessa Boase, author of the new book of the same name. Twelve years before the suffragette movement began dominating headlines, a very different women’s campaign caught the public imagination: to save birds from the cruel fashion for feathered hats. Leading the fight was one remarkable Croydon woman: Eliza Phillips – elderly, widowed, articulate and indomitable. Tessa Boase tells the forgotten story of the early RSPB, and how a handful of brave women fought against the plumage trade.

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