Our event programme for 2019

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 April to October 2019, 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 (ECURC), 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 although limited due to building work.

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.


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 SECTION MEETING. 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 “Croydon Lost and Found: Recent Researches on the Paintings of Evacustes Phipson”. 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.


Monday 6th – ECOLOGY WALK – “Bluebells and other spring flowers in Great Park Wood”. Meet at 14:00 at St Mary’s Church, Farleigh, TQ372601. Led by Jane McLauchlin and Malcolm Jennings.

Wednesday 15th – ENTOMOLOGY SECTION MEETING. Beginners Room, ECURC.

Monday 20th – TALK – “Source and Serendipity: 50 years of Family History”, 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 – TALK – “The Big Croydon Birdwatch”, by John Birkett. This talk looks at the history, planning and some results of the BCBW which is an annual bird race monitoring birds in Croydon.

Sunday 9th – ECOLOGY WALK – “Happy Valley for early summer flowers”. Meet at 14:00 at the junction of Tollers Lane and Drive Road, Coulsdon TQ309575. Led by Jane McLauchlin and Malcolm Jennings.

Wednesday 19th – ENTOMOLOGY SECTION MEETING. Beginners Room, ECURC.

Monday 24th – TALK – “The Great Fire of London”, by Andrew Warde, an official City of London guide. The Great Fire of London in 1666 devastated two-thirds of its buildings. The talk is not only about the devastation of the City but also about its amazing recovery.


Sunday 7th – MUSEUM OPEN DAY – Regulars at the Museum will be present from 13.30 to 16.30 to show visitors round and answer questions. There will be a handling collection available, and information is available on the fascinating artefacts from the Museum, including some of its many items dating from the Stone Age. For directions please call our Curator, Chris Taylor, on 020 8668 9570. There are good transport links by bus and train (Woodmansterne Station) or parking is available in nearby roads (not on site).

Wednesday 10th – TALK – “The Magic of the Mind”. A talk by Michael Symes, a Member of the Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star, who is involved with curating the Museum at the Magic Circle in addition to performing regularly. He has a particular interest in the history of magic and is returning to the Society to give this follow-up to his previous talk a ‘History of Magic as Entertainment’.

Wednesday 17th – ENTOMOLOGY SECTION MEETING. Beginners Room, ECURC.

Sunday 28th – ECOLOGY WALK – “Woods, Birds and Butterflies”. Meet at 10:00 in the Gangers Hill car park, Woldingham TQ373541. Led by Jane McLauchlin and Malcolm Jennings.


Wednesday 21st – ENTOMOLOGY SECTION MEETING. Beginners Room, ECURC.

Sunday 25th – WALK – “Merstham Village and Gatton Park”. A short walk to look at the local geology and landscape. Meet at 14:00 at Merstham Station. Led by Paul Sowan.


Wednesday 11th – TALK – “Happy Valley – Past, Present and Future”, by Dominic North, Countryside Warden at Happy Valley. An introduction to Happy Valley, looking into what makes this beautiful area so valuable for wildlife and visitors, and how it is managed to protect and enhance the area for future generations to enjoy. OUR APOLOGIES BUT THIS TALK AND MEETING IS NOW CANCELLED DUE TO ILLNESS OF THE SPEAKER

Wednesday 18th – ENTOMOLOGY SECTION MEETING. Beginners Room, ECURC.

Sunday 22nd – ECOLOGY WALK – “Fruits and Fungi”. Meet at 14:00 in the Addington Hills car park, Shirley Hills Road TQ354643. Led by Jane McLauchlin and Malcolm Jennings.

Monday 23rd – TALK – “The life and times of Old Palace”, by Janice Barter. Croydon Palace is a building of tremendous historical significance hidden in Croydon old town. A medieval manor that was for centuries a residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury, it suffered years of decline from the 18th century before being lovingly renovated to its current position housing a modern, thriving school. We explore its past and reflect on its present.


Monday 7th – TALK – “The Isle of Wight: its wildlife and countryside”. Malcolm Jennings will talk about the often rare and beautiful flora and fauna of the Isle of Wight, its spectacular marine landscape, and also some of the historic sites on the Island.

Wednesday 16th – ENTOMOLOGY SECTION MEETING. Beginners Room, ECURC.

Sunday 27th – ECOLOGY WALK – “Fungus Foray in Littleheath Woods”. Meet at 10:00 at the bottom of the steps at the end of Queenhill Road TQ349627. Led by Jane McLauchlin and Malcolm Jennings.

Monday 28th – TALK – “The Nostradamus of South Norwood”, by Stephen Oxford. The predictions of Nostradamus are open to interpretation and much criticism, whilst those of a past South Norwood resident are far clearer and more accurate.


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