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- Page 50 - Nov thru Dec 2008 -

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 Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) reviews the Oct and Nov issues of Your Croydon...

"Your Croydon" - Octiber  2008

"Your Croydon" - October 2008 page 21

"Your Croydon" - November 2008 cover

"Your Croydon" - November 2008 page 21

 October 2008 | Issue 22

November 2008 | Issue 23

Once again, the October and November 2008 editions of Croydon Council's Your Croydon magazine include photo essays from Frazer Ashford (JRGS 1962-69) as part of his continuing series entitled From Here to Modernity, which charts Croydon during the past 25 years.
   As in previous columns, Frazer looks at the dramatic changes that have taken place to local Croydon landmarks, but also the similarities between the town in the early Eighties and the same locations today.

   Specifically, in his October 2008 feature Frazer looks back at Katherine Street then and now. Click on each thumbnail below to view a larger version of Frazer's From Here to Modernity images, or here to view the 24-page magazine in PDF format.
   As the article states: "It’s 1977 and Katharine Street is the centre of the borough’s colourful celebrations. It was more than 30 years ago that Katharine Street was the site of a spectacular parade organised to celebrate a notable anniversary of national significance.
   "So, it was around June, 1977, that my wife Clare, my six-month-old daughter Beccy and I stood in the hot sun with the crowds to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.
   "The parade mainly comprised floats entered by local companies, with Croydon Chamber of Commerce and Industry sponsoring one of the biggest. Other attractions included military bands, the Salvation Army, and a number of guests, including The Kent Carolettes, an American-style marching band from Maidstone.
   "The Jubilee year had already been a very good one for me, having photographed the opening of The Queen’s Silver Garden in Hyde Park, and seeing some of my pictures on display at The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Photography Exhibition in Piccadilly, organised by the British Institute of Professional Photography.
   "This was my first exhibition and a memento is the programme to the event, which I have to this day, tucked away in a drawer.
   "Katharine Street seems much quieter these days, with buses being the main form of road vehicle passing the Town Hall and Clock tower complex. And with not a Kent Carolette in sight."

Katherine Street - 1977

Katherine Street - Today

   For his November 2008 feature, Frazer turns his lens to the town centre's principal shopping street, North End. Click on each thumbnail below to view a larger version of Frazer's From Here to Modernity images, or here to view the 24-page magazine in PDF format.
   As the article states: "North End runs right through the heart of the shopping centre of our town. This shot was taken looking south from West Croydon, toward High Street and South Croydon, on what was obviously a very quiet day! I guess that it may well have been early on a Sunday morning, although with modern shopping habits, North End is rarely seen as quiet as this nowadays.
   "Back then, cars were still allowed to drive along the road – although even they seem to have disappeared for this picture.
   "Looking at the shops, I notice that C&A is still on the eastern (left) side of the street, next to Marks & Spencer. In time, the shop outgrew this site and moved to a position on the opposite side of the road, before finally closing down altogether, the site being swallowed as part of the Centrale development.
   "And – a point I’ve raised while assessing other pictures in this series – look how much more greenery there is in the road now.
   "Another point of interest is the domed building in the centre of the image. This was an early cinema that had closed down years before. Interestingly, the dome survives to this day and has remained a distinctive part of the Croydon skyline.
   "Although it cannot be seen in my picture, opposite that building was another cinema, the Odeon, which
I would often visit. I had a school friend who lived in a flat above it and I thought that it was the coolest place to live – above a cinema!
   "That cinema, too, was demolished, and standing now on part of the site is Chapel Walk, one of the entrances to the Whitgift Shopping Centre, and the McDonald’s restaurant.
   "Apart from that, although it is difficult to see in this picture, most of the shops were still small, privately owned businesses, long before the multiple chain stores moved in.
   "North End has changed a lot since those days, and I don’t think that I am referring only to the loss of traffic,
now routed via Wellesley Road."

For more examples of Frazer’s work, visit his website. Other editions of From Here to Modernity can be hound here.

North End - Seventies

North End - Today

Your Croydon ©2021 Croydon Council.

   

 Richard Thomas (JRGS 1957-64) discovers The Mill website and many old friends...

I was at Ruskin from 1957 to 1964. By school friends I was generally know as “Tom”.
   Many of my friends were those in the U-Stream, one year younger than me, but effectively in my year group. I keep in touch with Bob Hawkins, Ian Davies, John Wheal and, sporadically, with Mike Wrigglesworth. I also keep in touch with one of my true contemporaries, Michael Thorneloe and with Mike Allen, who is about three years older than me and whom I did not know until I worked with him a few years after leaving school. I note a number of names on the web site of others with whom I would like to remake contact.
   For years I was trying to re-contact John Cobley and Martin Preuveneers. Several months ago John Wheal sent me their email addresses having just obtained them at that time. Being typically quick off the mark, I emailed both a couple of days ago and received replies immediately. Also, Martin telephoned me yesterday evening and we must have been speaking for well over an hour.
   It is good to see the web site continuing with strength – I first had a look at it a few months ago. I know I have a few old Ruskin documents and, when I relocate them, I will scan them and send the scans. In the meantime, I will email again with a few memories. I have some Standard 8 and Super 8 films of a couple of trips with school friends and a few related to Army Cadet Force activities. It is possible I could make and send digital copies of these and send them to The Mill.
   I work more than full time hours and am often away or otherwise occupied on weekends so have little time to attend to personal matter. I will be able to email with memories quite soon, but other memorabilia may take a little time to attend to.
   The memorabilia, which I know are in my house, include at least a couple of events programmes. From my various moves around the UK and overseas, I still have quite a few boxes currently in my basement which remain in need of sorting. These may well hold further items. The films of trips with school friends comprise one collecting money for charity by pushing a hospital bed around Selsdon, and one of a trip on three punts down the Wey Navigation. I have perhaps four or five films covering various Army Cadet Force camps and parades. It will take me a little time to get these items together and digitised.
   My brother and I intend exploring the digitisation of our films with our own equipment at Christmas, so the Army Cadet Force films may get done sooner rather than later. I hope the results will be better than a commercial service I once tried. Although I believe decent, professional telecine services are still available (except for 9.5 mm gauge with which the alumni may or may not be familiar) I think they may be very expensive. However, if I fail miserably in my digitisation attempts I may explore a good professional service.
   I  truly enjoyed my time at Ruskin. Much, of course, was down to the dedication of the masters, but no small part was down to the characters that became my friends. It is good to get a chance to relieve some of those days and perhaps to contact a few more of my contemporaries.

Life after JRGS
Richard "Tom" ThomasI am a geotechnical (ground engineering) specialist and a civil engineer. So far I have had a career of about 40 years in this field, excluding my full-time studies, and spent a block of just over 17 years working overseas. From 1974 to 1976 I worked in the Himalayan Midlands in Nepal, with a short time in Iran in the times of the Shah. From 1976 to 1990 I was based in Hong Kong, working on projects there and in Taiwan, China, Malaysia and Singapore. My two children were born in Hong Kong.
   I am not surprised that a number of my contemporaries live and work in the States. I spent a month hitching around the north-eastern States and Canada in the summer of 1971 and then spent over three months hitching in Mexico, the States and Canada in the summer of 1972. (On that second trip I visited John Cobley and his then wife Jenny in San Francisco.) Since then, I have had about eight family holidays in the States, and on one my then wife, Chris, and I hitched from California to New York City via the Mojave Desert, the Grand Canyon, Niagara and Ottawa with our daughter, Fay, who was 2¾ at the time. We hitched up to the foot of the gang plank of the QE II and then cruised across the North Atlantic on the QE II to the UK! (Fay is now 31, married and has just had her first baby.) By the time we had our son Robin, we found conventional car travel more appropriate for family holidays in the States.

Richard "Tom" Thomas, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. November 2008 Email

    

 Mike Etheridge (JRGS 1963-65) provides some recent images of Central Croydon...

My wife took these photographs recently to use on a "Croydon Trail" with her class at Hamsey Green junior school. The pupils will be comparing Central Croydon with Hamsey Green, looking specifically at the buildings and the environments. Click on any thumbnail to view a larger version, or here to view a PDF file of all images.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail - November 2008

Fairfield Halls - completed in 1965 with recent 1980/90 glass over-clad office block.

Former British Gas building - the first of the post war central Croydon development buildings, now empty.

Croydon College - built in four  phases with the addition of the College of Art.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Entrance to the Nestle building.

Croydon Fire Brigade group on duty for Remembrance Day ceremony.

St George Walk shopping precinct - destined for demolition and re-development including the loss of Turtles the hardware shop-  probably one of the best in the country!

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Sign above the Town Hall Gardens location of former Croydon Central Railway Station.

Modern toilet facility adjacent to the Town Hall Gardens, where one can spend more than a penny!

Taberner House, completed in 1968, and opened by Princess Alexandria. There are rumours of demolition of this building in five years.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Town Hall Gardens, North East view.

Fell Road offices with bridge link
to the old Town Hall.

Road sign and masonry balustrade above old Town Hall.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Modern paving tiles decorated with chewing gum - a social problem.

Victorian Old Town Hall front elevation, with dais in place ready
for Remembrance Day speeches.

Old Town Hall clock tower.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Old Town Hall upper elevation.

Bronze statue of Queen Victoria.

Preserved Victorian façade of
Grants department store, now
an entertainment centre.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Corner of Katherine Street and
old London/Brighton road.

Ornate masonry console.

Old trough and drinking fountain at corner of Surrey Street and old London/Brighton road looking south.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Surrey Street – markets are held here Monday thru Saturday.

Victorian building with cupula, at the corner of Surrey Street and old London/Brighton road (Millets).

Surrey Street market
inspector(s) entrance.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Rear elevation of above building, looking from Surrey Street

Preserved water tower in "Old Town" looking from Surrey Street.

Mathews Yard sign looking from Surrey Street. (Origins?)

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Youngs' "Dog and Bull" pub off Surrey Street looks to be a
Georgian structure.

North corner of Surrey Street
at junction of Crown Hill.

Grade 2 listed Elizabethan Alms House, at the corner of George Street and old London/Brighton road, looking east from Crown Hill.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Crown Hill looking west.

Herring bone pavement
blocks with added gum.

Modern shop-front louver.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

West elevation of Grade 2 listed Elizabethan Alms House.

Wrought-iron Parish Church sign attached to Alms House.

Whitgift Foundation sign.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Detail with modern block paving, old flint and masonry wall... plus cigarette ends.

Alms house interior quadrangle.

Wrought-iron gate, with
Whitgift emblem.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Parish Church viewed looking west along Crown Hill.

Alms House main entrance archway. (I'm not sure how the new doors were accepted for a Grade 2 listed building.)

Victorian buildings elevation
along George Street.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

"The George" pub, a modern but Victorian-styled eating and drinking establishment really excellent for any re-unions of JRGS Old Boys (+ girls!)

Tram in George Street outside entrance to Alders - have they destroyed the Victorian elevation here?

Wellesley Road and George Street crossroad with 1960s buildings shown.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

More block paving - less gum.

Cast iron BT cable draw-box lid.
(Not
Elizabethan or Victorian - probably Elizabethan II!)

Wellesley Road looking north.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

As previous image,
looking due north.

Allders car park entrance off
Wellesley road.

Wellesley Road entrance to
Whitgift Shopping Centre.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Whitgift Shopping Centre escalators.

Whitgift Shopping Centre -
structural columns evident.

View of West Croydon looking North from "pedestrianised" London Road.

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

Croydon Trail -  November 2008

View looking South from "pedestrianised" London Road
- note former cinema dome.

Floor tiling within Whitgift centre -these must get cleaned more often.

Glazed canopy above Whitgift Shopping Centre.

Mike Etheridge, Sanderstead, Surrey. November 2007 Email

   

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