Soul Symphony Community Choir introduction session, Sep 16

Soul Symphony August 2014 flyer

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Mackay was poised to get Palace job and £25m transfer fund

2.15pm UPDATE (see below): So it’s to be Malky Mackay. Which it was always going to be from the moment Iain Moody was made “sporting director”, or whatever vacuous title he was given when appointed last year, and after Mackay fell foul of the strange goings on in Cardiff’s boardroom that ultimately consigned that club to relegation.

Doing the Mo-Bot: Malky Mackay, a big fan of Olympic runner Mo Farah, apparently

Doing the Mal-Bot: Malky Mackay, a big fan of Olympic runner Mo Farah, apparently, and probably the new Palace manager

Crystal Palace were expected today to name Mackay, the former Celtic (not many matches), Norwich (not many more matches) and West Ham (a few matches) player and ex-Watford and Cardiff boss, as their successor to Tony Pulis, who left Selhurst Park in a bit of a rush last week. Mackay’s footballing CV is about as thin as… well, Jose Mourinho’s, but the Scot’s working relationship with Moody – who is “highly rated” by Palace co-chairman Steve Parish, by all accounts – has counted for much.

At the weekend another leading candidate, Tim Sherwood, flew into London for talks from Spain, where most out-of-work English football managers are to be found, apparently, but has heard nothing more since he returned to his sun-lounger.

Paper-thin newspaper speculation that Glenda Hoddle, the former England, Chelsea and Spurs boss with an odd penchant for faith-healers in the dressing room, turned out to be just that. Rather than being sounded out, Hoddle, in the the first month of a new job as Harry “The Bet” Redknapp’s assistant at Loftus Road, is said to have made the call to ask about the job. Wonder how that’ll go down at QPR?

And as for Martin Jol, well… Continue reading

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Family Day at The Ship, South Norwood, Sun Aug 24

South Norwood
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Labour’s get-tough policy with tippers looks a bit of a mess

“Speak softly and carry a big stick,” was the foreign policy of US President Teddy Roosevelt more than a hundred years ago.

The scene in Ashburton playing fields as shown today by the Evening Boris

The scene in Ashburton playing fields as shown today by the Evening Boris newspaper and website

“Don’t make an effing threat unless you’re prepared to carry it out,” was the more forthright message which Charlie Richardson used to spit into the faces of his victims when the notorious south London gangster of the 1960s was about to detach one appendage or another from their owner.

So it is that Croydon Council’s hard-line “Don’t Mess With Croydon” policy on fly-tipping, with posters around the borough threatening enforcement action and fines for offenders, is all looking a bit of a sorry mess this morning after the Evening Boris splashed pictures across the paper and its website of a “Grand Canyon of rubbish” dumped on Ashburton playing fields. Continue reading

Posted in Ashburton, Crime, Croydon Central, Croydon Council, Fly tipping, Gavin Barwell MP, Mario Creatura, Refuse collection, Stuart Collins | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Reader offer: 25% off to mark re-launch of PizzaExpress Purley


PizzaExpress is celebrating the launch of its exciting new-look restaurant in Purley by offering readers of Inside Croydon 25 per cent off the price of their food.

Pizza Express logoLocated in a former bank building, the restaurant has been refurbished by enhancing the building’s architecture.

Manager, Barbara Piekarniak, said, “We have a friendly and enthusiastic team who are looking forward to welcoming everyone to our beautifully refurbished restaurant over a delicious pizza.”

PizzaExpress has been dishing up fresh, handmade pizza to Purley since 2001. Continue reading

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Stop the Incinerator quiz fund-raiser: Mon Sep 8

Incinerator Quiz Night poster
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Whitehall warns council over unlawful reading lesson fees

EXCLUSIVE: Croydon Council has been ordered by Whitehall to stop charging some of the borough’s children for reading and writing lessons, a practice described by one angry parent as “demanding money with menaces”. By GENE BRODIE, education correspondent

school genericThe council’s education director has been ordered to explain why Croydon has been charging parents more than £3,500 per year for reading lessons for their children, and he has been issued with a firm warning that the local authority is breaking the law in attempting to charge for the lessons in the new school year which begins next month.

The Department for Education wrote to Paul Greenhalgh, Croydon’s executive director for children, families and learning, last month. This was in response to complaints from parents that the local authority has been charging thousands of pounds for some primary school-aged children to attend remedial reading lessons at Croydon Literacy Centre, based alongside Purley Oaks School.

It is believed that Greenhalgh (annual salary £169,107) and Julie Belvir, the Borough Solicitor (on £130,530 per year), who was copied in on the DfE letter, have not yet managed to provide a response to the man from the ministry on the matter of Croydon Council breaking the law.

In his letter, the civil servant wrote that it is clear “that where a school refers a child to the Croydon Literacy Centre during school hours for necessary additional literacy support that cannot otherwise be provided on the school’s premises, the school must fund the cost, including travel between the school and the centre. Parents must not be charged for such additional literacy support”.

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Gold adds lustre to Rooney’s consistently quick career

Rooney's gold medalCroydon finished the European athletics championships in Zurich last night in sixth place in the medals table with three golds – just behind Russia, but reassuringly ahead of Poland – after Martyn Rooney brought home the relay team in first place, to add to his individual 400m and the 100m title won by his fellow Croydon Harrier James Dasaolu earlier in the week.

Alright, maybe Rooney had a bit of help from outside Croydon to deliver the third gold medal in the relay, but his and Dasaolu’s successes were nonetheless a vital component of Great Britain’s most successful ever Europeans, with a total of 12 golds.

As noted previously, Rooney’s individual success comes after six years of hard toil and frustrated promise, but it also adds well-deserved lustre to a career which has been outstanding in its consistency, as these stats, courtesy of Dave Cocksedge, demonstrate, with 90 races run under 46.20sec: Continue reading

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Thornton Heath Festival, Sun Sep 7

Thornton Heath Festival

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Fewer than 30 attend BNP’s shabby charade on Central Parade

It seems that the widespread support being claimed by the bigots of the BNP for a campaign they are running in New Addington is as non-existent as the plans to build a mosque on which it is based.

BNP rosetteFewer than 30 people turned up yesterday on Central Parade to attend the meeting, despite a month’s worth of hard campaigning and leafleting organised by local British National Party activist John Clarke.

“The more locals we have at this meeting, the better, as a good turnout will speak volumes,” a BNP website had stated before the event.

By that measure, therefore, such a pitiful turn-out suggests that the people of Croydon and New Addington have already seen through Clarke and his mates’ shabby charade.

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Get the keys to Fisher’s Folly and No 10 with Open House

Croydon, quite rightly, is taking its place alongside the majority of the capital’s boroughs, throwing open the doors of a number of public buildings for Open House London weekend on September 20-21, a free event which enables people to take a look behind the scenes of often cherished national assets, from 10 Downing Street to “The Office” of Croydon’s very own David Brent.

Open HouseMost events are first-come-first-served, but some are available only to those who book in advance through a ballot, which is now open.

In 2012, we broke the news that, like a churlish, spoilt child having a tantrum, Croydon Council had withdrawn from the Open House London weekend.

As we reported at the time, it was “another spectacular own-goal” by our council and “short-sighted”, and all just to “save” the £4,000 subscription fee.

That now seems to be regarded as the aberration it clearly was. Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Art, Bernard Weatherill House, Connected Croydon, Croydon Airport, Croydon Airport, Croydon Council, Education, Environment, Fairfield Halls, History, Libraries, Nathan Elvery | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Non-exclusive offer: Meet Boris Johnson in Croydon, Sep 22

It would appear that the kissing-babies-in-public season may soon be upon us

It would appear that the politicians-kissing-babies-in-public season may soon be upon us

Inside Croydon is delighted to present our loyal reader with another outstanding offer. And this one is far from exclusive.

You get the chance to meet Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London – and the next leader of the Conservative Party, no doubt – without having to pay any fee (as was the case when he did a turn for the local Tory party back in March).

Among the questions you can ask the Mayor of London:

This outstanding opportunity for public accountability – something to which Mayor Johnson rarely subjects himself – is brought to us courtesy of “Gavin from Sanderstead”.

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Posted in 2015 General Election, Boris Johnson, Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell MP, London-wide issues, Mayor of London | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Play the Game football sessions, Thornton Heath

Play the Game 1
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Rooney’s long wait for gold ends in triumph in Zurich

Golden wonder: Martyn Rooney on his way to winning European gold tonight

Golden wonder: Martyn Rooney on his way to winning European gold tonight

Croydon’s Martyn Rooney finally fulfilled his promise tonight by claiming the European 400 metres title in Zurich, the first international gold medal of his senior career. “It’s been a long time coming,” he admitted after his lap of honour around the Letzigrund stadium.

The Thornton Heath-born sprinter led a British one-two, driving home hard from 250 metres out to come into the finishing straight three metres ahead of his team mate, teenager Matthew Hudson-Smith, and having the strength to hold on to finish in 44.71sec, the fastest time by a European in 2014, and win by 0.04sec.

The third Briton in the field, Conrad Williams, finished fifth in 45.53.

After a wait of 45 years for an individual gold medal for a Croydon Harrier at the outdoors European championships, Rooney’s is the second of the week, following James Dasaolu’s 100m victory.

Both men now have strong chances of winning relay golds over the weekend, too.

Although he has been based in Loughborough for training for the past few years, the 6ft 6in tall Rooney is a real product of Croydon. His mother taught at St James the Great primary school, where her son’s athletics talents were first spotted and led to him training at Croydon Arena with the local club even before he began attending John Fisher secondary school. Continue reading

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New Addington centre refuses to stage BNP meeting

Organisers – including at least one member of the British National Party – who wanted to hold a meeting in New Addington on Sunday have been told that they will not now be able to stage their event in the local community centre.

“There’s no meeting. I’m not saying any more on the matter,” an official at the Addington Community Association centre, clearly uncomfortable at the controversial nature of the meeting and its organisers, told Inside Croydon today.

BNP official John Clarke: has been behind campaign in New Addington

BNP official John Clarke: has been behind campaign in New Addington

Sources in Katharine Street suggest that the decision to withdraw permission for the meeting was taken by the hall’s manager after Croydon Council reminded them of the terms of the Central Parade venue’s lease agreement.

Earlier this week, in an unprecedented move, local Labour and Tory politicians issued a statement jointly to condemn the meeting and the motivations behind it.

The meeting is believed to have been organised by John Clarke, a New Addington resident who stood for the British National Party in Fieldway ward in May’s local elections, polling the grand total of 210 votes. Continue reading

Posted in Addington Residents' Association, Church and religions, Community associations, Croydon Central, Fieldway, New Addington | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment