About Inside Croydon

Museum-of-Croydon-1When the local MP tells Parliament that Croydon has an image problem, then you know there must be something to it.

The launch of Inside Croydon coincided with Gavin Barwell, the newly elected Member of Parliament for Croydon Central, making his maiden speech at the House of Commons on Wednesday evening, June 2, 2010.

In his (it has to be said, somewhat dull) eight-minute address, full of platitudes about Croydon geography and history, sounding suspiciously as if much had been copied straight from Wikipedia, Barwell, the chairman of governors at Trinity School, assiduously toed his Conservative party line on education. No surprise there.

But there was one line from this professional Tory party politician’s speech which was certain to make headlines, and which is sure to be re-used forever in future, dragged up from the cuttings every time a hack newspaper columnist wants to make a point about chav culture, the Croydon facelift or life in the suburbs.

It is engraved in Hansard forever more. “There is no getting away from the fact,” Barwell told Parliament, “that Croydon has an image problem  – a reputation for rather unwelcoming 1960s architecture, and for crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Apart from the rather ham-fisted manner he managed to take a widespread opinion and pass it off as a “fact”, at least Barwell unwittingly did this site a favour, by summing up why we are here.


“If, to expose the fraud and imposition of monarchy, and every species of hereditary government — to lessen the oppression of taxes — to propose plans for the education of helpless infancy, and the comfortable support of the aged and distressed — to endeavour to conciliate Nations to each other — to extirpate the horrid practice of war — to promote universal peace, civilisation, and commerce — and to break the chains of political superstition, and raise degraded man to his proper rank — if these things be libellous, let me live the life of a Libeller, and let the name of LIBELLER be engraven on my tomb”

Thomas Paine, 1737-1809


The 2010 election was keenly fought and historic in many ways, especially so in Croydon’s three parliamentary constituencies and local council elections. Though not that you will have noticed if you relied on local ITV or BBC broadcasts, or even on the tired and dull Croydon Sadvertiser.

IMG_1621[1]And if you turned to the blogosphere for your local news you would have got, well…. the Sadvertiser website or its freebie rival, the Croydon Guardian, offering coverage of the news and resulting issues which, frankly, is often puerile or patronising.

While other boroughs and towns have keen and active hyperlocals, Croydon did not.

Then we came along.

In its first five years, Inside Croydon has been threatened with a libel action by a Tory peer, whose lawyers quickly abandoned that notion. We’ve had late-at-night visits on behalf of a Conservative councillor, who also hired one of the most expensive firms of  lawyers in London. We did not back down, and the individual concerned is now an ex-councillor. And we’ve also received veiled threats from a Labour MP (no prizes for guessing), too.

We also helped launch the campaign to Save the David Lean Cinema, we revealed the secret sale of the Riesco china collection, we exposed the £24 million scandal of the Bridge to Nowhere at East Croydon station, provided in-depth coverage of the #WadGate affair at the Town Hall and delivered a 24-hour live blog on the 2014 local elections. And we have provided a platform for an eclectic and varied range of views and opinions about living life on the fringes of London.

This site has become an evolving mass of news, views and information about where you live and work that we attempt to make interesting, stimulating and which offers a real voice in your community, so often missing from council events or the established mainstream media.


Forgive the watermarking and the “pop video” halfway through, but this is a fascinating short film from the 1970s about the history of Croydon


Inside Croydon is interested in everything related to life inside Croydon: music, theatre, education, football, crime and policing, traffic, housing and planning, cricket … The list is endless.

  • IMG_1554[1]Consider Inside Croydon a wayfinder towards some activity you might want to become involved with this weekend. So if you have an event to publicise, send us the details at inside.croydon@btinternet.com.
  • Consider Inside Croydon as a lightning rod for the issues that affect you, your family and your colleagues. If you have issues with your bin collections, noisy neighbours or dodgy parking, email us with your story. We can publicise your plight and get the attention of your councillors.
  • Consider Inside Croydon to be an ever-watchful observer of life in and around Croydon, keeping tabs on our local political “servants”, their actions and their expenses.

Make sure you comment on what is posted here, and please do send to us the news, announcements, and event details from your neighbourhood, your street, your school, your choir, residents’ association or drama group, your sports club or your evening class.

Let Croydon know what matters to you, inside Croydon.

COMMENTS POLICY

You can post a comment on any of the stories on this website.

You will need a WordPress log-in.

IMG_1544[1]We will not accept anonymous postings or comments from anyone using an obviously false email identity (although in cases where a commenter wishes to maintain some confidentiality, we may withhold the name of a poster or source).

By having a comment section, we provide all readers with a “right of reply”, something which is not an option in traditional newspapers.

We welcome comments from all sections of society, and of varied opinion. Debate – by its very definition – requires disagreement. So we will always welcome divergent views and we encourage people to express where they agree and disagree with others.

But do not confuse the notion of “freedom of speech” with some misguided idea that you can write anything without any responsibility – you cannot.

Inside Croydon, as publishers of this site, carry the responsibility for what is published. Comments don’t appear until they have been moderated. We will not allow comments that are abusive, defamatory, racist or sexist. Or palpably untrue. We will not publish comments which are deemed gratuitous or threatening, and reserve the right to ban those who make such comments.

All comments are subject to editing as well as moderation.

We believe that all comments should seek to add value to the original post. So in order to encourage discussion in an environment that is welcoming and inclusive, we will remove consistently off-topic remarks and personal or routinely negative or derogatory attacks.

Comments left should be considered published under the Creative Commons licence and

We look forward to hearing from you.

Last updated 22i2015