The great debates come to Norwood, all on the same night

Norwood’s clearly the place to be if you enjoy erudite discussions on local history, because next week there will be three history talks on offer, from three different groups, but all staged on the same evening.

Friends of West Norwood CemeteryBefore Christmas, Inside Croydon published the detail of the Norwood Society’s 2014 programme of local history talks.

Their talk on Thursday February 20 at Upper Norwood Library about Victorian artists Henrietta Rae and Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale will be up against competing attractions.

Keith Holdaway’s South London Local History Group has also announced its schedule of discussions, and it too has a meeting next Thursday, with Croydon historical music expert Adrian Falks talking about “Music Making at the Crystal Palace” being staged at the Phoenix Centre in Westow Street at 8pm.  There is no charge to attend.

But local historians are spoiled for choice. To complete this cornucopia, Group 19 is hosting a talk on the very same evening called “In Their Shoes: the History of the Imperial War Museum Collection in 5 Objects” by Grant Rogers, an artist at the museum. This begins at 7.15pm at the Salvation Army Headquarters, also in Westow Street. Tickets at £6 are on sale at the door.

Why are all these groups staging talks at the same time, and why is The Norwood Society and the South London Local History Group both planning meetings through the year regularly on the third Thursday of the month?

We are not saying – you will have to ask the organisers. We do suggest, though, that in the interests of local history enthusiasts that the groups should move to different nights…

While on the subject of local history in Norwood, let us not forget the Friends of West Norwood Cemetery.  They are organising what promises to be an unusually entertaining talk this Saturday, February 15, at 2.30pm at Chatsworth Baptist Church, Chatsworth Way, West Norwood, SE27, on George Bolwell Davidge by Michael Slater, Emeritus Professor of Victorian Literature at Birkbeck College.

Slater will discuss the fraught relationship between two notable figures of the 19th century London theatre, Davidge (1793–1842), a noted Harlequin who became manager of the Coburg (later the Old Vic) and Surrey Theatres, and Douglas Jerrold (1803–1857), who hilariously caricatured Davidge in The New Monthly Magazine.

Coming to Croydon

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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