Bolshoi Ballet, Amy Johnson and mammoth teeth all on display

The Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society is staging a series of events this week, its contribution to the Croydon Heritage Festival.

The Bolshoi Ballet performed in London in 1956, including at Croydon's Davis THeatre

The Bolshoi Ballet performed in London in 1956, including at Croydon’s Davis THeatre

On Tuesday, June 21, there is a talk by Carole Roberts, starting at 7.30pm at Fairfield Halls, and focusing on three anniversary years (1936, 1946, 1956) in the life of the Croydon’s Davis Theatre, in the days when the town’s major arts venue was able to attract companies with the global reputation of the Bolshoi Ballet.

The talk is free and no booking is necessary.

On Thursday, June 23, at the Clocktower at 3pm, Celia Bailey gives a talk on “The Housing Question in Croydon”, charting the history of slum clearance in the town centre and the provision of the first council houses by the borough and the LCC. Again, this is a free event and there is no need to book. Further details can be found here.

At 7.30pm at the Fairfield Halls on Thursday, Carole Roberts and John Hickman give a another free talk, this on the fabulous John Gent collection of postcards with many old views of Croydon.

John Hickman returns on Friday, June 24, again at the Fairfield Halls. In a joint offering with the Museum of Croydon and with piano accompaniment by Martha Littehales of Riddlesdown Collegiate, this is an illustrated talk with films showing Croydon in key events from history, from Amy Johnson to decimalisation. Again, this is a free event and no booking is necessary.

The week’s activities end with an open day for the Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society Museum, held from 1pm at Chipstead Valley primary school on Sunday, June 26.

There will be a timeline of artefacts on display from a significant collection from prehistoric, Roman, Medieval and post-Medieval periods. This includes a mammoth’s tooth found locally. There will be displays of World War I and World War II relics and museum regulars will be on hand to provide information on objects.

There will be short talks, plus tea and cake available – all free of charge, except for donations towards the cost of the refreshments.


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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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