Join us and Croydon Ramblers for 5-mile tour of New Hill

Rambling on: Inside Croydon and Croydon Ramblers will be taking a well-informed stroll around Happy Valley next month

Inside Croydon is delighted to announce that it is joining forces with the local branch of the Ramblers’ Association to take part in an invigorating amble around New Hill, Driftway and Netherne.

The walk on Sunday, November 12 (which this year is Remembrance Sunday), will start at 1.30pm from the car park behind The Fox pub on Coulsdon Common. The route taken will be about five miles, finishing back at the car park (or pub), and is expected to take around two hours – so finishing just before dusk.

Croydon Ramblers is one of the biggest and longest-established groups in the country, having been going for 70 years.

This walk is absolutely free (everyone can do up to three of the walks before being asked to become a member of the Ramblers), but the usual caveats all apply about individuals’ health and fitness for a moderately hilly two-hour walk, and the wearing of appropriate clothing and footwear for a ramble over rough and possibly muddy paths in the English autumn.

There is no requirement to book, but if you would like to discover more details, click here to visit the page on the Croydon Ramblers’ website.

And while you’re there, we recommend that you take a ramble around this very well-appointed site, which includes details of walks and rambles on almost every day of the week, with something that could suit everyone when they want to get out and about in a bit of company.

The ramble on November 12 will be led by one of the senior members of Croydon Ramblers, who will take the opportunity as we go along to give a short history on how Croydon’s commons came into existence, based on articles written for the Bourne Society.

It was 140 years ago, on May 19 1883, that the City of London Corporation came to Coulsdon Common. This was not an easy matter: the roads were in poor condition, and in some cases just tracks.

The aim of the journey was for the Lord Mayor of London to dedicate the Commons to the public forever. The Commons consisted of Riddlesdown, Kenley Common, Coulsdon Common and Farthing Downs.

Proud history: the City Commons have been administered by the Corporation for 140 years

About 100 people came from London Bridge by special train. All in full dress. They arrived at Caterham Junction, now Purley Station, to be greeted by a local reception committee, bunting and flags. Carriages were already assembled, and the City Corporation’s Coal, Corn, and Finance Committee took the first stagecoach. The Lord Mayor, Lady Mayoress, and Mr Shaw-Lefevre rode in the Great State Coach.

Two more carriages of sheriffs followed, and then 30 other carriages.

The Surrey Volunteers supplied the guard of honour.

The old Riddlesdown Road was unfit for the State Coach, so they travelled on the new Godstone Road to Kenley. At Kenley, the coaches faced a stiff climb up Kenley Lane. Then across Kenley Common on the site of the airfield.

Finally to Coulsdon Common. Guards from the Caterham army barracks, and children from Reedham School were there. Four commemorative trees were planted, with the ladies in the party using miniature silver spades and watering cans. At least one oak remains to be seen today.

The business of the day complete, the Lord Mayor and his large retinue dashed back to Caterham Junction for a special train to Crystal Palace, and a civic dinner.

Read more: Happy Valley to be granted National Nature Reserve status

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About insidecroydon

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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