Category Archives: Ken Towl

Schooners and horizontal tanks offer lager on industrial scale

POST-LOCKDOWN (NOT QUITE) LOCK-INS: In his never-ending quest for the perfect outdoor pint, or even two-thirds of a pint, KEN TOWL hopped on the tram to prove it is possible to organise a piss-up at two breweries Someone at Anspach … Continue reading

Posted in Anspach and Hobday, Business, Ken Towl, Pubs | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Masks and casks: good to be back in the open at The Oval

Planning a trip to the pub post-lockdown requires face masks and careful monitoring of the weather forecast, as KEN TOWL discovered yesterday It was snowing when I woke up, but the childish wonder I usually feel when I see snow … Continue reading

Posted in Addiscombe West, Business, Ken Towl, Pubs | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Banned! Barwell blocks Inside Croydon from his little chat

In the week that the Grenfell fire inquiry resumed, the former minister who failed to act on multiple warnings about the dangers around tower blocks is staging a cosy little fund-raiser all about his ‘career’. We wanted to listen in. … Continue reading

Posted in Coulsdon, Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell, Ken Towl, Mario Creatura | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Spooky goings on down in the basement at Stanley Halls

On the eve of All Hallows’ Eve, KEN TOWL ventured off to South Norwood to encounter a weirdly life-affirming live performance Isn’t it always Hallowe’en these days? As if the times aren’t scary enough, I was intrigued by the invitation … Continue reading

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READER OFFER: Join our post-covid guided ramble, Sep 19

UPDATED Sep 10: With great regret, following the government’s latest change to its covid-19 guidelines, we have taken the decision to postpone this event. Anyone who booked a place will be contacted directly. We apologise for any inconvenience – we … Continue reading

Posted in Inside Croydon, Ken Towl, Walks | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Pub gardeners’ question time: Builders has others in the shade

Just where is the best beer garden to go in post-lockdown Croydon for a socially distanced, covid-safe drink with old mates? KEN TOWL, pictured right in his best new normal going-out gear, needed no second invitation to try a few … Continue reading

Posted in Addiscombe West, East Croydon, Ken Towl, Pubs | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Feeling the heat on the way along the North Downs to Oxted

When the BBC Weather page tells you to expect 34 degrees centigrade by mid-afternoon in Merstham, you know you should prepare well before heading out to walk eight miles along the North Downs Way. The North Downs Way runs for … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Ken Towl, Outside Croydon, Walks | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Bank robbers and Beethoven: life on the buses has changed

Our roving reporter, KEN TOWL, after months of observing lockdown, has been roving a little more than usual this past week, checking how Croydon’s public transport is coping with the new normal Friday, and I can’t help but think that … Continue reading

Posted in Ken Towl, TfL, Tramlink, Transport, West Croydon | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Little Bay deserves top tips with Chancellor’s Dosh for Nosh

Vegans should probably look away now, as armed with his government eating out subsidy, KEN TOWL goes in search of a T-bone steak for little more than a tenner “To get customers back into restaurants, cafés and pubs, and protect … Continue reading

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A covid pub crawl round Croydon: Mine’s a pint of sanitiser

While Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, does his Jimmy Pursey impersonation with a chorus of ‘We’re Going Dahn The Pub’, our roaming correspondent, KEN TOWL, right, took a more cautious approach to the reopenings Young people are, of course, immortal. So … Continue reading

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Learning lessons from teaching remotely during lockdown

Secondary school teacher KEN TOWL on how he and his pupils have managed to master the technology and the etiquette of staff meetings during the coronavirus quarantine With just 10 minutes of the lesson to go, instead of the expected … Continue reading

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It is time for some difficult conversations, not virtue signalling

KEN TOWL on a tale of two (or is it three? Or four?) online petitions “What, another one?” is my default reaction these days to online petitions. There seem to be more of them than ever, perhaps a symptom of … Continue reading

Posted in Chris Clark, Fairfield, Ken Towl, Niro Sirisena | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mystery and suspense: a bit of lockdown theatre in your home

KEN TOWL is a little liar. And he’s more than a bit pleased about it, too I have always liked liars. Society places so much value on truth and the telling of it that we forget that sometimes we need … Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Ken Towl, Theatre | Tagged | 3 Comments

Author tracks 20 years of history with Croydon Tramlink

KEN TOWL reviews an extensive and exhaustive new book about the local light rail network, which opened for service in May 2000 As former ITN newsreader and “The Voice of Tramlink”, Nicholas Owen notes in his foreword that the transport … Continue reading

Posted in Ken Towl, Sandilands derailment, Sutton Link, TfL, Tramlink, Transport | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Size isn’t everything, but two metres is only just enough

CROYDON COMMENTARY: After a sunny spring weekend which saw the police move in and some parks in south London close their gates to the public because social distancing was not being properly observed, KEN TOWL (at a safe distance, left) … Continue reading

Posted in Ken Towl | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Wot? No eggs? War-time rationing hits Addiscombe’s stores

“Armageddon! Ahm a getting outta here!” was once a gag in a Carry On film. But KEN TOWL, right, has opted to keep calm and carry on as he shopped around Addiscombe as the coronavirus shut-down begins to bite The … Continue reading

Posted in Addiscombe East, Addiscombe West, Business, Croydon North, Ken Towl, Sarah Jones MP, Steve Reed MP | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

There’s high art, and then there’s art high up in Crystal Palace

Our resident culture vulture KEN TOWL has taken the high ground for an outstanding community event The second Crystal Palace Artists’ Open House, being staged this weekend and next, features more than 90 artists, ceramicists, photographers, printers, designers and miscellaneous … Continue reading

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Sausage and mash comes with ‘jus’ in this Triangle of pubs

Crystal Palace Triangle is thriving with pubs, but it has only two types of pub, as KEN TOWL explains. Photographs: SIMON BENTLEY “You should write a piece on the pubs in the north of the borough,” said the senior local … Continue reading

Posted in Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood, Ken Towl, Pubs | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

World War Three, Brexit, Boris… but there is always The Hope

There was a whole load of wassailing going on in Carshalton at the weekend. KEN TOWL went along to find out what the fuss was all about. Photos: SIMON BENTLEY I find myself speaking to a man who appears to … Continue reading

Posted in Ken Towl, Pubs | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Brewers’ ‘smart’ pigeon brand homes in on Therapia Lane

There’s a new brewer in town, and KEN TOWL couldn’t wait to visit When Walter White realised that the cotidian lifestyle was not for him, he ended up breaking bad. When Messrs Anspach and Hobday decided to strike out on … Continue reading

Posted in Anspach and Hobday, Broad Green, Business, Ken Towl, Pubs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

This is how we have always run elections, since before there was TV or even radio, and no one’s noticed how pointless it is

KEN TOWL finds there’s not much recreational fun in this electioneering lark, as he attends last night’s set-piece hustings Having tried my hand at canvassing at the weekend, I thought I would really throw myself into the democratic melee by … Continue reading

Posted in 2019 General Election, Croydon Central, Croydon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Croydon Greens, Esther Sutton, Ken Towl, Mario Creatura, Sarah Jones MP, Simon Sprague | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thornberry, white vans and taking canvassing on board

Just what are those political party activists, armed with clipboards and little slips of paper, doing when they come knocking at your door at election time? KEN TOWL set off to find out On Saturday at 10am, Emily Thornberry was … Continue reading

Posted in 2019 General Election, Addiscombe East, Croydon Central, Ken Towl, Sarah Jones MP | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gallery in South Norwood offers a bit of Brazil in batik

On a rainy night in Croydon, KEN TOWL heads off to Portland Road for a feel of Latin American sunshine At the weekend I was taking brunch with members of the self-titled FILTH – Failed In London – Try Hastings … Continue reading

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Wintry Thames towpath walk that’s like entering another world

WANDLE WANDERER: Croydon’s own river, the Wandle, eventually reaches the Thames itself, which provides a multitude of possible walks. Here, KEN TOWL sets off for Richmond to see what the towpath has to offer With friends visiting from Hackney and … Continue reading

Posted in Ken Towl, Pubs, Walks, Wandle Wanderer, Zac Goldsmith MP | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

160 voices sing Verdi’s Requiem at Croydon’s People’s Palace: with Elton John in the toilets and ‘limited nibbles’ for £15

The Croydon Philharmonic Choir made its long-awaited return to the refurbished Fairfield Halls last night. And so, too, did KEN TOWL When a Croydon re-opening commands the presence of the Mayor of London himself, you know something big is happening. … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon Philharmonic Choir, Fairfield Halls, Ken Towl, London Mozart Players, Music, Savvy Theatre, Savvy Theatre Company, Talawa Theatre Company | Tagged , , | 8 Comments