Tag Archives: Ken Towl

How Winston McKenzie became Croydon’s Public Enema No1

It seems every election has a joker in the pack, and this year Winston McKenzie, the candidate who declared ‘Croydon is a dump!’, is once again seeking your votes. KEN TOWL read his manifesto, so that you wouldn’t have to … Continue reading

Posted in 2022 Croydon Mayor election, Business, Ken Towl, Winston McKenzie | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

‘Any would be better for Croydon than the old strong leader’

With a month until election day, hustings for the borough’s first-ever Mayoral contest are coming thick and fast. KEN TOWL went along to last night’s event held in Park Hill, so that you didn’t have to… Val Shawcross really ought … Continue reading

Posted in 2022 Croydon Mayor election, Andrew Pelling, Jason Perry, Ken Towl, Peter Underwood, Richard Howard, Val Shawcross | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

A night at the comic opera: from sublime to the ridiculous

Box office closed, bar closed, bistro closed and toilets closed… KEN TOWL went along to see what the Fairfield Halls experience is like these days, and with a box seat (pictured left) he managed to last longer than the Mayor … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Croydon Philharmonic Choir, Fairfield Halls, Ken Towl, Music | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Finding the perfect something in Addiscombe’s Aladdin’s Cave

KEN TOWL has been back to a local gallery for a bit of artful Christmas  shopping It is not every day that the councillor from the next-door ward sends you an email reminding you to pick up a limited edition … Continue reading

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Golden Ark’s laidback landlord meets Orwell’s demands

CROYDON PUB OF THE YEAR: Our man standing at the bar with a packet of pork scratchings nearby, a pint of pale ale in hand and a dog-eared paperback of Animal Farm poking out of his jacket pocket, KEN TOWL, … Continue reading

Posted in Ken Towl, Pubs, Selsdon and Addington Village | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

You can’t put a price on this exhibition of a year’s isolation

What was your ‘lockdown project’? Paul Hall opened an art gallery in Addiscombe, and KEN TOWL popped along to view its first show In a backstreet in St Leonards on Sea last year I noticed – you couldn’t miss it … Continue reading

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

Whitgift Centre pop-up museum provides a tribute and legacy

A vacant unit in a shopping centre is the venue for an exhibition which celebrates the history of the Windrush generation. KEN TOWL was impressed by what he found there Deighton flew from Barbados to England in 1961 with the … Continue reading

Posted in Charity, Community associations, History, Ken Towl, Whitgift Centre | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Government made it easier for rich kids to make the grade

Last week’s covid-hit A level and GCSE results demonstrate huge disparities in our schools, particularly in Croydon, writes KEN TOWL Can we please stop talking about grade inflation? Sure, when the examination results were announced last week, at A level, … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Schools | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

It’s time to put back the Sparks into Croydon’s Fairfield Halls

For £70m, the Fairfield Halls should be offering a lot more for the community, says KEN TOWL If the Fairfield Halls disappoint, and they do, over and over, it is because they have a lot to live up to. Through … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Fairfield Halls, Music, Savvy Theatre Company, Talawa Theatre Company | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

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

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

Posted in Art, Ken Towl, Stanley Halls, Theatre | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

Posted in Education, Ken Towl, Schools | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Activities, Art, Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood, Ken Towl | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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