28. August 2020 - 10:00 till 11:00
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Virtual Tour - Beautiful Downtown Croydon: the good, the bad and the ugly | Friday, 28. August 2020

Croydon isn't just boring 1960s office blocks and shops. Join Stephen to learn the fascinating story of a little old town with big ambition.

This is a virtual tour conducted live hosted via Zoom video conferencing where your guide will show slides and give a talk to accompany them. There will be the opportunity for questions both during and after the talk.


Croydon is a story of ambition: in some ways it has been truly successful but in other ways it is a bit of a failure. Although Croydon had been a Surrey market town since 1276 and was home to the Archbishops of Canterbury for centuries, things really got going in the 19th century with the coming of the railway and the gaining of borough status.

On this tour we will hear about the Archbishop connection and see some grand buildings from the late 19th century and some from the 1930s which show how Croydon was telling the world it was a place of importance. We will discover how the unique circumstances of the 1950s and 1960s resulted in a largely speculative office boom and how Croydon led the way as a shopping destination. And we will learn how Croydon lost out when it became part of Greater London in 1965 and what Croydon is now doing to reinvent itself for the 21st century.

This tour will appeal not only to those with an interest in architecture but also how to people who want to explore an area which is at once well known and yet not known.

And on the way we see a couple of unexpected art works!