Your Stories

The 'Your Story' link, at the top of our web pages, allows you to tell us your story or memory of Croydon.

If you want to add a story click the Your Story link at the top of every web page.

To see what people are writing about scroll down this page.

'Memories of Heathfield' by Nicole. Written on 26 October 2009

We found heathfield the other summer with its little gardens and bridges and stepping stones we like playing on them for hours many happy childhood memories to be had here.

'Museum Fun' by Bethany. Written on 26 October 2009.

I'm only 12 years old and I already love this museum I think it is so intersting and amusing. I love learning about old london and all the heros,it's landsmarks,buildings and wars.

'The smell of wartime' by Ann. Written on 29 July 2009.

I can remember the damp musty smell of the air raid shelter. The coldness that seemed to penetrate your whole body. There was an element of fear but I did not know exactly was I was afraid of.

'The day the bomb went off' by Lucy. Written on 17 June 2009.

It was around three in the morning. I was woken up by Susie frantially shaking me and telling me to get to the shelter. It occured to me then, as soon as I heard the familiar piercing noise meet my ears, that the siren had gone and Jerrys planes were already swarming over us like gnats.

The whole family evacuated into the tin house built at the bottom of the garden and we all lay there, praying that they would have the mercy to spare us. After that, it was lights and explosions and the sound of our house being devoured by flames.

When the all clear went off, I heard my father talking to mam saying the it was too dangerous to stay in London any longer and we were to be evacuated the next day.

The next day, after we had been moved to the railway station for the homeless, I felt like a parcel about to be delivered. I wanted to stay and help my dad and my mam but there was nowhere safe now. Me and Susie borded and gave our last reserves to my mam and dad.

The journey was long and it felt harsh watching fellow children walking away with their strict looking "parents" We were to go to the governer who lived in the South of Denmark, way out in the country in a grand estate.

I remember how hard I bit my lip when we arrived. Mary was the child maid of the guvnor whom I befriended quickly. We looked after the farm out the back and the governor treated us well. Though one day, a telegram came with tragic news that my mam and dad had died due to an explosion in the station. I had no choice. I had to go back...

'Frederick Creed' by Gilly. Written on 27 May 2008

"Frederick Creed was my Great Grandfather. He was born in Nova Scotia, Canada. He met his wife in Chile in the 1870's where she was working with the Salvation Army and the Mission to Seaman. He lived in Outram Road, Addiscombe, where there is still a plaque over the front door.

He also invented the Floating Harbour for the D Day landings - stabalisers on ships, still used today. He was also a code breaker during the 2nd World War at Bletchley working with the team responsible for breaking the Enigma Code which proved crucial to Allied victory.

When the post office tower was built, it was to be named after him but the family objected as he was a very unassuming man and would not have been comfortable with the honour."

'Trams' by Louis. Written on 18 April 2008

"When the trams were first built I was a little boy. I used them to travel to my nan's house they go very fast. You can get trams to different places they are a lot different to the old trams that ran a long time ago.

Today's trams run on electricity and the seats are a lot more softer to sit on and there is more space for buggys and wheelchairs."

'Christmas Lights' by Madison Written on 31 January 2008

It was Christmas 2005 and everywhere you went there was Christmas Lights, but not in Old Coulsdon. I asked my Granny why there wasn't lights because the Council couldn't afford them. So I wrote to the Mayor and asked her and she said she didn't know exactly why and that it was very upseting.

I wrote letters to the local shop owners and asked them if they would place a poster in their window to encourge people to contribute to a fund for the lights. One year later we did have some lights. With help from our local Councillor, friends and family. I earned the name Madison of the lights.

I have moved home but still have my letters and photograph of the Mayor and I. Of course I am now eleven years old!

'School days' by Tania Rahman Witten on 24 December 2007.

"I attended Old Palace School in Croydon,although I was living in Streatham at the time. (It did not matter about Catchment areas back then).

One thing I particularly remember about Old Palace School, was that,although I found it extremely tough for the first few years, by the time I got to GCSEs I managed to drop a lot of the subjects I disliked. French was compulsory, but even that got better. I remember taking a lot of classical subjects like Latin, which was a mistake, as it got harder, even by GCSEs.

My favorite subject, surprisingly was Classical Greek Civilisation. It was not even a first choice of mine. Despite what I thought,there were no list of dates, names and places to remember,just interesting stories about mythological gods and goddesses. The historical info was not too difficult to remember. We even studied topics such as Greek theatre. One piece of coursework even required us to imagine life as a teenage girl about to be married off!

I did well in Classical Civ in the end, and wanted to continue it for A Level, but not only did my parents make me leave the school, but A levels at my new school were a disaster. I had never been academically brlliant, but at least at Old Palace School I had taken subjects that I enjoyed and ended up doing well in, not brillantly, but better than I hoped. I sruggled with various courses until I finally graduated with a decent degree in English Literature.

I am currently working at the British Museum, of which the Greek and Roman Collection is the biggest. The GCSE course I took at Old Palace School has proved to be invaluable for me, because as well as studying it at school, I have always enjoyed reading about Greek mythology. Many teachers have brought their classes to the museum without an ounce of knowledge about Greek Mythology.

Many times I have had to provide information about gods and godesses and even had to deliver a potted history on the Trojan Wars to a class when a teacher knew nothing about them. It has also been useful having a little knowledge about medieval history. I can't help thinking that I was always supposed to end up working at the British Museum, even though I still live in Croydon. I've been there for six years now. It's had its ups and downs,although I can be grateful I've never been unemployed during that time. Despite whatever ambitions I had during and when I finished University, I can't help wondering what it would be like to work in Croydon again (I worked at the Home Office for a month). Croydon has a great Heritage Sector, if only I could get a job in it."

'Gems of Surrey Street Market' by Neelam Shah. Written on 10 August 2007.

"Once upon a time a market was born on Surrey Street in Croydon the year 1276.

It started of with only a few stalls in them were a little variety of fruits and vegs. There were not that many market holders who came from different countries or backgrounds.

There was also a small river streaming by on one of the small streets.

Many famous people came to Surrey Street Market like the president, the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Although there wasn't a wide range of fruit and vegetables and didn't have much culture the market was still running.

Time had passed and over the years the market grew and grew, lots and lots of new stalls were piling in and pouring with fresh new vegetables and fruits. The whole street is now dotted with loads of people who are ready to buy food products from the market holders. As well as fruit and veg, merchandise is now being sold as well like watches, batteries, bulbs etc. which they didn't have back in the 18th century.

There were new faces as well in the marketstalls, new market traders had come from different countries and backgrounds to start up their own business with that they bought culture and colour so it became more multicultural.
So a lot has changed over the years but one thing hasn't changed its popularity. Surrey Street Market keeps on making business and it lives happily ever after."

'Cinemas' by Shaneace. Written on 17 October 2006

Croydon has some very good cinemas now but my Grandad said the Davis Theatre was the best Cinema

'My first Croydon experience' by Madeleine. Written on 7 October 2006

I was about 7 when I first visited Croydon. I came with my nan into central croydon to the market.

We got the 64 bus into croydon and as soon as I got off the bus my jaw dropped. I had never seen such a busy lively place.

I went to croydon most saturdays after that with my nan but I only really got to see the market and other shops my nan visited.

It wasnt until year 5 when she took me to visit the Old Palace that I realised how much more to croydon there was. I fell in love with the school then.

I left Ridgeway Primary in Sanderstead age 11 and went to Old Palace after I passed the exam and interview. When I started getting the bus home I reaslised how amaing, thrilling and wonderful croydon is.

Photo of flooding in Brighton Road, Croydon, 1930s. Image courtesy of Croydon Local Studies Library.

Your 'Weird Weather' stories

As part of our Autumn '07 exhibition, Whatever the Weather, we asked for your stories and memories about the weather in Croydon.

  • Have you had a weird weather experience? For example, a particularly hot summer, snowy winter, floods, winds or storms?

  • Do you have any objects that remind you of a strange weather event in Croydon that you can lend us for the exhibition?

  • Below is a selection of the stories which were sent to us. Keep checking this page to see the latest additions and remember to send us Your Story today.

    You can tell us Your Story by clicking the 'Your Story' link at the top of this page. Don't forget to leave your contact details if you would like us to get back to you.

    Flooding in Brighton Road, Croydon, 1930s. Image courtesy of Croydon Local Studies Library.

    'School Flood' by James. Written on 23 October 2007

    "On the last day of school, July, 2007, There was a massive flood at my school.

    The playground was like a river, and the field - a swamp. Loads of leaks kept coming through the roof, and my bus got flooded at the Croydon undepass,

    I wasn't scared, but it was really fun."

    'The Weather' by Lizzy. Written on 1 August 2007.

    "In 2007 on a friday my school St.Andrews got really badly flooded. We were really scared, but when we got let out of school early we were very happy we just hope that school will be open in september."

    '1977 Heatwave' by Andy. Written on 9 July 2007

    "In 1977 their was a heatwave, no rain for months. Crystal Palace football club needed re painting. Maurice and a team of regular suporters gave up their spare time, out in the very hot weather painting the fences, barriers turnstyles and gates. I got a great sun tan"

    'Bedington Ball Lightning' by Ian. Written on 3 July 2007.

    "My mother lived as a child in Bridges Lane, Beddington, and she recalls an incident that occurred there during a thunderstorm in the 1930's, probably 1936-38 when she was aged 10-12.

    She and her mother were both in the house during this particularly heavy storm and at a point when it seemed to be directly overhead, with the thunder particularly ear-splitting and frequent flashes of lightning, a glowing orange sphere, about the size of a tennis ball, floated into the hall of the house.

    It came in straight through the glass in the front door without breaking it and floated the length of the house, and while both saw it, it went so close to my mother - less than arms-length - she could feel the heat from it as it passed. It left through the glass of the french window, once again without breaking it.

    This has all the characteristics of classic ball-lightning, which is a rare form of high-energy plasma that can be generated during thunder storms and can indeed pass through glass without breaking it. It is very rare to actually see it at close quarters and it is only relatively recently that science has recognised it as undisputedly existing.

    Later, during the war, my father was caught in a rain of fish, but as this was in India, it is not relevant to Croydon weather."

    'Weather Charts' by Thomasina. Written on 3 July 2007.

    "Back in the 1990s I was at university in Aberdeen. I was always moaning that Aberdeen was far wetter and colder than home. My Dad was a geography teacher and decided to prove to me that I was exagerating so every day for a year he took the temperature and rainfall in Aberdeen from the paper and plotted it on a graph alongside the temperature and rainfall in his backyard. Once a month he sent me the charts! Funnily enough over the year I WAS proved right - it was wetter and colder in Aberdeen - but only just. My ex-flatmates still talk about my weather charts."

    'A windy day' by India aged 6. Written on 30 May 2007.

    "One day when I was at school, in february this year, it was really windy. It was lunchtime ... and we were in the playground. Suddenly a gust of wind blew off the plastic roof!! Chloe in year 2 got hit by the hard roof. I felt scared and I was so glad that my daddy came to pick me up at the end of the day."

    'Wind and hail' by Karvan aged 11. Written on 30 May 2007.

    "In march 2007 [a really windy day] we were talking about global warming causing extreme winds and just at that moment the school roof blew off and came thundering into our classroom window.Some of the girls started crying but the boys were laughing. Once we had hail stones the size of golf balls."

    'First aid on a hot day' by Susan, SW19. Written on 30 May 2007.

    "I was traning in Croydon at a St Johns Amulance first aid course for work approx early 1980. It was exceptionly hot. I had just learnt about heatstroke and how to treat it. On my way home via East Croydon station I saw an elderly couple that were in some distress. The elderly gentleman was suffering heatstroke. I had water on me and gave it to him. I told them what to do etc. They recovered and were very grateful. It was very hot that day. I actually suffered heat stroke a few days later and nearly didn't finish the course. I did though and passed with flying colours.

    'Squashed Rabbit' by Laura aged 24. Written on 23 May 2007.

    "During the storm of 1987, I was living in Hornchurch, Essex. I was only 5 and had just got my first pet: a brand new black rabbit. Unfortunately during the night the storm caused the fences to fall down onto it's cage and it was squashed. We had to bury it the next day. That was my first experience of death. Thankfully I then recieved a cat and that lasted up until I was 23!"

    Whatever the Weather Exhibition

    29 September - 22 December 2007

    This project was developed by Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust in collaboration with the Museum of Croydon and Tyne and Wear Museums