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Pealry king and queen at Croydon Heritage Day

Croydon Heritage Festival programme now available with 70 free events from 20 to 28 June.

The jam-packed programme for the third Croydon Heritage Festival has been revealed by organisers The Whitgift Foundation, celebrating the diversity and rich culture in Croydon with more than 70 events from Saturday 20 June to Sunday 28 June. This year the festival will be celebrating the theme of FAMOUS CROYDON, highlighting the town’s links to many iconic faces and events of the past and present, while also celebrating local rising stars of the future. From touring behind the scenes of Croydon’s famous buildings, hearing tales of the Flower Fairies, to street dance, art and music, this year’s Heritage Festival is set to be famously delightful for all involved. The full programme can be found at

Martin Corney, Chief Executive of The Whitgift Foundation, comments:

‘There’s something for everyone in this year’s week- long Heritage Festival. You can find out about some of Croydon’s most famous past residents, explore some of the town’s best-known buildings and enjoy performances by talented rising stars. As well as Heritage Day on 20 June, this year we are also hosting for the first time a Croydon Future Day on Saturday 27 June, when young people will have the chance to take the limelight, demonstrate their talents and show us how they see the town.’

While many events are free with no booking, others carry small fees or require reservation in advance at

Highlights include:

20 June, Croydon Heritage Day, North End, sponsored by Mott MacDonald

A day of family friendly performances, local craft and tasty food stalls, with entertainment including:

  • 17 year old rising star of neo-soul Jade Evo from The BRIT School, which has produced the likes of international superstars Amy Winehouse and Adele
  • CODA Theatre Company performing a scene from Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest
  • an Ambition Festival preview with Little Lapin Music
  • famous songs from around the world performed by Jubilate Choir and Croydon Brass
  • Bollywood dancing and Indian Classical dancing from Apsara Arts
  • tap, jazz and street dance from some of Croydon’s most inspirational young people
  • delectable street food vendors to satisfy all of your cravings

11.00-5.30pm, free entry.

Sat 20 - Sun 28 June, Croydon Open Buildings, various locations

Over the festival, a selection of Croydon’s most iconic and historically significant buildings will be opening their doors and sharing their heritage with the public. They include Croydon Airport, in its heyday frequented by Marilyn Monroe, Croydon’s Famous Tramlink Depot, The Whitgift Almshouses, granted Royal permission by Queen Elizabeth I, Croydon Mosque & Islamic Centre, and Fairfield Halls, which has played host to pop legends Elton John, The Beatles, David Bowie, as well as classical superstars Yehudi Menuhin, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Nicola Benedetti.

Various times, booking may be required. See

Sat 20 – Sun 28 June, Croydon Heritage Exhibition, Whitgift Shopping Centre

Looking into Croydon’s links to the past we have uncovered famous faces and places across the borough which will be celebrated in the Heritage Exhibition.  Spot familiar faces in the heritage video and browse a mix of past and future heritage from the local area in interactive displays. Art from current and budding artists will also be on show.

Event highlights include:

Sat 20 – Sun 21 & Sat 27 - Sun 28 June, Flower Fairies Festival, Park Hill Park

28th June 2015 marks the 120th Birthday of world famous artist, author and Croydonian, Cicely Mary Barker, who created The Flower Fairies, her most famous collection of works, using the faces of REAL children from Croydon in the early 20th century. Activities include Flower Fairy Trails and storytelling Sessions, an official re-launch of the Cecily Mary Barker Garden, a pop-up cinema and a new Park Pavillion Mural created by Rise Gallery.

Sat 20 – Sat 27 June, Croydon Libraries Talks & Workshops, including Famous Croydon Writers

Croydon Libraries are once again supporting the festival with a full programme of dynamic talks and displays on the famous moments and people that have defined the borough. To celebrate their 75th anniversary, Croydon Writers Association have arranged a display at Ashburton Library of those famous people who have been connected to Croydon Writers over the years, and Croydon’s great literary traditions

Free entry, Closed Sunday and Wednesday. Please visit for information.

Mon 22 June - London Russian Ballet School performance, The Mitre Theatre, Trinity School

Talented young dancers from the London Russian Ballet School present excerpts from famous choreographies, accompanied by Trinity School’s outstanding musicians.

Location: Shirley Park, Croydon CR9 7AT

19.00 – 20.00m £5, £2 concessions booking via

Thu 25 June - David Lean’s Summer Madness (1955), staring Katherine Hepburn

Katherine Hepburn stars as Jane Hudson, a spirited but lonely American who finds romance when she meets an Italian man, Renato (Brazzi), during a holiday in Venice. This will be the first screening of film by David Lean, born in South Croydon in 1908, in the David Lean Cinema. Shot entirely on location in Venice, it will be shown on 35mm film, the iconic but now rarely seen medium that’s inextricably linked to our cinematic heritage.  (PG)

                14.30 and 19.30, £7.50, £6 concessions, tickets from

Thu 25 June - People of the Palace, Old Palace School Chapel

Uncovering the stories of the famous men and women who have lived in and passed through the doors of The Old Palace of Croydon over the centuries – from Tudor monarchs to Elizabeth I, to Henry VIII who it is said proposed to Katherine of Aragon there, to pirates and martyrs, archbishops, princes and saints.

17.00 – 18.00, free, drop in

Thu 25 June - Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and his homes in Selhurst, start Selhurt Station

A walk led by local historian Sean Creighton of the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Network. An English composer of Creole descent, Croydon’s famous composer achieved such success that he was once called the "African Mahler".

18.00, Free, booking required

Fri 26 June - The Singular Exploits of Sherlock Holmes, Stanley Halls
Celebrating the work of South Norwood resident Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this production is an affectionate one-man homage to the world’s greatest detective that includes quick costume changes, wry humour and plenty of audience interaction. Presented by Don’t Go Into the Cellar! Theatre Company and organised by Stanley People’s Initiative.
19.45 £11, tickets from  / 0333 666 33 66 (£1.50 for phone booking)

Sat 27 June - Remembering Croydon’s past theatres and their famous performers, Fairfield Halls

A talk by Carole Roberts and Richard Norman on Croydon’s tradition of drama and entertainment, from drama at the Grand, variety at the Croydon Empire and spectacular shows at the Davis together with a review of their famous stars and artistes.

15.30, Free, ticketed

Sat 27 June – Croydon Future Day, sponsored by The Croydon Partnership

Celebrate Croydon’s rising stars in a day filled with activity run for, and by young people.  Art competition winners and finalists will be announced; young speaker’s corner and enterprise competition are a few of the day’s activities.

Highlights include:

Changing Places: “If I ruled the world…”, North End

Up to 20 young people are giving their very first public speech; the floor is theirs and they are taking over the street to tell you about their hopes, dreams and ambitions. Come along to see the future through their eyes. Dynamic expert facilitators will be on hand to prompt us about what matters, play games and ask questions. Relax and indulge in some poetry and spoken word or take central stage and grab the mic… the place is yours and change is on the agenda! What would you do if you ruled the word?  Changing Places is produced by Time Won’t Wait in collaboration with Speakers’ Corner Committee Croydon. The project is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.

12.00 – 14.00,  Free, drop in

Croydon Partnership Enterprise Event, Centrale Shopping Centre

Celebrating Future Croydon, Croydon Partnership is offering four school teams the opportunity to convert their business ideas into reality with seed funding and a stall at Centrale Shopping. Visit the four teams at their stall in Centrale Shopping Centre to check out how their business ideas are progressing and see if the goods they are selling pique your interest.

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