Saturday, January 26, 2008

Holocaust Memorial Concert at Ruskin House

Ruskin House is hosting a concert to mark Holocaust Memorial Day tomorrow. Featuring artists from Poland, Ireland, Australia and Ukraine, there will be poetry and music, including Russian, Jewish and Gypsy music by Balalaika.

It takes place from 8pm on 27 January, in the Cedar Hall, Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, Croydon. Tickets £2 available on the door or from 020 8688 5339. The event has been organised with the support of the Ruskin House management committee, Croydon TUC, Croydon Labour Party, Croydon Co-operative Party, the Folk & Blues Club and Croydon Communist Party.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Croydon Festival underway

Croydon Festival takes place on 14th and 15th July. The Croydon Council organised festival starts today in Lloyd Park with the African Caribbean Family Festival, 1pm to 8pm with Jimmy Cliff headlining. Tomorrow sees the Croydon Mela, also in Lloyd Park 1-8, with Raghav and a host of other acts.

Personally I was sad to see the World Party which normally took place on the Saturday narrowed to become an African Caribbean day only, without the international flavour that included food from around the world and campaigning stalls from Oxfam and the Fairtrade Network. There were many great acts from Africa and the Caribbean before, but we also had acts from Europe and Latin America that were fantastic too - Ojos de Brujo, Rodrigo and Gabriela and Los de Abajo in the heart of Croydon. It is important to mark 200 years since the end of slavery, of course, but hopefully next year the festival can return to drawing in acts and stalls representing the best from around the world.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Croydon Bike Week

Croydon Bike Week takes place as part of National Bike Week, June 16 - 24, the UK's 9 day celebration of cycling.

There are events all through the week, including rides for beginners and families, and for more experienced riders.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

The day Gordon Brown came to Croydon

Today Gordon Brown, our next Prime Minister, came to Croydon to visit St John's Primary School. It was great to see Gordon come to Croydon, particularly in Shirley. He was accompanied by Dame Kelly Holmes and was excitedly welcomed by the children.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The end of the Croydon Society?

Tonight, 1 May, sees the Annual General Meeting of the Croydon Society, our local civic society.

This meeting could be the Society's last. The post of secretary has been vacant for a while, and other officers including the chairman are stepping down. Many of the executive members are getting on and new people have not been getting involved for some time. For those reasons, the executive have tabled a motion to wind up the Society and grant members membership of the Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society for the rest of the year.

To some extent, the motion is a threat, tabled to flush out those members on the edge of the society who could take on a greater role and take on some of the administration. But it is a high risk strategy. Some new nominations have been found for executive members, but without a strong chair of the Society and a collective vision of the Society's future, there may be little point.

Let's face it, as things stand, the Council does not really respect the Society. When decisions are being made on planning, heritage, transport or parks, the Society is not engaged and its views do not sway councillors or officers. But there is the need and the opportunity for a strong civic society. The Croydon Society could be a think tank for Croydon, engaging residents groups, faith groups, conservation groups and small local businesses on a long-term vision for our town that guides the Council and other decision-makers. The Society could work in a cross-cultural, cross-political, cross-borough way that politicians find it hard to. Organisations like the New Economics Foundation - particularly their project in Leeds - have shown the way that groups can develop strong voices and visions locally.

The meeting is at 19.45 at the United Reformed Church, Addiscombe Grove, East Croydon. Go, join and help create a vision for our borough.

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