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Authority record

Thornton Heath Ratepayers Association

  • CB138
  • Corporate body
  • 1893

Thornton Heath Ratepayers Association was in existence by 1893. In 1947 it was renamed the Thornton Heath Ratepayers Residents Association; and it survived until at least the late 1960s. Like other Ratepayers Associations, it was a local community body for Thornton Heath ward which put forward candidates for election to Croydon Borough Council. It claimed to be 'non-sectarian and non-political', but was broadly anti-socialist; and it believed in 'a co-operative effort to secure the best representation and the maximum efficiency of administration in the interest of all'. It was a member of the Croydon Federation of Ratepayers Associations. It had a junior section, called the Venturas Club.

In general, the Associations meetings concerned themselves with the selection of election candidates; discussions about local amenities; and the organisation of social, fundraising, and philanthropic events.

The Associations principal officers and representatives on the Council over this period were:

Presidents: WJ Palmer (1929)-1930

EEL Arkell 1930-1946

DG Stewart 1946-1948

JW Dowsett 1948-1949

FS Martin 1949-1950

P Durrant 1950-1951

Mrs VT Davies 1951-(1952)

Hon Secs: TJH Pitman (1929)-1935

JE Herod 1935-1937

WG Morris 1937-1941

Mrs Morris 1941-1943

Mrs VT Davies 1943-1946

John Davies 1946-1947

Mrs Rodda 1947-1948

FS Martin 1948-1949

JB Pickles 1949-(1952)

Councillors: John Hicks 1921-1929

WJ Little 1922-1923

Dr C Owen Fowler 1922-1928

WJ Palmer 1923-1926

EEL Arkell 1926-1941; elected Alderman 1941

[Mrs MCL Cullis unsuccessful candidate 1928]

[TW Manley unsuccessful candidate 1929]

WH Parry 1930-1936

M Lynch 1931-1947

HW Anderton 1936-1940

DG Stewart 1940-1945; 1946-1956; elected Alderman 1956

F Harding 1942-1945

[JEW Robinson unsuccessful candidate 1945]

JW Dowsett 1947-1954

Frank S Martin 1949-1952

Thomas Weller

  • P010
  • Person
  • 1810

Thomas Weller (c1810-1867) practised as a watch and clock maker, silversmith and jeweller, at 2 High Street, Croydon. He also carried out small-scale printing (mainly of stationery). He took over the business from his father, also Thomas Weller, who was active from at least 1810, and died c1833. They were presumably related to Richard Weller (c1762-1833), of Butchers Row, another watch and clock maker.

Thomas Matthews

  • P020
  • Person
  • 1870

The proposal to establish a Unitarian place of worship in Croydon was first made at a meeting of six gentlemen held on 20 May 1870 at the house of Maurice Grant. As a result, a congregation was formed under the title of Croydon Free Christian Church: the word Unitarian was deliberately avoided in order to avoid any suggestion of doctrinal allegiance. RR Suffield was appointed as Minister, and gave his first address on 2 October: he continued to serve until his resignation through ill health in 1877. The government of the church was placed in the hands of a General Purposes Committee, soon known simply as the Committee. Other committees included a Trust Deed Committee, a Finance Committee, and a Music Committee.

The congregation bought the Iron Church (formerly a Baptist Church) in Wellesley Road. It was opened as the Free Christian Church on 11 December 1870. The freehold of the land was bought in 1875. Subsequently, a new, permanent, church was built on the same site: the memorial stone was laid on 20 April 1883, and it was formerly opened on 17 November 1883. The Iron Church had been moved to the rear of the new building: it was renamed the Social Room, and was put to regular use for soirees, dances, childrens parties, etc.

The Church attracted a relatively small, educated, middle class congregation, and its early ministers included several capable intellectuals. However, relations between minister and congregation were sometimes turbulent. EM Geldart, after some years as a popular minister, antagonised many of his congregation when he began to preach a doctrine of Social Democracy: the strain affected his health, and he died in mysterious circumstances soon afterwards. His successor, CJ Street, resigned over differences of opinion with the congregation; WM Weston was criticised for some of his views (notably an address advocating the abolition of the traditional home), and resigned to rejoin the Roman Catholic Church; and WW Chynoweth Pope was asked to resign following a difficult period of declining attendances. Only after the appointment of GC Sharpe in 1921 did relations become more consistently harmonious.

Among the prominent early members of the congregation were Henry Moore and his family. In 1906 his son, H Keatley Moore, paid an official visit during his term of office as Mayor

The Church was badly damaged during World War 2; and, as a result, a new Church and hall were built in Friends Road in 1958. In 1960 the Church was renamed the Unitarian and Free Christian Church.

Thomas Bainbridge

  • P013
  • Person
  • 1778 - 1818

Thomas Bainbridge, active 1778-1818, was a well-known land surveyor and cartographer of estate and enclosure maps. He was based in London in Grays Inn, but worked in all parts of the country.

The Public Assistance Office

  • CB150
  • Corporate body
  • 1930

The Public Assistance Office, a department of the Borough Council, was in existence from 1930 (when the responsibilities of the Board of Guardians were transferred to the local authority) until 1948 (when the work passed to the new Welfare Services Committee of the Council, the Ministry of National Insurance, and the National Health service). It was responsible for a range of welfare activities, including poor relief, medical services, and the care of children and old people. Its offices were in Mayday Road. During World War 2, many of the staff volunteered or were called up into the services. The Mayday Monthly News Letter (edited by Mr JS Cashel) was begun in April 1942 as a means of keeping them in touch with their friends and colleagues. It continued publication until the end of the war.

The Owlers

  • CB188
  • Corporate body
  • 1916 - 1966

The 'Owlers Concert Party was formed when H.W Reynolds invited two of his fellow choristers at St. Luke's, Woodside, Tom Murch and Lionel Tobitt, to join a concert party to entertain soldiers in local war hospitals. Mr Reynolds' daughter Ella later became Mrs Tobitt. Their first concert was at Ingram Road War Hospital on April 1st 1916. The Party continued with a charitable purpose after WWI until 1941. It disbanded for three years before reforming in 1944 and continued until 1966 with an average of around 25 concerts a year. The repertoire consisted of both well known popular songs and original material.

A 50th Anniversary concert (their 1089th) at St Andrew's Hall, South Croydon, on 2 April 1966 in the presence of the Mayor of Croydon. However, following two more performances, the Owlers disbanded later that year after 1091 concerts. However Mr Lionel Tobitt immediately formed 'The Afternoon Owlers' to provide entertainment at hospitals, nursing homes etc. This continued until the mid-1970s.

The name 'The Owlers' was said to come from the fact that when a name for the group was under discussion, an owl could be heard on nearby Woodside Green.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows

  • CB134
  • Corporate body
  • 1875

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was a self-governed, benevolent, friendly society operating under the Lodge system with degrees of rank. The Order began in England in the eighteenth century as the Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows. In 1875 the Manchester Unity, one of the two largest working class organisations, had approximately one half a million members with branches all over the country.

The Croydon Writers Circle

  • CB145
  • Corporate body
  • 1945

The Croydon Writers Circle was founded in June 1945 on the initiative of Nancy Martin (who became the first Secretary), and with the active support of WC Berwick Sayers, Chief Librarian of Croydon (who became the first Chairman). Cyril Spackman, a local sculptor, offered his Studio in Edridge Road, free of charge, as a meeting place and headquarters. The aim of the society was to 'unite writers in the Croydon area for mutual assistance in the art of authorship, the discussion of its theory and practice and the disposal of literary work'.

The Circle began with 30-40 members; but by the time it reached its sixth year there were 104 members, and it was the second largest such circle in the country. It had many honorary members, who included Agnes Allen, John Gordon (editor of the Sunday Express) and Cicely Mary Barker (author of the Flower Fairy books).

Monthly meetings were and are held and so are group meetings for the purpose of reading and criticising members manuscripts. As a result of the society many books, scripts and articles etc. have been published. They also sponsored and organised Croydons first Authors Book Week in 1949. They regularly hold exhibitions of members work and hold meetings with famous guest speakers. Many of their members have won awards for their work and have become prolific authors as a result of the circle.

The Circle changed its name to the Croydon and District Writers Circle in 1985.

The Croydon Branch of the Historical Association

  • CB139
  • Corporate body
  • 1955

The Croydon Branch of the Historical Association was established in February 1955. It organised a programme of regular lectures and excursions for its members, and occasional purely social events. In the period covered by these minutes, some activities were carried out jointly with the Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society, and/or the Beckenham Branch of the Historical Association. As a result of poor attendances, the Branch was eventually wound up as from October 1994.

Tenterden Road Fire Watchers

  • CB153
  • Corporate body
  • 1940

The pressure on the Fire Brigades during the heavy bombing on the London area in the winter of 1940/1 led to the formation of Street Fire Parties.

Because at any time there might b/e too many fires for the fire services to deal with; members of the general public were therefore formed into fire fighting parties, under the control of the Fire Brigade and known at first as Supplementary Street Fire Parties. This is reflected in the date of commencement of this log book.

Later in 1941 an Order was made compelling all men between the ages of eighteen and sixty to register for Civil Defence duties, and fire watching duties, to secure that not only homes but business premises as well were guarded at all times. These were under the Warden Service.

A Street Leader was appointed and the men in the street formed rotas to watch night and day. They were trained to use stirrup pumps in quenching small fires directly they occurred and the normal incendiary bomb, and later they learned to deal with the heavy explosive incendiary. Each wore a steel helmet and brassard and, after a simple examination, was given a card indicating that he was trained.

A second Order, in 1942, brought women between the ages of twenty and forty five into the scheme as fire guards and also compelled certain men who had been exempted from fire duties at their places of employment now to undertake them and the women filled the gaps in street fire parties. By this Order owners of business premises and factories were required to produce a fire guard scheme, in conjunction with adjacent premises where that would be more effective. Altogether about fifty thousand men and women did fire duties.

Tavistock Infants and Junior Schools

  • CB098
  • Corporate body
  • 1922

Opened as Tavistock Grove Junior Mixed and Infants School on 1 November 1909. Renamed Tavistock Junior Mixed and Infants School, 1922. Closed 25 July 1930, the juniors being transferred to Sydenham [Broadmead] School and the infants to a new building in Grenaby Road. Tavistock Infants School opened at Grenaby Road on 22 September 1930. The school closed on 28 October 1948, when staff, children and records were transferred to St Michaels School, St Jamess Road.

Tamworth Road (British) Schools

  • CB099
  • Corporate body
  • 1847

The Croydon British Schools opened in 1812 following a meeting held on 30 September of that year at the Crown Inn to establish a school to be run on Lancastrian principles (that is those established by Joseph Lancaster, using older children as monitors to teach the younger ones). The British Schools were non-conformist foundations, whereas Croydons National School, also set up in 1812, belonged to the Church of England. The schools were at first in Surrey Street, then in Mint Walk and after that in North End on the corner with Tamworth Road, (where the Railway Bell public house later stood). Following the extension of the London and Brighton Railway Companys line from West Croydon to Epsom, the schools moved to the south west end of Tamworth Road, where they opened in January 1847. A girls school opened in 1812 seems to have closed in 1903. An infants school also opened in 1812 closed permanently in 1906. The local education authority took over management of the schools on 18 October 1904 and the schools were renamed Tamworth Road, although the term British continued in use after that date. In 1915 the old buildings were replaced, the pupils being accomodated temporarily in the hall of Scarbrook Road Baths. The new buildings comprised a Senior Mixed School and a Junior Mixed and Infants [or Lower] School and opened on 24 October 1919. In January 1924 the schools were reorganised to take only seniors, with separate boys and girls departments. The boys school finally closed in August 1935 and the girls school on 27 July 1951.

Sylvan High School

  • CB100
  • Corporate body
  • 1974

Founded 1 September 1974 as an 11-16 comprehensive school. Closed 31 August 1990, when it became a City Technology College (C. T. C.).

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