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Authority record

Croydon County Court

  • CB006
  • Corporate body
  • 1847 - 1982

County Courts in their modern form were established by the County Courts Act 1846 which followed a report of 1833 by the common law commissioners on the subject of small debts. At the time small debts were dealt with a variety of courts. The new County Courts, which despite their title did not correspond to county boundaries, were presided over by a judge (with no jury) and their role was to provide a quick and cheap resolution to small debt and other civil cases. They were gradually given further responsibilities. Under the Bankruptcy etc Act 1847, jurisdiction for bankruptcy cases relating either to non-traders, or to traders owing relatively small sums, passed to County Courts. The Bankruptcy Act 1883 gave them (in all bankruptcy cases) all the powers and jurisdiction of the High Court. Until 1947, they had reponsibility for cases under the Workmens Compensation Acts.

Croydon County Court opened in 1848 and was first held at the Town Hall in the High Street. Following the demolition of the Town Hall in 1893, it shared temporary accomodation with the Police Court and the Council Chamber in a corrugated iron building on Park Street and remained there until May 1906 when its new purpose built buildings on Scarbrook Road were opened. In 1968 it moved to the Law Courts, Barclay Road and again in 1991 to the Law Courts, Altyre Road. Its area of jurisdiction initially covered the same area as the Croydon Poor Law Union; ie. Croydon, Addington, Beddington , Coulsdon, Merton, Mitcham, Morden, Sanderstead, Penge, Wallington and Woodmansterne. Chelsham, Farleigh, Tatsfield and Warlingham were added to its area in 1859. As a Bankruptcy Court, and for judicial trusts, its jurisdiction extended over a wider area, covering much of Surrey (but excluding the Kingston, Guildford and Farnham districts); and also the Bromley and Orpington district of Kent.

The modern County Court, often referred to as the Small Claims Court, today deals with civil matters, such as claims for debt repayment, including enforcing court orders and return of goods bought on credit, personal injury, breach of contract concerning goods or property, family issues such as divorce or adoption and housing disputes, including mortgage and council rent arrears and re-possession.

Croydon Court

  • CB123
  • Corporate body
  • 1532

The Archbishop of Canterbury was lord of the Manor of Croydon throughout the period of this roll, although the 1532 court was held during the vacancy following the death of Archbishop William Warham. The 1533 court is described as the first court of Archbishop Thomas [Cranmer].

Croydon Darby and Joan Club

  • CB132
  • Corporate body
  • 1945

Croydon Darby and Joan Club was established in April 1945, at the initiative of the Mayor of Croydon, George Lewin, and with the support of Sir Herbert Williams MP. The first President was Geoffrey Fisher, Archibishop of Canterbury. It was the second Darby and Joan Club in the country, the first being at Streatham. The club was a social centre for the elderly: membership was free to all old age pensioners, and it offered cheap meals and teas, hot baths, leisure facilities (a lounge, a billiard room, a sewing room, a library, a television room, etc), and events such as whist drives and outings. The club was initially based in Haling Cottage, 76 Brighton Road (leased from the Whitgift Foundation), which formally opened in July 1945. It subsequently moved to freehold premises at 'Parkhyrst', 58 Addiscombe Road, which opened in July 1948.

The club was a Limited Company without share capital. It was largely financed by voluntary contributions, including one-off and covenanted donations; and through a range of fundraising activities.

Croydon Domestic Mission

  • CB181
  • Corporate body
  • 1886

Croydon Domestic Mission opened July 1886 in Dennett Hall, 17 Dennett Road, Broad Green , West Croydon. The foundation stone for the hall was laid by Mr Fred Nettlefold of Norwood ( Nettlefold Sons Tool Manufacturers ).

The societys mission statement was:

The objects of the society shall be the intellectual, moral and religious improvement of the neighbourhood, and the amelioration of its condition, irrespective of creed. The operations of the society shall be conducted in an unsectarian spirit.

The 1888 street directory entry reads 59 Dennett Road, Mission Room. The street numbering had changed by 1939 and the entry in the street directory for that year appears between nos. 15 23 and reads as Dennett Hall, Randall Mrs Caretkr. (res). By 1955 the hall is numbered as 17.

The mission closed in 1959 and Dennett Hall was sold to the Full Gospel Church (also known as Assemblies of God ) for 1633,750. The sale was completed 21 December 1959.

Croydon Federation of Ratepayers Associations

  • CB125
  • Corporate body
  • 1890

Ratepayers Associations developed throughout Croydon from the 1890s onwards, each normally covering a single ward. Originally simple residents pressure groups, they soon began to put forward candidates for Council elections. They were technically non-partisan and non-political, but in fact attracted Conservatives and Liberals, and were openly anti-Labour. (Labour candidates were generally the only ones at this time who stood under a party banner.) The Associations were in favour of low rates, and routinely criticised the Council for unnecessary expenditure.

The Croydon Federation of Ratepayers Associations was formed in June 1903 as a loosely organised umbrella body.

In the late 1930s, the Federation became a more cohesive, and more politically active, body. For some time, anti-socialist members of the Council had felt the need for a united policy, and this had led to the formation of the 'Twenty-one Club', a caucus named after the initial number of members. The Club was criticised for being 'secret', non-accountable, and exclusive; and in 1938, as an alternative solution, a new Committee of all non-Labour aldermen and councillors was established under the auspices of the Federation. The Federation therefore became virtually a party in its own right, which could, on occasion, dictate policy to the individual Associations.

After World War 2, the influence of the Federation was diminished by the growing number of Conservative Party candidates. In an attempt to embrace as wide a constituency as possible, the Federation changed its name, first to the Croydon Federation of Ratepayers and Residents Associations; and then (in October 1956) to the Croydon Federation of Ratepayers, Residents and Electors associations. However, by the late 1950s the Federation was moribund, and it appears to have been wound up in the 1960s.

The Presidents of the Federation in the period covered by these records were Cllr AH Harding (to November 1939); succeeded by Alderman EEL Arkell. The Secretary was Frederic S Parsons to April 1945, when he was succeeded by Cllr WT Holcombe.

Croydon Foreign Language Club

  • CB167
  • Corporate body
  • 1888 - 1961

Croydon Foreign Language Club was founded in October 1920 on the initiative of John Marshall Silver (c1888-1961), a teacher. It was modelled on the Foreign Circle at Bradford, with which he was familiar.

The aim of the Club was always to provide an environment in which foreign languages could be heard and practised. (Tuition was never offered, on the grounds that this was better provided by other types of organisation.) The central activity was always a programme of lectures in foreign languages, normally engaging native speakers. There were also, at different periods, plays, excursions, and social events. The Club always took pride in the fact that (unlike other language clubs) it was not tied to a single language, but catered for several. These included French and German invariably; Italian and Spanish less regularly; and Russian sporadically from the mid-1960s onwards. It usually met in Croydon Library. The Clubs activities were suspended from 1940 to 1945 but resumed after the war. The Club was wound up in 1997.

Croydon Foundry Ltd

  • CB142
  • Corporate body
  • 1920

Croydon Foundry was established in 1920 in what was then Waddon Marsh Lane: its premises became 66 Purley Way in 1924. The company manufactured iron engineering castings, up to 6 tons in weight. It went into voluntary liquidation in December 1972.

Croydon Head Teachers Association

  • CB190
  • Corporate body
  • 1885

Souvenirs of annual dinners given to members of the Croydon Head Teachers Association (and others associated with education in Croydon) by Arther H. Harding (1885-1952; Mayor, 1939-42), and his daughter, Miss K. Maureen Harding. Mr Harding did not attend the dinner in October 1952 through illness, and he died in November. The location is the Cafe Royal, North End, Croydon.

Croydon Industrial Chaplaincy

  • CB128
  • Corporate body
  • 1950

The Croydon Industrial Chaplaincy was formed in 1950, on the initiative of Bishop Cuthbert Bardsley, to work for the 'advancement of the Christian Religion in industry'. It was originally known as the Bishop of Croydon's Industrial Chaplaincy; but from the late 1960s was more usually called simply Croydon Industrial Chaplaincy. Although established under the auspices of the Church of England, it was not attached to a particular parish, and was intended to be non-denominational in character (in 1978 it acquired a United Reformed Church chaplain). The Chaplaincy was initially supported entirely by subscriptions and donations from businesses and individuals (an arrangement apparently unique among industrial chaplaincies); but from 1964 it became increasingly dependent on Church of England funding.

There was one full-time chaplain 1950-1967; two 1967-1979; and one again for the last few months in 1979. From 1960, a number of other local clergy also assisted on a part-time basis. The number of companies belonging to the scheme varied, but there were normally around 25. The chaplains undertook a programme of regular visits to the factories and shops of member companies; some pastoral work (visits to the sick etc); and events such as the Industrial Harvest Festival, held regularly from 1952 onwards. The work of the Chaplaincy was overseen by a small Committee, with the Bishop of Croydon as President. In 1969 an advisory Council was also established, to which all member companies could send delegates, but this seems to have ceased to meet after 1971. The Chaplaincy was wound up as a semi-autonomous body in March 1979, mainly for financial reasons. Its work, funds, and remaining chaplain (Charles Price) were taken over by the Archdeaconry of Croydon Training and Service (ACTS) Centre.

Full-time Chaplains: Rev Rex Bavington 1950-1954

Rev EC Wearne 1954-1958

Rev A Kenneth Sims 1958-1960

Rev T Roy Parsons 1960-1962

Rev Denis L Claringbull 1962-1971

Rev David Curwen 1967-1977

Rev Michael H Atkinson 1971-1979

Rev Charles EL Price 1978-1979

All the chaplains were Church of England priests, except Charles Price, who was a minister of the United Reformed Church.

Chairmen of Committee: Basil Monk 1950-1959

WG Thomas 1959-1961

Alec R Grant 1961-1964

Jack R Swift 1964-1970

Frank D Mann 1970-1973

Alec R Grant 1973-1977

Anthony Newell 1977-1979

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