In Praise Of Croydon

James Drury
By James Drury Last edited 44 months ago
In Praise Of Croydon


Poor Croydon — the butt of jokes, a byword for the architectural ruining of a town, maligned by Bromley-ite David Bowie, a cliche for the lazy writer — akin to 'Peckham is Only Fools And Horses'.

Anyone who's been there won't need us to tell them that all that is far from the mark. Far better to consider the suburb's famous sons and daughters: Bridget Riley; Sam Taylor-Johnson; Samuel Coleridge Taylor; Kirsty MacColl; the alumni of Croydon College of Art, such as Ray Davies, Malcolm McLaren, Jamie Reid, Mervyn Peake, Noel Fielding, Kate Moss and FKA Twigs.

Further, it was the birthplace of dubstep, is a cracking place to walk around, somewhere you can play dragon mini golf, has a dazzling array of places to eat and drink... we could go on.

And that is exactly what authors John Grindrod (Concretopia), Andy Miller (The Year Of Reading Dangerously) and Bob Stanley (also Saint Etienne's keyboard player) will be doing. The trio will be considering the virtues of the environs of 2009's Greenest Large City in two evenings of readings, debate and celebration of suburbia, covering books, films, music, buildings and art.

All three have a close association with Croydon — it has influenced their writing, and the way they see the world — so expect a love-in about the Fairfield Halls, the Beano record shop (RIP), the Whitgift Centre, Lunar House, and even the New Addington estate.

Up yours, Bowie.

Croydon Til I Die takes place on 28 May at Rough Trade East, Shoreditch, at 7pm and 11 June at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, at 7pm. Entry is free.

Last Updated 27 May 2015