This July, a series of tours by the National Trust will delve into the contemporary heritage of Croydon and shine a spotlight on the Borough as one of the most important examples of the post-war ambition to build a new society. Following on from the success of previous projects by the Trust to change the perception of heritage from simply country houses and coastlines – including 2015’s Brutal Utopias – Edge City: Croydon will celebrate the real places in which people live, work and play.
Joining forces with Croydon Council, the tours will tell the story of Croydon’s 1960s building boom, its future ambitions, and include behind-the-scenes access to Fairfield Halls, which has played host to the likes of The Beatles, The Who and Morrissey. Visitors will get a unique view of the Halls and exclusive access to its stage, dressing rooms and royal box as it closes for a two-year restoration-led refurbishment.
Often referred to as an ‘Edge City’ – a city-sized development on the outskirts of a city – this project is a riposte to Croydon’s ‘Crap Town’ reputation. Everywhere has its own unique spirit of place, and many Croydonians feel tremendous pride for their town. As it undergoes another wave of regeneration, the National Trust seeks to spark a debate about what is special and cherished about suburban places like Croydon, which are as awash with heritage, green space and beauty as anywhere else.
Places like Croydon are the ordinary places in which people live, work, and play. The National Trust seeks to reveal how they came about, how they took their current form, what people love about those places, and how we can maintain and develop them for future generations.