Tagged: Croydon

Stanley goes central, well to Croydon!

Talk on the History and Redevelopment of Stanley Halls

Thursday 27th March, 7pm and Saturday April 12th, 2pm at Croydon Clocktower (Activities Room, lower ground floor)

Join our volunteers when they give a talk on the rich history of Stanley Halls, its designer, William Ford Stanley and the Stanley Lives research and redevelopment project.

To book a place at either talk, please email museum@croydon.gov.uk or phone 020 8253 1022.  www.museumofcroydon.com

The Thursday talk is timed to run before the first film showing in the David Lean Theatre, Croydon Clocktower, by our friends at The Save David Lean Cinema Campaign. The initial film is ‘Basically, Johnny Moped’.

Congratulations to the group on this milestone, and we understand there may also be an appearance from South Norwood boy, Captain Sensible! Tickets are going fast. See here for information on forthcoming films.

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Make your mark on Stanley’s history

We’ve been given Heritage Lottery Funding for an interesting local history project, now we need your help. SPI’s Fundraising Officer, Dr Debbie Challis tells all…..

HLF logoThe Stanley People’s Initiative (SPI) has received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to find out more about the past of Stanley Halls and put on a touring exhibition around South Norwood. Stanley Halls was donated and designed by the local inventor William Stanley. We want to find out more about the building and the people who used it.

We want to look at three strands of use: theatricals, eg. amateur dramatics and operatics; community, eg: special occasions such as the 1953 coronation; and entertainment, eg: tea dances and bingo. We want to combine researching and making public existing documentation with discovering and recording people’s stories about Stanley Halls.

We Need You!

We are looking for volunteers to help us with this project. There will be fortnightly meetings, early evening / after work, from September to November with training on research techniques, recording oral histories and using digital media as well as time to share knowledge. If you haven’t time to get so involved, we also need your stories and memories of Stanley Halls so please get in touch.

We will share the information gathered through a mobile exhibition on Stanley Halls that would go to local libraries, schools and other enclosed public spaces in the South Norwood area. At the end of the project, the mobile exhibition would be displayed in Stanley Halls when it re-opens.

We will share interesting snippets of research via our twitter feed @StanleyHalls and post stories on our blog. We would also populate the Stanley Halls Channel on History Pin with stories (recordings if possible) and photographs.

We want to find out more about how Stanley Halls has been at the heart of the community in South Norwood. We want to share this information within our community. We also want to use it to persuade funders that this building needs investment and support. By helping Stanley People’s Initiative in this project on the past of Stanley Halls, you would be helping us secure its future.

Contact: 07908 224706 (leave a message) / thestanleypeoplesinitiative@gmail.com

One man’s pile of bricks …….

Flickr: Kyle Clements

Flickr: Kyle Clements

Budding art critic and SPI Communications Lead, Khris Raistrick, gives his take on the Stanley Hall’s paintings that have recently been cataloged.

‘I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like’. We’ve all heard the phrase, and I’m afraid it most certainly applies to me. I saw a painting in a Finnish art gallery of a woman in a phone booth about 20 years ago that I thought was all right. Near where I used to live in the badlands of New Cross, had it not it dawned on me oh-too-late that the stencil paintings in the nearby tunnels were by Banksy I’d have found someone with a JCB and relieved Lewisham Council of the wall before they painted over them [and yet the somewhat surreal graffiti ‘Yuppies Go Home’ and even more bizarre ‘Kim Wilde’ on nearby walls survived] and I’d now be living in Jersey.

So – I’m a bit of a heathen, though I am sure some of the luminaries on the SPI could explain to me why a pile of bricks is not just a pile of bricks when someone has shoved them on the floor of an art gallery, put a barrier around them, and given them a ‘contextual meaning’. [Actually, I really would like to get a job writing the stuff that goes alongside these works. It usually involves the phrase ‘challenges your pre-conceptions about what art really is’].

Anyway, for those of you who like their art a little more, er, traditional, you might be interested in looking at some paintings that used to hang in Stanley Halls and now line the corridors of Croydon Council, have a look here.

They were painted by eminent artists who were contemporaries of William Stanley. Rumour has it that a number of the original paintings were sold years back by the Council ………Hmm, a quick check on sale prices for some of the artists shown in the link above hint at a great value. A painting by one of the artists, Kosler sold for over quarter of a million sovs.

Gallery lights

Let the light shine in. The beautiful brass globes in Stanley’s purpose built gallery complementing the filtered sunlight to show the paintings to their best.

The paintings left Stanley Halls when the ownership passed to Croydon Council in 1934. There were originally 70 works displayed in Stanley’s purpose built gallery, one attributed to Turner. Wonder where that one is now?

Much respect goes to SPI members Debbie Challis and Judith Burden for digging these out of the archives and for cataloguing them.

Perhaps you don’t know much about art but you know what you like – and you might like these. My verdict? I know one thing – it’s ‘proper’ painting. And all part of Stanley Halls’ rich heritage….