WHEN Streatham-Croydon Rugby Football Club, was founded in 1871 most of Thornton Heath was still farmland.

The railway had just arrived in 1862 and during the next 50 years Thornton Heath transformed from an isolated rural outpost to become a suburb of London

S-CRFC based in Frant Road, has been busy both reflecting on the past and looking to the future as it celebrates being one of the oldest clubs in the world.

A number of Thornton Heath institutions are celebrating landmark anniversaries in 2021.

St Paul’s Church also began its life in the same year and will be marking its sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary by celebrating its recent unique partnership during Covid with the NHS in delivering 40,000 vaccinations.

St Albans Church marked its 130th year last month.

Grangewood Park is also set to mark the 120th anniversary -of when the land which was a private estate was transferred to the council and officially became a park – with a festival on September 11 celebrating the history of this green gem.

Our picture shows the announcement in the Croydon Chronicle of the park’s opening by Lady Edridge which was marked with games and tug of war. 

To mark its 150th anniversary S-CRFC is holding a formal black tie do at the hallowed ground of rugby – Twickenham.

The formal black tie do will be held on Saturday September 4 with three course meal set to be enjoyed by members past and present. A guest speaker will be announced shortly and following the meal there will be a DJ and dancing. 

St Paul’s is mid-way through its 150th anniversary and sadly some of the plans had to be curtailed because of COVID although the church was delighted that Bishop Jonathan was able to lead the Patronal Festival service in January on-line and, on Saturday September 25 Bishop Christopher will be leading a Dedication Festival 150 Service at 10.30 a.m.

St Paul’s has worked with Teresa Chapman and Dipti Gandhi from the Thornton Heath Primary Care Network and NHS who have been using the church community hall as a vaccine centre.

To recognise all the hard work everyone has done to make the vaccine roll out such a success on Sunday August 1, the church held a Service of Wholeness and Thanksgiving  followed afterwards by the planting of a Strawberry Tree on the church grounds as both a focal point of thanks but also something for the church and community to recognise all those who have lost loved ones during the pandemic period.  This was followed by certificates being handed out to volunteers.

There will be some further celebrations – so please do check St Paul’s Facebook page for more information.

Last month (June) marked the 130th anniversary of St Alban’s Church completion and consecration. 

The Friends of Grangewood Park have begun planning a festival which will incorporate the history of the park with a range of activities, entertainment and games for all the family. 

More information will be posted shortly but The Friends would love to hear from park users over the ages about their memories of Grangewood or if you would like to get involved please email: friendsofgrangewood@yahoo.co.uk