Stories of gold fish in the public baths, West Indian food, the Olympic Torch, park adventures and dub music are told in a series of enchanting engravings on the pavement outside Thornton Heath library.
Back in December 2016 the council asked residents to submit their own personal stories about the local area, whether from the present day or past.
They would then be engraved in to paving slabs placed around the library and Trumble Gardens to be enjoyed and remembered by all.
This has now been completed so if you walk passed the library remember to look down!
One of the engravings fondly remembers: “I learnt to swim at the previous Thornton Heath swimming pool, which was where the leisure centre now stands. I visited few years later and struck up a conversation with one of the staff .
“He offered to show me the upper pool, which had been closed to the public as the ceiling had fallen into disrepair. Someone had thought it funny to put a few gold fish in the pool. They were living on the algae on the sides and seemed to be thriving. “
Another fondly recalls more recent times: “On Monday 23rd July 2012 the Olympic torch was carried through Thornton Heath High Street. Bands were playing,the churches were open and selling refreshments, everybody was laughing and smiling. It was great!”
The project is part of the public realm works which also includes the works around the station and Whitehorse roundabout funded from the Greater London Authority (GLA) New Homes Bonus.
Another story gives an insight in to the past: “My grandparents’ main source of goods was cauliflowers. My father was the first person in the south-east, I believe, to bring West Indian foods into Thornton Heath – where he had a shop and also into Croydon Market.
“At that particular time he had yams, sweet potato, plantain, cocos, green bananas, etc. He used to sell things like coconuts. Most British people at the time only saw them on a coconut shy, they didn’t see them for sale.“
While the white squirrel of Grangewood Park also features in a local adventure about growing up alongside the park. “I have warm memories of acting out fantasies amongst the trees and exploring its shaded nooks. I remember a stretch of time when an albino squirrel could be encountered. To us, it was like an imp, a ghostly creature sitting between the branches, only revealing itself in glances or in the periphery. It became a mythical character in many of our adventures.”
And finally to more familiar times: “The dub producer, the Mad Professor, set up his first recording studio here in Thornton Heath in 1979 in his living room.