Musicians and artists will be coming together at the annual Thornton Heath Arts Week  this week to showcase the best of our local talent.

The week-long celebration of creative talent, from in and around Thornton Heath will be celebrating its fourth year and is set to be one of the most entertaining yet, writes Paul Macey.

There was an early taste of what the week has to offer with a musical jam at  Thornton Heath station using the platform piano accompanied by singing and a cello.

Local poets from The Pen Pow Project will be displaying their work at the station daily during Arts Week with themes including: journeys, adventure, community and love. Let their words engage and inspire you.

All events take place between Monday July 17 and Friday July 21 in the local area and are free –  providing a perfect combination for a good time.

Check out the timetable of events below and head over to for more information.


The first event sees Scratchley Hall host the critically acclaimed Wild Pictures documentary film: “The Forgotten Children”. This will be followed by an evening of discussion about the migration crisis and the impact it has on vulnerable people in our community.

The film follows the heart-breaking stories of refugee orphans across Europe. Governments have moved many of the children into state run camps and closed the doors to journalists. This film gives a voice to the children and hears their disturbing stories of suffering and survival.

Contributors to the evening will include: a representative from Migrant Help (the charity working at Brigstock House hostel for asylum seekers), and singer Mitra Djalili, a Thornton Heath resident and refugee from Iran.

In addition the audience will hear the story of Barak a fifteen-year-old refugee from Syria as told to Georgia Mancio. Ian Shaw  will also talk about the misunderstandings surrounding displacement particularly in relation to unaccompanied children in Europe.

Jazz vocalists Georgia and Ian spent a huge amount of time on the ground in Calais at the now disbanded camp in Northern France – dubbed The Jungle – providing vital support to refugees.

There will be a Question and Answer session and since several of the contributors are singers there will also be some music too.

Organiser Andrew Cleyndert, who is looking forward to a positive and inspiring event, said: “The evening is designed to be informative and to help toward a better understanding of the issues surrounding the migration crisis, especially regarding children. There will also be a collection for the charity Migrant Help’s destitution fund which helps asylum seekers emergency needs, and ideas for ways to contribute to help within the local community”.

Film evening: – Admission is free but please register for your free ticket at:


On the following evening, longtime supporters of THAW, Lenses of Croydon, will once again be hosting a meeting of the Croydon Photography Forum.

The event at 6.45pm at  St Paul’s Church, Thornton Heath, will feature a talk by the award-winning photographer, Homer Sykes who has a wealth of experience with over of 30 years’ experience as a photojournalist .

This includes: being commissioned by publications such as Time magazine, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Observer, The Sunday Express and countless other media companies.

He has also produced many books and now he spends a vast amount of time managing his extensive archive which consists of rare images that capture many aspects of traditional British culture.

Organiser Lee Townsend said: “Sykes is well respected within the photographic community and his passion for a photography is just as rich as it was during his student days while studying at the London College of Communication.

“This is a great opportunity to view some wonderful images, learn from a fabulous photographer and possibly even purchase one of his books”.

Tickets are free. If you are interested in going click here:


Marks the much-anticipated finale of the popular ‘In Bloom’ competition hosted by the Thornton Heath Community Action Team.

The evening will see the awarding of prizes by the Mayor of Croydon councillor Toni Letts to the top three entrants in the categories of: best front garden, best use of concrete front garden and best business or organisations premises.

THACT Chair, Linda Watson says; “The idea is to get people planting so that their street looks and feels better and has less fly tipping or littering”.

More info:


All are invited to join Thornton Heath poets Well Versed Ink and friends from the Living Free Art Collective for a night of intimate poetry, art, and discussion at 7pm in Costa Coffee.

Live poetry will be performed while live art is drawn!

Well Versed – or @wellversedink         


The week will finish with a THAW Question Time at the Salvation Army building in the High Street looking at the role for the arts in the regeneration of Thornton Heath.

Issues will be discussed in a Question Time format  starting at 7.30pm with a panel made up of the people with an interest in the arts and Thornton Heath coming together with active participation from the audience.  Local musicians and spoken words artists will also perform.

Panellists are:  Shaniqua Benjamin, of Young People Insight; Regeneration Officer Richard Green,;  Poet Anjali Barot; Bensham Manor councillor Jamie Audsley; Editor of The Thornton Heath Chronicle Andrea Perry and the question master is Paul Macey.

The event’s organisers are the founders of the Pondlife readers group, which meets  regularly at Thornton Heath Library,  Michael Balamwezi and John Lawlor.

They believe there is a role for the arts in the regeneration because arts have the capacity to raise the positive profile of the area while bring together local businesses, community groups, young people, artists, and others to make the area a better place to live and visit.

The organisers said: “The council’s project to regenerate Thornton Heath aims to deliver tangible improvements to the environment along the main route through the area with the shop front refurbishments, pedestrian walkways and murals being good examples.

“Towards the end of the event we would like the panel and audience to agree the next steps that are required to sustain provision of the arts in the area”.

Also on FRIDAY Thornton Heath’s Railway Telegraph public house on Brigstock Road is hosting the world famous Bogus Blues Brothers for one night only. Enjoy this amazing duo with a cocktail offer of two for £7. Free Admission.


There will be a special Art in the Park workshop at the Art Hive in Grangewood Park next to the children’s playground.

Come and join Karen at 3pm in making willow structures and processional pieces for the Thornton Heath carnival procession on September 3.