John Grindrod: Polaroids of Croydon

17th - 17th Sep 2023 - Meeting point is One Croydon, 12–16 Addiscombe Rd, Croydon CR0 6SD. Participants are strongly advised to arrive 15 minutes prior to start time.

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A photo of John Grindrod in front of the NLA Tower.

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On the eve of the millennium John Grindrod took polaroids to capture the postwar buildings of the town where he’d been born, and felt sure were soon to disappear. That walk forms the basis of one of the chapters from his latest book, Iconicon: A Journey Around the Landmark Buildings of Contemporary Britain.

Number 1 Croydon
Photo by: Glenn Foster Photography

This walking tour retraces his steps on a fun and informative architectural exploration of an overlooked suburban centre, and tells the story of the last few decades of Britain through the urban design, pop culture and social history of a towncaught on the cusp of sitcom punchline and hipster cool.

The route will take in the celebrated Threepenny Bit building, the ghosts of modern towers, traces of Medieval, Victorian and Art Deco Croydon, long-disappeared theatres and cinemas, Fairfield Halls arts centre and all sorts of extraordinary new landmarks and pop-ups.

Reviews for John Grindrod

“A love letter to contemporary buildings and a fantastic account of recent British history, rich in humour.”

Nina Stibbe on Iconicon

“The best history of the intersection of post-war architecture and politics (often with a small ‘p’) that you could hope for.”

Owen Hatherley on Concretopia 

“Illuminating and enjoyable . . . what truly lifts it is the personal element, above all Grindrod’s portrayal of family life.”

David Kynaston on Outskirts

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