Saturday School: Quakers Hall

9th Sep 2023 , 10:00am - 5:00pm - The Adult School Hall, 60 Park Lane, CR0 1ER

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postcard of the adult school hall
'The New School Hall' - from a contemporary postcard presented by Paul Baguss

Part of Open House Festival 2023


Between 10am and 5pm – a drop in series of activities and open doors of the Adult School Hall. Tea and refreshments throughout and a communal lunch hour.


Historical Context

Croydon’s Quaker Meeting House and its historical context in many ways serves as a metaphor for the borough’s tumultuous re-staging and potential radical imaginaries. Formed in parallel to extreme poverty, social deprivation and lack of accessible educational spaces that defined Croydon, the nonconformist church built the Adult Learning Hall to house Saturday Schools; young people; families; workers; conscientious objectors; space for shelter, gathering, worship and learning. The building in itself embodied total absence of applied finishes or set functionality, embracing the fluidity and ‘honesty of expression’ in of all its components, prioritising equity and good living of its tenants. The building was erected in once rural Croydon using brick, timber, and iron. It’s only embellishment, the flowing wooden stage trimming.

Saturday School workshop

Assembled in the format and spirit of a Saturday School, this activity will support participants to map out spaces of care & resistance across the Borough of Croydon drawing on their own experience of Croydon – a place which has become defined by its treatment of residents as consumers, embodied within its landscape of shopping centres is an assumption that people are there as resources to be financially mined. Spaces of care and resistance are therefore crucial to the wellbeing of residents and arise in unlikely places, within the shopping centres themselves, as well as food markets, allotments and community cinemas.

Once mapped, we will journey together to a future Croydon and use listening, narrative writing and world building exercises to explore what future spaces of care and solidarity look like for Croydon’s communities. The highlighted spaces and rituals can help us collectively shape an abstractive, imaginative, nurturing and multipurpose community space in Croydon.

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