Croydon was my Mother’s birthplace and home to my secondary school so it is an area that has been part of my life for many years.
I have noticed huge changes to the area over time, so when we were asked to come along and join in the celebrations of the Croydon Heritage Festival I was happy to take a trip to see what was going on.
Croydon is undergoing a huge regeneration project at the moment and events such as this help people to understand how things are moving forward to create a better future for the ever growing community whist educating people on the important and colourful days of times past.
With community spirt as a whole dwindling with people’s lives become busier and more insular as a whole, events like this really bring people together to create some much need community spirit.
This is the fourth festival of its kind and this years focus was on ‘Undiscovered Croydon’. From the 18th-26th June people have the opportunity to take part in a whole host of activities from looking at exhibitions, listening to talks, trying their hand at workshops and much more.
Saturday was the grand opening and the town centre was alive with people grabbing delicious food from the many stalls, kids rushing around taking part in the family themed activities that were on offer and crowds of people enjoying the music and performances put on by some extremely talented people that had taken to the main stage.
Inside the Whitgift Centre the children had great fun creating their own masterpiece on the interactive art cube. Next to this were some fantastic Victorian themed spyglasses the children could decorate, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to stop as we needed to move onto our next activity.
Feeling crafty we made our way up to Whitgift Wennies where number three and four took part in the mosaic tile workshop.
I had not come across this on my past visits to Croydon and I’m so glad we had the opportunity to try it out as it is a fantastic concept that is open to any child as the session are all complexly free.
Activity sessions are put on throughout the month which are posted to their website and are free to take part in. Once you are a registered member you simply book your time slot and arrive with your membership card and get set to have some messy fun.
After all of their activities I had the chance to grab a little retail therapy and try out the recently launched dual branded Centrale and Whitgift gift card. This can be used in 130 stores across the two shopping centres.
For me this would make the perfect gift as there is such a vast choice. I’m sure is the same for many of you, birthdays have come around and you open a gift card to a store you never use and it a waste of time and money for everyone. With this card everyone is covered from clothes and jewellery to toys or grabbing a bite to eat.
I treated myself to a couple of sale bargains in Topshop and treated the kids to a hot chocolate a huge slice of cake in House Of Fraser.
The opening of the festival may have been and gone but there are still plenty of activities to take part in. I for one will be booking a tour of the Alms Houses as I have walked past this secret, gated area for years and have always wanted to discover what treasures are hidden behind the gates!
* I was given a shopping centre gift card for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinions.