Over the last few years, a number of attempts have been made by various residents and traders’ groups to put some local street art in Coulsdon town centre to make the town centre more interesting and attractive to local residents and visitors alike. Unfortunately, most of the initiatives were unsuccessful due to a multitude of reasons.

Last year, Charles King, the Chair of East Coulsdon Residents’ Association (ECRA) with the help of Lewis White, a local landscape architect, put together a project to place small finials (that satisfied Croydon Council’s requirements) on top of the existing nine finger posts in Coulsdon.

These finials commemorate the history of Coulsdon and Smitham Bottom and were selected from a list of suggestions that were put together from a public consultation by Pauline Payne when she was secretary of ECRA.

The first three chosen were:

Cuthraed the Saxon warrior 648 AD whom Coulsdon is named after
By Pizza Express opposite Waitrose

The Greater Yellow Rattle

The Greater Yellow Rattle, a rare wild plant that grows on Farthing Downs and Happy Valley
Opposite Lion Green Road

Cricket Stumps

Cricket Stumps Surrey versus East Grinstead an early Cricket match on Lion Green in 1739
Opposite the Library where Lion Green was

These have been paid for by East Coulsdon Residents’ Association, Friends of Farthing Downs & Happy Valley, and generous local individuals.

Future finials would include: Emmeline Pankhurst who in 1911 spoke at the Smitham Parish Hall; Logie Baird’s first transatlantic TV transmission from Coulsdon to New York in 1928; The Red Lion Pub from 1680-2003.

ECRA would like to thank Croydon Council and Marshalls Landscape for their help and assistance.

By Charles King