History Of ECRA

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Some believe that the Association was inaugurated just before the Second World War in 1939; unfortunately, it’s a little hazy and there’s no evidence that ECRA continued to operate during the war years. Another theory is that ECRA began immediately after the War. The earliest Review, which was a folded sheet of typed paper, is dated September 1948 making us 70 or 80 years old.

We do know that ECRA began life as a ‘Rate Payers Association’ and possibly fielded independent candidates at the local elections. Looking through Reviews in the Local Studies Library in Croydon, there are articles giving residents gentle reminders such as not to cause a nuisance by playing loud music or lighting bonfires. These early newsletters also report on ‘The East Coulsdon Cricket Club’ which played at the Memorial Ground (known as The Rec) and had some very successful seasons between 1947 and 1950.

Can you help  us trace any further history of ECRA? Any photographs, information or early Newsletters will be very welcome.

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The ECRA logo

The first issue bearing the familiar ECRA logo of the then two remaining trees which made up the Folly on Farthing Downs is No.104, May 1989. Issue no 103 is missing from our records so it may have appeared on that issue, but it certainly was not used on issue 102 or before then.

The logo was designed by Mr Mike Blake of the Old Coulsdon Residents’ Association. The design was transferred to a printers block for use by Denyer’s Printers in Kenley where the Review was typeset and printed. (At this time the most important role for the Review was publishing the dates and times of the twice yearly rolling rubbish collection). But this was before the age of desktop publishing. The Review has been ‘type-set’ on computer at home since May 1991 and the logo was digitalized at that time by copying pixel by pixel keeping true to the original design.

Sadly one of the iconic trees was burned down in the summer of 1995 so for the 1996 June AGM residents where invited to submit designs and vote for a new logo or keep with the original. Four new designs were received, however, members present voted overwhelmingly to retain Mike Blake’s design. To enforce ECRA’s identity the logo has recently been enlarged and appears on the front cover of the Review on the right hand side in a star-burst.


Advertisements were re-introduced to help publishing costs in February 2001, the first advertisement being Cheesman’s Plumbers which appeared on the back page. In the summer of 2005 Croslink, the printing section of the Council-run sheltered workshop was closed and as a result production was transferred locally to Advanced Print in Brighton Road. It was agreed at the June 2005 meeting that the advertising portfolio would be increased. The first to join Cheesman’s as regular advertisers, were Coulsdon Home Hardware and John Brown.Our Newsletter, The Review, is distributed to over 1,750 households in East Coulsdon four times a year. Should you wish to advertise in The Review or on the website, please get in touch with Pauline Payne the Editor of The Review and she will be delighted to discuss rates, your advert and sizing. The Review is delivered to all the households in the area and placed in the Library as well as copying to other Residents’ Associations.


THE BOURNE SOCIETY is a local  voluntary history group covering the areas of the southern part of the London Borough of Croydon and North East Surrey which includes Coulsdonthat was formed in 1956 and takes its name from the intermittent streams that follow the lines of the A22 and A23 roads in East Surrey, meeting at Purley to flow northward into the River Wandle. The Society celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2006.

The aims of the Society – England’s largest local history society – are to extend the knowledge of local history in Caterham, Chaldon, Chelsham, Chipstead, Coulsdon, Farleigh, Godstone, Kenley, Purley, Sanderstead, Warlingham, Whyteleafe and Woldingham, and to ensure the preservation of records and other objects of historical interest.

Below you will find a taste of the publications and other activities of the Society that will help you to understand what we have to offer and illustrate possible avenues for pursuing local history research in the area.

www.bourne-society.org.uk – 01883 349745

‘Thomas Haywood & Sons Ltd’

For those interested in the local history of Coulsdon

A New Local History Book celebrates

‘Thomas Haywood & Sons Ltd’

Part of the Industrial History of Coulsdon

Do you remember what – or would you like to know what – was on the site of the present Harwood’s Garage and the G4S security company’s site before they were there?

If you would like to know more, then you should read this very interesting new book about the site that fills an important gap in Coulsdon’s history.

The book ‘Thomas Haywood & Sons Ltd’ (comprising Falcon Forge, Falcon Works and Falcon Garage) has just been published by ‘Haywood Publishing’     ISBN no 9780956413604   priced £9.50 + p&p.  There is also a DVD available ‘The Workings of Falcon Works and Falcon Forge’ £8.50 + p&p.  These can be purchased by contacting

‘Thomas Haywood & Sons Ltd’ in the 1960s

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The site was occupied from 1929 to 1968 by Thomas Haywood & Sons Ltd.  It was initially a small engineering company started by Thomas Eli and his three sons, situated on what was a derelict piece of land on the Brighton Road just south of Coulsdon South Station.  The company grew into a major engineering company exporting signalling and engineering equipment across the world and became a large employer in Coulsdon.  After the early death of two of the sons prior to the death of the founder in 1963 the company was sold, finally closing in 1968.

The company evolved into three sections, Falcon Works – Railway Signal Engineers, Falcon Forge – Wrought Iron Work and Falcon Garage – Petrol and Vehicle Repairs.

During the war their new designs for ship semaphores were taken up by the Admiralty and they worked totally for the government war effort.

Falcon Forge represented the Blacksmiths of England at the Festival of Britain in 1951; Richard Dimbleby was shown round the working stand for a television programme.

While the garage has now become Harwood’s Land Rover centre, but if the original garage was still standing we would be clamouring to have it tested.

A very interesting read

Charles King ECRA January 2010