Tommy the turtle finds out he is a terrapin after all!

The other day when one of our members reported that a turtle had appeared through the fence from the building site next door to her,  the event ignited a good deal of interest among members and offers poured in to ‘house’ Tommy until he could be returned to his rightful owners.

He was offered several ponds but in the end Tommy moved to Kenley Lane to take up residence in a thriving pond there. I wonder if he will stay there or move on? Will the owners come and claim him back and what if he doesn’t want to move? Will there be tears?

 Thank you everyone who offered a home to Tommy or who took an interest in the fate of this itinerant amphibian.

 If you have children who would like to write a short story about the adventurers of Tommy the Terrapin, the one the Committee likes best will be published in the next WURA Newsletter and put on the web site. Closing dates for your story 31st August 2020.

After the 1862 auction to 1909

It’s not until 1869 that Kenley starts to be identified as a distinct area in the Croydon Directory, although it is still listed under the Coulson ward. There are a mere 11 entries in 1869, including Mr John Hough at Welcomes Farm and Mr Henry Laycock, at Eastcott, on Valley Road just at the bottom of Welcomes Road.

The advert (left) in the Caterham Directory of 1872/73 shows how development is being encouraged along the Caterham branch line.

It is at this point that the early properties in the immediate area start to appear, including Elmwood (on Abbots Lane opposite the end of ZigZag Road), Hillside (building itself near Kenley Lane opposite the church, but with driveway down to Welcomes Road) and The Mount (Hermitage Road). No road names are included yet, building was sparse enough that the property name was sufficient to identify each property within Kenley.

By 1876 the list has expanded to 54 entries, with properties being listed as Hayes Lane, Godstone Road and Valley Road.

In 1882 the Waddenden Arms appears in the Directory (now, of course, the Wattenden Arms) although the Village History refers to the landlord there being Thomas Hill from 1876, followed by Sophia Hill from 1895. Within another couple of years Woodhurst, Elmhurst and Benthall appear, grouped around what is now ZigZag Road but just listed as property names.

1886 brings the arrival of a local school, with a Mr Walter Smith as the schoolmaster.

During the 1880’s, the number of entries for Kenley continues to increase, reaching 243 by 1890.

In the early 1900’s, properties begin to appear specifically listed as Welcomes Road, some with names still in use today:

  • 1901
    • Ravenscroft (listed as a school at this point)
  • 1904
    • The Copse (no 22 Welcomes Road)
    • WyssWood (no 78 Welcomes Road)
    • Woodend (no 80 Welcomes Road)
    • Alwyne Cottage (no 163 Welcomes Road)
    • Babbecombe (Uplands Road)
    • The Nest
    • The Cottage
  • 1905
    • Kenilworth (no 165 Welcomes Road)
    • Ridgehurst (Uplands Road)
    • The Hermitage (Uplands Road)
    • Kings Close
  • 1906
    • Sherwood Mount (Uplands Road)
  • 1907
    • The Garth (no 12 Welcomes Road)
    • Barrington (no 36 Welcomes Road)
    • The Homestead (nos 151 & 153 Welcomes Road)
    • The Glen (Now Uplands Road, with 102 Welcomes Road & others in front)
    • Morven (Uplands Road)
  • 1908
    • The Chestnuts (nos 155 & 157 Welcomes Road)
  • 1909
    • The Old Place (Uplands Road)
    • the Woodhurst and Elmhurst listings move to ZigZag Road
    • Hillside Stables

The 1901 Census provides supporting information. It shows Mrs F Dyer as the head of the household at Hazelea. My Henry Laycock is still at Eastcott, Mr George Maw at Benthall, Mr Charles Thomes at Woodhurst and Harriet Wilson at Elmshurst. It logs a population for Kenley of 1299 people.

The WURA website is indebted to local history expert John Carr for making his research into the Croydon Register and 1901 Census information available and also acknowledges the Bourne Society Village Histories 6: Kenley (Ed Grahame Brooks).

Kenley Community Plan – Feedback requested

The Kenley Community Plan work last year was carried out by Croydon Council in response to concerns raised by the local community about the impact of the increase in housing in Kenley.  The Council secured funding from the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) Good Growth Fund (GGF) to appoint consultants to engage with the community to create a Community Plan for the area.

The last update presentation of the Plan was held at the Kenley Memorial Hall in September, and included the following key areas of interest:

  • youth and community
  • transport and streetscape
  • greening and local green space
  • health, sport and wellbeing
  • community safety and waste services
  • jobs and training

The Council is now seeking your feedback on the draft Plan prior to publishing the final version.  If you wish to provide feedback please follow this link which will take you to the draft Plan and a structured feedback questionnaire.

The questionnaire and draft Plan will be live from 1pm on Friday 21 February 2020 and feedback will close at midnight on Sunday 22 March 2020.  The final Plan will be published in late spring.

You can keep up-to-date with what is happening in Kenley here:

If you would like to be added to Croydon Council’s Kenley mailing list to ensure you are included in any further engagement and to be kept up-to-date please send your details to:

Kenley Community Plan update – Event 4

The Kenley Community Plan team presented an update session at the Kenley Memorial Hall on September 11th followed by another at the Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church on the 12th.

The main part of the presentation consisted of a set of boards showing a summary of their findings during the consultation throughout the Spring and Summer. This comprised an analysis of the answers to questions such as ‘what do you like about living in Kenley?’ and ‘how could Kenley be improved?’. Key areas of interest were identified, as follows:

  • youth and community
  • transport and streetscape
  • greening and local green space
  • health, sport and wellbeing
  • community safety and waste services
  • jobs and training

The issues and areas of improvement for each are presented in the full slide pack, which can be viewed here (11MB PDF file).

These key areas have been used to identify potential projects for further investment. The data collated by the Community Plan consultation will be used to support applications for funds from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund. Such applications will be in a pool from councils all across London, so they are by no means a definite, but Croydon are hopeful that the involvement of the local community during the consultation period will put those applications in a good position. Potential projects identified so far are:

  • community accessible transport
  • improving green links
  • improvements for the Kenley Memorial Hall
  • initiatives for the Godstone Road shopping parade
  • improvements for the public space in front of the Godstone Road shopping parade
  • expansion of activities at the Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church
  • improvements for the public space at the Old Lodge Lane shopping parade
  • restructuring to give access to the New Valley Primary School playing fields outside of school hours

Each of these can be viewed in more detail in the GGF slide pack, viewable here (15Mb PDF file).

The team will be completing a final detailed analysis of all the feedback to be included in the draft Kenley Community Plan.  This draft will be published for public comment later in October and a final Plan will be published in early 2020.  The Kenley Community Plan page on Croydon Council’s website will be updated regularly so you can keep in touch with progress.

You still have the opportunity to get back to the team by contacting them on their email address to provide feedback on areas which have not been considered or even if you spot factual errors on the current material.

Kenley Airfield Heritage Day- Sunday 8th September



After a gap of three years the Kenley Airfield Friends Group is back on the Portcullis field for 2019’s Heritage Day on Sunday September 8th – noon until 4pm.

Experience what it was like to be a fighter pilot by sitting in the cockpit of a replica Spitfire. Up in the air the Caterham and District Model Aircraft Flying Club will be demonstrating their flying skills with displays of remote controlled aircraft throughout the afternoon.

There’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained with live music, hot food, trade and craft stands, guided history walks, traditional amusements, Pimms tent and a dog show.

RAFA will be selling tea and home-made cakes and the bar in the Portcullis Club will be open to everyone. The club is well worth a visit as it is home to the Kenley and Caterham branch of RAFA and is full of memorabilia and interesting artefacts to do with flying and being part of the RAF.

Kenley Airfield Friends’ Group will be welcoming new members in their tent, and existing members can renew their membership. Enter their raffle herewith the first prize being a trip in a glider generously donated by Surrey Hills Gliding Club who are based on the airfield.

For more information email or go to

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight – Sunday 18th August

This year we will commemorate the 79th Anniversary of the ‘Battle of Britain’ in which RAF Kenley played a major role.

A Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire will be making their flypast over our historic and famous fighter airfield on Sunday 18th August 2019, weather permitting and the aircraft behaving themselves. The expected arrival time will be announced nearer the day.

Many Kenley residents will know that RAF Kenley was subjected to many enemy aircraft attacks. This year’s flight falls on the exact day in 1940 when the heaviest raid took place on many of the south east Fighter Command airfields. It became known as ‘The Hardest Day’ of the ‘Battle of Britain’ and RAF Kenley was right in the thick of the action.

This year is the 75th anniversary of the Normandy ‘D Day’ landings on 6th June 1944: the largest maritime invasion in history and in the run up to it, again RAF Kenley played its part.

For safety reasons, visitors please keep to the ‘RAF Kenley Tribute side of Kenley Common.