Croydon Vision News January 2017

I’m running for

Croydon Vision


by Jeff Page, chief executive
Sight loss charities seem to have embraced a spirit of co-operation in recent years which is heartening to witness.  I recently attended the London Visual Impairment Forum at which this refreshing trend was to the fore.

I’m sure the odd dispute still occurs between charities but the focus of the meeting, held in the RNIB’s headquarters in Judd Street, near Euston Station, was of putting efficient delivery of services to people with sight loss first.

There was a good attendance of council rehabilitation officers and charity staff from the major national organisations, and the smaller organisations like Croydon Vision.

My ex-colleague from Action for Blind People, Steven Franks, told us about an excellent new project that assists blind and partially sighted people with support and guidance for getting into work.

Catherine Dennison from RNIB told the meeting about a brilliant new booklet/audio CD bringing together the views of blind and partially sighted people on information they needed to know when they lost their sight.

I’m sure this will be an important guide for years to come.  Again, importantly, it was a joint production by a number of charities.

 My resolution

We will be able to provide more details on both the Action for Blind People Employment courses, and this new booklet/CD in the office.

My New Year’s resolution is to recommence regular running, and to run the Great South Run in October 2017 to raise fund for Croydon Vision.  I’ll let you know how I get on.

Happy New Year to you all,




Come and join us

IT HAPPENS every year, it’s great fun, and it helps to raise money for Croydon Vision.  This is the Swimathon, which will be held this year at Purley Pool, by Brighton Road, on Saturday, February 25.

And Croydon Vision will be entering a team again. We’re calling it The Croydon Vision Fishes and it is going to consist of members, volunteers and staff.

This is a relay swim that is organised by Purley Rotary Club and is held to raise money for each competing team’s personal choice of charity.  It attracts teams from all over the borough, and it raises thousands of pounds.

We are hoping that our usual couple of stalwart swimmers, Lauren and Steve, will take part, and if you would like to join the team you’ll be very welcome. In the last two years we’ve swam over 80 lengths but with more people in the team we hope to top the hundred mark.

When you’re in the pool and everyone is shouting encouragement you really are spurred on by the excitement. It is a great event.

To join us, just contact Mike Jones at Bedford Hall, all,HaHHHor email


What a morning


A huge thank you to everyone who took part, and donated gifts and raffle prizes for our coffee morning that was held a few weeks ago.

And the result was the magnificent total of £575.  It included two generous donations from members.

At the morning, hosted by Mike and Winnie Jones, all kinds of people helped.  There was Rachel on the bric á brac stall, Paula selling home-made Christmas cards and gifts, Bob selling hand-made coasters, while Fiona Hazell re-named the horse racing quiz into the Chariot Race, which made it sound much more exciting.

With our chief executive officer Jeff Page and our chair Frances Cullen keeping things moving smoothly along, a good time was had by all.

The kitchen staff had the last word, appropriately: “It was a real tasty morning!”


Everyone joined

 in with Jonathan


Jonathan Stevens, the popular singer, made a welcome return to Bedford Hall before Christmas, on December 1.  He entertained a lively group of Croydon Vision members who danced and sang the wintry afternoon away.

The ever-popular Jonathan sang songs by Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, along with many others.

Earlier members had enjoyed lunch, and one of them said: “A good dance was just what I needed to work off those bangers and mash. It was a great afternoon’s entertainment !”


Boom boxes are

here for you


FROM THE beginning of this month we will be giving out the Sovereign memory stick players (boom boxes) to members who subscribe to the talking newspaper.

These are high quality, easy-to-use MP3 players that enable you to listen to music, audio books and talking newspapers directly from a USB (memory) stick.

The box has four large, yellow tactile buttons, an extra large volume control dial, and two built-in speakers that offer superb sound quality.

They are free to subscribers of our talking newspaper but we do ask that, if you end your subscription, you return the memory stick player for someone else to enjoy.

You can collect your boom box from January 4. If you are unable to come into Croydon Vision to collect yours, let us know and when a minibus driver is passing your area we will drop it in.

There will be a phasing out of the talking newspaper on CD but don’t worry, it will be a very comfortable phase out.

We’ve been told by members that the boom box is easier to use than a CD player, but if you feel you need any more information, Katherine Turner the IT teacher will give a demonstration at one of her IT drop in sessions. Please ring reception if you need more information.
We should add that these boom boxes have been most generously donated by Croydon Rotary Club.

And may we remind you that the annual subscription for the Talking Newspaper  –  still only £10 –  is due this month.  If you would like to subscribe, ring Reception for more information.


Dates for



  • ­         Fiona Hazell, optometrist with Low Vision Clinic, will be at Bedford Hall on two dates this month, on

                   Thursday, January 5, and again on Thursday, January 19, each time between 9.30am and

                   12.30pm.  She gives expert advice with this free consultation, but please book first.

  • ­        If you should need Croydon Hearing, you can always contact the service at 020 8686 0049.

They will be at Bedford Hall next on Thursday, February 23, from 11.30am to 2.30pm.

  • ­      Joseph the hairdresser will be at Bedford Hall on  Thursday, January 12, from 10am.  Please book first.
  • ­     The IT tutor Katherine Turner has three drop-in sessions to help with any IT problems you may have, and to explain how to use the boom box.

They are on Tuesday, January 10; Wednesday,  January 11; and on Thursday, January 12. Each drop-in is between 1.30pm and 2pm.

  • ­    The next meeting of Croydon Macular Support Group is on Monday, January 9, from 1-3pm.
  • ­    The Glaucoma Support Group will meet here next on Monday, February 6, at 1.30pm.
  • ­   The chiropodist Joy Dell is scheduled to be here at a date to be confirmed.  Please ring Reception for further details.

Footnote  –  Croydon Age UK will not be providing us with  their Information and Advice service this year.



Chance to visit

big exhibition


THE much-praised exhibition marking the centenary of the first world war has been such a success that it has been extended into the New Year, and will continue at Whitgift School, Haling Park, South Croydon, until April 16.

The focus is on 1916, a pivotal year which saw a number of significant battles, including the Battle of Verdun, and the Battle of the Somme, one of the most famous in British military history.

There are detailed re-creations of a bombed-out cellar at Verdun, the British and German trenches at the Somme and, back home, an Edwardian drawing room

There is also an outstanding range of original artefacts, most of which have never been on public display.

These include British, French and German uniforms, equipment and weaponry, memorabilia from the Home Front, and some incredibly rare objects, such as a German light field wagon.

There are the two first issues of the famous trench newspaper, The Wipers Times . . . the train station sign from Verdun . . .  and items associated with the German flying ace, the ‘Red Baron’.

The exhibition is open seven days a week, from 10am to 5pm, with last entry at 4pm.

You can buy tickets on the door, and the prices are: Adult £8  Senior £6

But there are concessionary tickets.  For residents of the borough who bring proof of their address, e.g. a council tax bill or a utility bill, admission is: Adult £7. Senior £5

***  Remember, one of our volunteers, Rachel Stockdale, is also a steward at the exhibition on Sundays, and if you would like a guided tour she would be delighted to help.  Just leave your name at Reception at Bedford Hall so that she can be in touch and arrange a convenient day.


Menus for



Wed       4    Roast pork, stuffing, roast potatoes, mixed vegetables 

–  cheesecake

Thurs    5    Chicken casserole, mashed potatoes, broccoli

–  banana & ice cream


Tues   10    Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, carrots, cauliflower

–  fruit flan & cream

Wed    11    Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, peas 

–  mousse

Thurs  12   Fish, potato wedges, mixed vegetables

                   –  peaches & cream 


Tues   17    Italian chicken, potatoes, green beans, carrots

–  cheesecake & cream

Wed    18    Steak and kidney pie, mashed potatoes, broccoli

–  fruit jelly & Instant Whip

Thurs  19    Roast lamb, mint sauce, roast potatoes, mixed vegetables

–  mandarins & cream


Tues    24    Gammon, roast potatoes, green beans, peas

–  cheesecake & cream

Wed     25    Cauliflower cheese, sausages, mashed potatoes

–  plums & custard

Thurs  26     Meatballs in tomato sauce, mashed potatoes, peas, carrots

–  fruit cocktail & ice cream



  • v  A  national survey was held recently asking people for their favourite food.    Can you guess the results?  Top was pizza, then came chocolate.  Third was ice cream, then steak, then bacon.  French fries were sixth, then chicken.  Eighth was burger, ninth tacos, and the tenth was sushi.


New Addington menus


Thurs   5    Gammon, pease pudding, roast potatoes, carrots and cauliflower

–  peaches and cream

Thurs 12   Chicken casserole, potatoes, cabbage

– ginger cake and custard

Thurs 19   Roast beef, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower and carrots

–  trifle

Thurs 26   Chilli con carne, mixed vegetables, new potatoes

–  apple pie and ice cream



Who has got a

story to tell?


DID you know there is still time to go in for the RNIB writing competition?  Closing date is January 31, and the theme is “anniversary”.

You can write up to 1,000 words of prose, or 30 lines of poetry, and submit your entry in whatever format you choose.

It’s a great idea and actually, although it may sound a lot, 1,000 words (or less) is not that long when you have a good story to tell.

And we are reckon that there are plenty of Croydon Vision members can tell a really good tale.


You should send your story to:

RNIB WritingCompetition,

Talk and Support, 105 Judd Street,

London WC1H 9NE,

or you can email

Wouldn’t it be great if someone from Croydon Vision won the prize?  And if they do, we will make sure to print the story here in CV News.

Just in time


THE RNIB popular Cube clock is now available in a blue colour. At the press of a button this simple alarm clock announces the time in a natural male English voice, and all mode settings are spoken.

It also features an optional hourly announcement, five alarm sounds, and a volume control.

It is supplied with 4 x AA batteries. Replacement AA batteries are available from the RNIB.

The clock has an optional alarm with a choice of five sounds: a two-tone alarm, a mechanical bell, a horn, cuckoo, and a beeping alarm.

It has non-slip feet, and a removable cover forms the back of the clock to protect the clock’s controls and battery compartment.
It comes with a 12 month warranty, and costs £29.99 (including VAT) or £24.99 (excluding VAT).  That

ex-VAT price applies to blind or partially sighted people.


Blue badge scams


PEOPLE who are applying for blue badges for disabled parking are being warned not to be taken in by companies that charge to complete online application forms.
It has been reported that at least one company have been offering to complete such an online application form.  Don’t be tricked.

The correct way for you or a good friend to apply is directly to the council where, subject to an administration charge of £10, the form can be completed.

Please note that the website to be avoided is
Also, a word of warning. Theft of blue badges is on the increase in London generally, and that of course must apply also to here in Croydon. Always remember to keep the blue badge safe and out of sight when not in use.


Our Ken is a hero

of France

THE Normandy Landings (which were given the code name Operation Overlord) were the famous and historic operations on Tuesday, June 6, 1944 (D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy during the second world war.

It was the largest seaborne invasion in history, and contributed to the Allied victory on the Western Front.

That much we are sure you know.  But did you also know that one of the members of Croydon Vision was very much involved in that operation  –  and that he’s recently been honoured by the French nation as a result?

Ken Sendall has been appointed to the rank of Chevalier (Knight) of the Order of Légion d’Honneur, the highest decoration in France.

Membership is restricted to French nationals or, like Ken, foreign nationals who have served valiantly in France.

Ken, who is now 91, and originally from Norfolk, doesn’t talk much about his wartime exploits.  And when he is asked, he just smiles and with a twinkle in his eye, says, in his old Norfolk brogue: “When I got up that beach, I found the nearest pub and sat out the rest of the war in the bar.”

That’s his story!  When the President of France writes to you and thanks you for risking your life to help to liberate their country, we know there is more to it than that.


Collecting waste

HERE is a note for gardeners: the council’s garden waste bin collections are due to re-start in April.

Originally people were asked to apply for this service online.  But if you don’t have access to the internet, you can still apply by contacting the council on 0208 726 6000, extension 62544.

A January puzzler


WE THOUGHT we would make this an easier quiz after all your hard work over Christmas.  So here are a simple set of questions asking True or False about all kinds of facts about the month of January.  All you have to do is guess.  Surely that is all right . . .


1    True of false: The first British mobile phone call was made on January 1, 1985, by Ernie Wise.

2    True or false: Britain introduced food rationing in January, 1942.

3    True or false: Woolworths closed in January, 2009.

4    True or false: the first live radio commentary of a football match was broadcast in 1927.

5    True or false: the railway network was nationalised to form British Railways in 1949.

6    True or false: the radio programme Desert Island Discs was first broadcast in 1942, and the first castaway was Charlie Chaplin.

7    True or false: the world’s oldest underground railway opened in 1860.

8    True or false: the television series The Forsyte Saga was first shown this month in 1967.

9    True or false: Henry VIII of England secretly married Anne Boleyn, his third wife, in January, 1533.

10  True or false: the first transatlantic telephone service was established in January, 1927.


The answers


1  True   False; it was in 1940  3 True: it closed after trading here for 100 years   4  True: it was between Arsenal and Sheffield United   5  False: that was on January 1, 1948   6  Partly true: that was when it started, but the castaway was the comedian Vic Oliver  7  False: it was on January 10, 1863, and ran between Paddington and Farringdon Stations  8  True   True  –  but she was his second wife  10  True, from New York City to London.


That’s Entertainment

Big shows in town

THE hit show Evita, with more than 20 major awards to its credit, follows a triumphant run in London by coming to the Churchill Theatre, High Street, Bromley, BR1 1HA, from Thursday Saturday, January 12 14, at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinée at 2.30pm.

Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, it tells the story of Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, following her journey from humble beginnings to extraordinary wealth, power and iconic status.

The show features some of the most popular of songs, including Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, On This Night of a Thousand Stars, You Must Love Me, and Another Suitcase in Another Hall.

Tickets are £22.50 – £45.00, with concessions for Thursday, and for the Saturday matinée.  Box Office: 020 3285 6000.


THERE’S another big musical in the area, with Thoroughly Modern Millie at New Wimbledon Theatre from Tuesday, January 17 to Saturday, January 21, at 7.30pm, with matinées on Wednesday and Saturday at 2.30pm.

It’s based on the 1967 film starring Julie Andrews, and is a nostalgic musical comedy set in 1920s New York where recent arrival-from-Kansas Millie Dillmount is determined to bob her hair, dance to jazz, get a job and marry her boss – all in the modern fashion.

It stars Joanne Clifton as Millie, and Michelle Collins as Mrs Meers.
Tickets: £17.50 – £45.50.  Box office: 0844 871 7646


A SUNDAY afternoon treat when the Magnificent Music Hall Matinée returns to the New Wimbledon Theatre on Sunday, January 22, at 2.30pm.  Tickets: £19.75.


More panto,



YOU still have a chance to catch a pantomime this month, including this year’s offering by St Mark’s Players of South Norwood.

They are putting on Dick Whittington and His Cat at St George’s Church Hall, 25-27 Albemarle Road, Beckenham, which is just three minutes from Beckenham Junction tram stop.

It runs at weekends from January 14 to 28.  It starts on Saturday, January 14 at 6.30pm; and the next show, on Sunday, January 15 at 3pm, is already sold out.

Then on Saturday, January 21, there will be two performances at 3pm and 7.30pm; then on Sunday, January 22, at 3pm; and finally on Saturday, January 28, at 3pm and 7.30pm.

Tickets are £10 from 07737 538 794.

All in aid of St Christopher’s Hospice and Demelza Children’s Hospice.

Peter Pan at the Churchill Theatre, High Street, Bromley, continues until Saturday, January 7.  The Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood stars as Captain Hook.

It’s at 7pm, and there is an audio description performance on Saturday, January 7, at 7pm.

Tickets: £18 – £40, concessions £2 off.  Box office is at 0203 285 6000

Dick Whittington continues its run at New Wimbledon Theatre until January 15 at 7pm, with matinées on most days.  Matthew Kelly is Sarah the Cook, leading a star cast.  Tickets: £12 – £45.50.  Box office: 0844 871 7646.

Girl trouble

 Some London audio-described shows

The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales is at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT, with an audio described performance on Saturday, January 21, at 2pm.  Touch tour at 12.30pm.

Inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen story, and combining some of his other tales, it is about a destitute heroine who struggles to survive, and strikes her matches to keep warm. Each match will conjure a new story, a new vision, and we will hold her hand as we tumble down the rabbit hole with her.

Tickets are £16 – £24, and bookings are at 0207 902 1409.


Mamma Mia! at Novello Theatre, Aldwych, London WC2B 4LD, has an audio described performance on Saturday, January 21, at 3pm, with a prior touch tour.

One of the biggest success stories in the West End, this show is based on the songs of ABBA.

Focusing on the characters of Donna and Sophie Sheridan, the marriage between Sophie and Skye gets closer. But there’s a problem – Sophie wants her dad to walk her down the aisle, which would be easy if she knew who he is.

Consulting her mother’s diary, she narrows it down to three men and promptly invites all three to attend, prompting chaos and plenty of hilarious moments. Songs include a range of familiar hits from Dancing Queen and Super Trouper to Thank You For the Music and, of course, Mamma Mia!

Tickets: £25 (reduced from £72.50).  Booking: 0844 482 5165.

We’re back

Bedford Hall will re-open after the Christmas

and New Year holidays on Wednesday, January 4, 2017.


Glorious art


THE world’s first major exhibition devoted to one of the finest landscape artists is now on at Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Adriaen van de Velde was one of the great artists in the Dutch Golden Age, and this exhibition is a rare glimpse of the work of a 17th century master.

There are 60 paintings and drawings in a show that has been much praised.

It’s on until January 15; open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm, closed Mondays.  Admission is £12.50, seniors £11.50, concessions £7.

The Picture Gallery is in Dulwich Village.  Nearest station is North Dulwich, and trains go from West Croydon Station every 30 minutes.


We regret to report the deaths of Mrs Joan

Atherton, Mr Arthur Kirby, and Mrs Gwen Trewick.