Croydon Vision News February 2017

I’m getting ready

for my big run


by Jeff Page, chief executive


Continuing from my commitment last month to take on the Great South Run as a fund-raiser for Croydon Vision, a training programme has begun in earnest.  Running shoes have been unearthed from the cupboard under the stairs, and years of dust blown off.

The A36 is the main road from Southampton to Bath and it passes through Salisbury at the end of my garden, at the top of a steep bank.

It is handy in that our stretch of the route is almost totally flat  –  excellent terrain for the novice or returning runner.

The stretch from the house to the edge of the Wilton Estate park wall is 1.3 miles, according to Fitbit.  My running partner is my 11 year old daughter Martha, who will fit in this training as part of her busy sporting timetable of gymnastics, circuit training and kick-boxing.

She usually completes our sessions without seeming to get out of breath.  Not so for me.

We have started the first few times by running one way to the park wall and walking quickly back home.

Our section of the park wall is on a T-junction controlled by traffic lights, which are a welcome sight in the night sky a few hundred metres from the finish line.

Soon we are to up our game and will run both there and back.  I’ll keep you posted.


Go Fishes!


My run is a long way off yet, but coming up in the next few weeks is the annual Swimathon at Purley Pool, by Brighton Road.  The event takes place of Saturday, February 25, and is organised by Purley Rotary Club.

Our team is the Croydon Vision Fishes, and we thank them and wish them all the best for the event.

Best wishes to you all,  Jeff


Break our record!


THE swimmers from Croydon Vision –  the Fishes  –  are training hard to try and beat their record in the Swimathon at Purley Pool.  Last year our team made 80 laps of the pool.  This time . . .?

Lauren Crisp and Steve Marchese, who were both taught to swim by the Enterprise Swimming Club, will be swimming again, as are three members of the same family  –  Bob and Mark, husband and son of Anne Luton, who’s one of our members in New Addington.

They will be joined by Bob’s niece Sarah, who is a trained lifeguard and we are hoping that she will be our secret weapon this year and push us to over 90 laps of the pool.  Or even, perhaps, the 100 mark?

But one thing is certain, the team will have a great time trying to break their record. The team captain Mike Jones, said:  “This is a fabulous event and everyone enjoys it, there is so much excitement poolside you are really swept up in the occasion, and it benefits good causes too!”

If you would like to support our team and sponsor the swimmers please contact Reception at Bedford Hall.

The event is on Saturday, February 26, and it would be great if some of you could come along to Purley Pool to cheer them.  If so, please contact Mike on 020 8688 2486.

New £1 coin comes

 in next month


THE NEW twelve-sided £1 coin will enter circulation on March 28.  The present, round £1 will continue to be legal tender along this new one until October 15.

But the public are being urged to use their current £1 coins, or bank them, before they lose their legal tender status.

It’s estimated that around a third of the £1.3 billion worth of coins that are stored in piggy banks or saving jars around the UK are the current £1 style.

This new style £1 has been billed by the Royal Mint as “the most secure coin in the world”.

It’s harder to counterfeit because the distinctive shape with 12 sides means it stands out by sight and by touch.

The outer ring is gold coloured (nickel-brass) and the inner ring is silver coloured (nickel-plated alloy).

This new coin has an image like a hologram that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles

And there is micro-lettering.  Around the rim on the heads side of the coin tiny lettering reads: ONE POUND.  On the tails side is the year the coin was produced

The milled edges have grooves on alternate sides, and an additional security feature is built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting.  These details have not been revealed.

Also, a new set of coin designs are coming in, to mark the achievements of Jane Austen and Sir Isaac Newton, and will start appearing this spring.

The Jane Austen £2 coin will celebrate the author 200 years after her death, while another £2 version will remember the Royal Flying Corps.

A 50p coin will mark the achievements of mathematician Sir Isaac Newton, a one-time Master of the Royal Mint.

Time’s nearly up

for old fivers

DO YOU realise that you only have three months to spend those old £5 notes you’ve still got?

Yes, you only have until May 5 before those paper fivers cease to be legal tender.  After that, you won’t be able to use them for anything.

The number of old £5 notes in circulation has already halved, meaning that lots of us have already switched to the new polymer notes.

But that’s still leaves 165 million paper fivers still to be withdrawn.

On May 5 the old £5 note will cease to be legal tender.  From then on, retailers and banks need only accept or exchange any old notes at their discretion.

But don’t panic because, according to the Bank of England, all withdrawn banknotes remain payable at face value for all time. After May 5 the high street banks may refuse to exchange notes, but the Bank of England is legally obliged to.  That’s because the Bank of England notes retain their face value for all time.

The Bank is getting rid of the paper fivers, and they will be recycled.  That’s in England and Wales.  Scotland and Northern Ireland may not follow suit.  Paper notes issued by banks there will remain legal tender.

 Any more new notes coming?

Yes.  A £10 note featuring the author Jane Austen will be issued in the summer, and that is due to be followed by a new £20 note by 2020, featuring the painter J.M.W. Turner.

The current £50 note was issued in 2011, and there are no plans to replace that.

February dates

at Bedford Hall


  • Fiona Hazell, optometrist with Low Vision Clinic,

will be at Bedford Hall on two dates this month, on

Thursday, February 2, and again on Thursday,  

February 16, each time between 9.30am and

12.30pm.  She gives expert advice. This is a free

consultation, but please book first.


  • Croydon Hearing will be at Bedford Hall on

Thursday, February 23, from 11.30am-2.30pm.

And remember, apart from that date, you can

always contact the service at 020 8686 0049.


  • Joseph the hairdresser is next due to be at

Bedford Hall, on Thursday, February 16, from

10am.  Please book first.


  • The chiropodist Joy Dell hopes to be here on a

Wednesday this month, the exact date to be

confirmed. Please check with Reception.


  • The IT tutor Katherine Turner has two drop-in

sessions to help with any IT problems you may

have.  They are on Tuesday, February 14, from

1.30pm – 2pm, and on Wednesday, February 15,

also between1.30pm – 2pm.


  • The next meeting of Croydon Macular Support

Group is on Monday, February 13, from 1- 3pm,

with a guest speaker, Dawn Sim, who is

consultant ophthalmologist from Moorfields.

Everyone is welcome to come along and learn

more about disease.


  • The Glaucoma Group will meet here next on

Monday, February 6, at 1.30pm.



Have you got your

boom box yet?

THE memory stick players, or boom boxes as they are known, are here to replace the CDs to bring you the Croydon Talking Newspaper every week.

And they are already proving very popular.   No wonder, because they offer superb sound quality, and are easy to use, with four yellow tactile buttons and an extra large volume button.

They are given free to any members who subscribe to the Croydon Vision Talking Newspaper.

If you would like to pick up your boom box, just ring Reception on 020 8688 2486 and let us know when you will be coming in.  And on Fridays, Mike Jones will be in Reception between 9am and 12noon specifically to distribute the players.

They are even easier to use than a CD, but if you are a little unsure, try and pop in to one of Katherine’s drop-in IT sessions on Tuesday or Wednesday lunchtimes, and she can give you any advice you may need.

These boom boxes can also be used to listen to music, and audio books.

The plan is that these will eventually replace the CDs on which the Talking Newspaper has been issued.

With one swipe . . .


FOR JUST £8.95 you can buy a Nimble.  It’s a one-finger cutting tool that looks like a rubber thimble with a small blade that cuts through plastic and paper.

Quickly, easily, and safely you can open plastic and paper packaging with one swipe of your finger.  Put the item to be cut on a surface and simply place on your finger and slide across the item’s surface that needs opening.

From the RNIB on 0303 123 9999, or you can email

February menus

Tues   (Jan 31)    Lamb grills, wedges, mixed vegetables

–  rice pudding & apple sauce


Wed      1    Roast pork, stuffing, roast potatoes, peas,cauliflower

–  fruit jelly & cream

Thurs   2     Fish, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables

–  cake & custard


Tues    7     Sausages, mashed potatoes, fried onions, mushrooms, tomatoes

–  gateau & cream

Wed     8     Shepherd’s pie, cabbage, peas 

–  peaches & ice cream

Thurs   9     Roast lamb, roast potatoes, carrots, green beans  

–  fruit jelly & Instant Whip 


Tues   14    Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, broccoli, swede

–  pears & ice cream

Wed    15    Sausages, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, fried onions

–  bananas & custard

Thurs  16    Chicken chasseur, potatoes, broccoli

–  mousse


Tues    21    Battered fish, mashed potatoes, peas, carrots

–  pears & ice cream

Wed     22    Boiled bacon, roast potatoes, spring greens, carrots

–  cherry pie & Dream Topping

Thurs  23     Savoury mince, mashed potatoes, cauliflower

–  cheesecake & cream


Tues    28     Sausages, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, mashed potatoes

–  rice pudding & jam

Wed   (Mar 1)          Boiled bacon, roast potatoes, green beans, peas

–  gateau

Thurs (Mar 2)         Chicken pie, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables

–  mousse & Dream Topping


New Addington menus


Thurs   2        Beef casserole, dumplings, potatoes

–  trifle

Thurs   9        Roast pork, roast potatoes, sage and onions, carrots, cauliflower

–  lemon meringue pie

Thurs 16        Steak and kidney pudding, potatoes, green beans, swede

–  pears & ice cream

Thurs 23        Thai green curry, green beans

–  warm honeyed banana & vanilla ice cream

Thurs Mar 2   Shepherd’s pie, cauliflower, peas

– gateau and cream


Pancake special


IT’S Pancake Day  –  or Shrove Tuesday to give it the proper name  –  on February 28.

Historically, pancakes were made on that day so that the last of the fat or lard was used up before Lent. No meat products should be eaten during Lent.

Here, of course, and health and safety permitting, all kinds of charity and school events are organised on the day for a race when runners carry a pancake in a frying pan, tossing their pancakes as they run, and catching them in the frying pan.

This started in Olney, Buckinghamshire, in 1445 when a housewife was still busy frying pancakes to eat before the Lenten fast when she heard the bells of the church calling her to the Shriving Service.

Eager to get to church, she ran out of her house still holding the frying pan complete with pancake, tossing it to prevent it from burning, and still wearing her apron and headscarf.

Every Shrove Tuesday since 1950, the towns of Olney and Liberal, Kansas, have competed in the International Pancake Race. Only local women may compete, and their times are compared to determine the international winner.


Meet Alan, planning a

special programme


HELLO everyone.  My name is Alan Whetherly, and I have joined the staff of Croydon Vision as their first Children and Young People’s Development Worker.

I am hoping that we can develop an exciting social activity programme for children and young people living with sight loss in Croydon.

My post has been generously funded by the Croydon Charitable Trust and we are very grateful for their support in making this project happen.

I work at Croydon Vision on a Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The bonus with employing me is that I come with a couple of assistants to help me: firstly, can I introduce my four-legged helper who is called Judy.  She’s my first ever guide dog, a golden Labrador cross retriever who’s recently had her third birthday.

We’ve been together for nearly nine months now, and she has met some of the members and staff here at Bedford Hall.

I also have my lovely support worker called Lizzie Hart.  She is working with me 11 hours a week, and helps me with the sighted tasks that I find it difficult to do.

She also helps with researching into the activities that we are planning for the children and families.

Lizzie works with me on a Monday and Wednesday.  She will also be helping me at our children’s events.  We are planning to run 12 events throughout the year, aimed at blind and visually impaired children and their families.

Some of these will be held at Bedford Hall, and some will be off-site.  All of the activities will be held at a weekend, or during the school holidays.

If you know of any families that would be interested in taking part, please contact me at the office, because I need your help to promote the work that I’m doing.

We are keen to have your suggestions for activities and, most importantly, ideas from the children and young people themselves of what they would like to do, because this is THEIR club.

We are still looking for a name for the group: if you have any ideas, please let me know.


So where are we going to start?  Well, our first activity has been arranged for Saturday, February 25, from 1- 3pm at Bedford Hall.

We are going to be joined by the science wizards who are going to run a fun and inter-active science session for us which will be very hands on.

We are also planning on setting a regular Saturday each month for our activities from March.

Among the ideas I’ve had so far are: arts & crafts, adaptive cycling, outdoor activity day with a family picnic, and a cookery session.

We will include dates for the activities here in Croydon Vision News, and I am looking forward to hearing from you soon  –  and hopefully meeting some of you at Croydon Vision.


Come cycling

Wheels for Wellbeing is the name for cycling sessions held every week at Croydon Sports Arena, Albert Road, South Norwood, for all abilities.  It’s only £5, and free for your supporter or relative.

Cycle at your own pace.  There are qualified instructors, and it’s a friendly atmosphere.

The sessions are:  Tuesday: 10am-1pm.  Friday: 11am – 1pm.  Saturday: 10am – 12.30pm.


Quiz time!


DO YOU fancy answering a few simple quiz questions?  Oh good, because we have compiled a collection here to entertain you.  When you’ve got them all right, you can check the answers below to prove how clever you are.

1    In Cockney rhyming slang, what does “titfer” mean?

2    Which character did Carrie Fisher play in the original Star Wars film?

3    What did the railway initials LNER stand for?

4    True or false: London has more trees than any capital city in Europe

5    Which English county has the longest coastline?

6    Name two hit musicals which were based on Shakespeare’s plays.

7    Which is the largest city in Africa  –  Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi?

8     Who is the only heavyweight world champion boxer to retire undefeated  –  Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, or Muhammed Ali?

9    In which Shakespeare play would you find the character Ophelia?

10   What was the name of the ship that took the Pilgrim Fathers to America?

11   Rin Tin Tin was a film hero, but what kind of dog was he?

12   When is St Valentine’s Day?


The answers

 1  Hat, as in ‘tit for tat’   Princess Leia   3 London and North Eastern Railway   4  True   5  Cornwall  6  West Side Story (based on Romeo and Juliet), and Kiss Me Kate (The Taming of the Shrew)   7  Lagos in Nigeria, with a population of over 12 million  8  Rocky Marciano  Hamlet  10  The Mayflower  11  German shepherd 12  February 14 (have you got your card yet . . .?)



That’s Entertainment 

In the mood

THERE’S AN afternoon treat for big band fans on Sunday, February 12, with the Glenn Miller Orchestra coming to the Churchill Theatre, Bromley (3pm).

Directed by Ray McVay, they will be joined by singers Catherine Sykes and Mark Porter, the Moonlight Serenaders, the Spring Time Jivers and the Polka Dot Dolls.

They will take you back to the toe-tapping days of the 1940s and many of those great numbers like In the Mood, Moonlight Serenade, American Patrol, Little Brown Jug, Tuxedo Junction, and the song that became pop history’s first gold disc, Chattanooga Choo Choo !

Tickets: £18 – £25.  Box office: 0844 871 7646.

FUNNY you should mention it  –  one of the most popular of all the radio comedy shows will be recalled in a special show on stage at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, on Monday and Tuesday, February 13 and 14, at 7.30pm.

Round The Horne will be bringing back such hilarious and outrageous characters as Rambling Sid Rumpo, Charles and Fiona, J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock, and of course Julian and Sandy.

Tickets: £18-£22.50.  Box office: 0844 871 7646.

THE WORLD’S favourite love story comes to town, with Romeo & Juliet performed by the Moscow City Ballet at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, on Monday and Tuesday, February 20 and 21, at 7.30pm.

It will be danced to the dramatic music of Prokofiev, in a powerful production that brings to life all the hustle and bustle of the Renaissance.

Tickets: £27.50 – £37.50; concessions £2 off.

Box office: 0844 871 7646.

Cricket anyone?

TWO FORMER England cricketers chatting about their experiences may not sound the most gripping of shows.  Don’t be fooled by that thought.  It’s an entertaining and very funny evening with two of the familiar voices from radio’s hugely popular Test Match Special.

Aggers & Tuffers is the title, with Jonathan Agnew and Phil Tufnell bringing their successful touring show to New Wimbledon Theatre on Monday, February 13, at 7:30pm.

It’s an evening for cricket fans and non-lovers of the game alike, with all kinds of stories, and there will be an opportunity for the audience to tweet Aggers or send in their own questions for him to grapple with.

Tickets: £26.25 to £29.  Box office: 0870 060 6646.

Evita is at the New Wimbledon Theatre from Tuesday to Saturday, February 21 – 25, at 7.30pm, with three matinées on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm.

The musical, by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, is about Eva Peron, wife of the former Argentine dictator, following her journey from humble beginnings to great wealth, power and iconic status.

Tickets: £15-£45.50.  Box office: 0870 060 6646.

Noël and Gertie is the story of the friendship between Noël Coward and Gertrude Lawrence, who created stage history with their legendary partnership.

They met when he was 13 and she was 14, and their remarkable story is told through Coward’s songs, plays, letters, poems and diaries.

This play is at New Wimbledon Theatre from Thursday, February 27 to Saturday, March 4, at 7.45pm (though not Thursday).

Tickets: £16.  Box office: 0870 060 6646.


A stranded Handel

seeks help


Some London audio-described shows


All The Angels is about the complicated, comedic business of putting on a show  –  and not just any old show.  In this case, it is Handel’s Messiah, arguably the world’s most popular choral work.

Its story begins in the unlikely setting of a room above a pub in Chester, when the great composer, detained by bad weather on his way to a season of concerts in Dublin, invites some unlikely local choristers to rehearse excerpts. It is not a success.

So begins Handel’s struggle to stage the premiere of his great new work, confronted by seemingly insurmountable challenges.

This play returns after a sell-out run in 2015, featuring the original cast of Sean Campion, David Horovitch and Kelly Price.

The audio-described performance will be at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT, on Monday, February 6, at 7.30pm, with a touch tour at 6pm.  Tickets are reduced to £16- £24, from 0207 902 1409.

Art is the fascinating play about what people think of modern art, and about friendship, prejudice and tolerance. It has enjoyed remarkable success over 20 years, and is now back for a limited run in London.  It stars Tim Key, Paul Ritter and Rufus Sewell.

The audio-described performance will be at The Old Vic Theatre, 103 The Cut, London SE1 8NB, on Monday, February 6, at 7.30pm, with a touch tour at 6pm.  Tickets are £21 from 0844 871 7628.

£800 serenades

THE very impressive sum of over £800 was raised for Croydon Vision by three choirs who serenaded shoppers in the Whitgift Centre just before Christmas.

Croydon Male Voice Choir, the Jubilate Choir and the John Ruskin Choral Society all sang their hearts out to collect that money.

We give them all a huge “Thank You”.  And also thanks to the volunteers and members who gave up their time to come out and help with the collections.



Helping the hospice


Members of Croydon Vision have raised £112

for St Christopher’s Hospice, Sydenham, a result

of donating the money they would have spent on

sending Christmas cards, and instead giving the

cards in person.



For sale

The RNIB has a sale of some of its products.

Included are clocks and watches, labelling products,

toys and games, kitchen equipment.  While stocks

last.  Contact: 0303 123 9999, or you can email