Defining Croydon has always been a contentious issue! The debate as to whether it is part of London or Surrey has rumbled on for decades thanks to a complicated geographical history best explained by local historian John Hickman HERE.
Local Illustrator Samantha Warren, who runs Scene in Croydon, is attempting to ease some of the confusion and has created a map of the Borough that highlights the key areas and landmarks. The map is available in A4 size for £25 and A3 size for £35. From Norwood Grove in the North to Old Coulsdon in the South, the Borough’s huge variety of leafy landscapes and urban neighbourhoods are showcased on this new map!
For an additional cost, the print can be customised to feature your home, your business or another meaningful place in the Borough that is special to you. You can select up to 3 landmarks and, once purchased, Samantha will be in touch to arrange the design of the illustration. It makes a perfect gift for born and bred Croydoners and newer residents alike!
To celebrate the launch of the map, we’ve partnered with Samantha to offer one lucky East Croydon Cool follower a FREE A3 illustrated map featuring their landmark of choice (worth £85). To enter, simply follow @SceneInCroydon on Instagram and comment on THIS INSTAGRAM POST with how long you’ve lived in the borough for. A winner will be selected at random on Wednesday 22nd September.
As part of her research to create the map, Samantha explored the Borough Archive – part of the Collections held at the Museum of Croydon. For those not familiar, the Borough Archive offers a fascinating insight into Croydon’s history. Access is by appointment only and people can only view the 1000 archive collections in the Research Room (although in 2015, work began on the migration of the collections to an online platform with 700 currently available to view digitally). Other Collections held at the Museum of Croydon include the Museum Collection, the Handling Collection, the Local History Collection and the Art Collection.
We caught up with Sam to find out more about her and this exciting new project..
So Samantha, tell us a bit more about your background in illustration?
I completed a printed textiles degree and have been designing illustrations for fashion and homeware brands since. I started my own brand of accessories with more painterly and abstract designs and really wanted to explore another style of illustration through my work, which Scene in Croydon has allowed me to do.
How did Scene in Croydon come about?
I felt there was a strong need for positive prints of Croydon that residents old and new could own and feel proud of their area. Over the last 5 years I’ve volunteered in my local community (Thornton Heath) and dealing with many of the issues that come with living in a condensed area can leave you feeling quite disheartened. Croydon’s not had the most glowing reputation and it’s easy to get sucked into the negativity, but there is actually a lot to celebrate and enjoy in the area. I decided to use my design skills to do this and it’s been great fun. Along with creating wall art prints, I’ve also designed banners for the local parks, anti flytipping stencils and organised projects with local artists to create anti-littering posters and lamppost banners. It’s been a great way to tie together my love of design and community.
What gave you the inspiration for the map?
Before lockdown, I visited the Croydon Collections (also known as the archives), curious about what they held really (and I’m a sucker for an old map!) I love seeing how places have changed over time and love analysing the layout, typography and illustration style. I decided then that I’d like to take on the challenge of creating a decorative map and this idea was solidified after spending most of lockdown in Croydon and discovering so many wonderful parts of the borough.
How are you going about creating it?
I’ve built up quite an archive of illustrations of Croydon landmarks over time so I’m excited to use some of these in the Croydon map. It is tricky as some districts are denser than others and have more landmarks so I need to be selective about what to include. It’s important to show the variety of what Croydon has to offer, from incredible woodland to the high rises.
Tell us more about your visit to the Museum of Croydon.
It was a fascinating visit! The Collections are located in Croydon Clocktower and run by the library and the museum. I focused on the Borough Archive and needed to book an appointment to visit. You have to have a pretty good idea of what you’d like to see before you go as there’s so much there!
When will the map be ready?
I’ve literally launched it today – Thursday 16th September!
Where/How can people buy the map?
The Croydon map is available to purchase by visiting my Etsy shop HERE.
How will you go about customising the map for those who want to have their home featured on it?
This is a special feature of the map that I’m really excited about. Along with being able to purchase the Croydon map, you’re also able to personalise it with meaningful landmarks. It could be your home, birthplace, your favourite pub or restaurant or any landmark in Croydon that you would like on your map really. It’s a great way of creating a truly unique piece and it’s a wonderful gift idea too. You can select up to 3 landmarks to add to your map and this is all done via my Etsy shop.
A4 Map: £25
A4 Map (plus one landmark): £75
A4 Map (plus two landmarks): £115
A4 Map (plus three landmarks): £150
A3 Map: £35
A3 Map (plus one landmark): £85
A3 Map (plus two landmarks): £125
A3 Map (plus three landmarks): £160
Framing also available at an additional cost
Exploring the Borough Archive:
The Scene in Croydon customisable map!