John Whitgift Foundation is delighted to announce that our proposal has been shortlisted in a new initiative by Croydon Council to bring Croydon’s often unloved pedestrian subways back to use.

The ‘Reimagining Croydon’s Subways’ competition invited local organisations and individuals to submit creative ideas to transform six of the subways located around Croydon town centre with the winner having the opportunity to work with Croydon Council to have their idea brought to life.

The public are now invited to share their views on the submissions in an online survey ahead of the judging here.

Inspired by the success of our Capturing Croydon photography competition, we propose to enliven Croydon’s subways with images of Croydon taken by local children, alongside historic images to create a ‘past and present’ exhibition.

The subway walls would be adorned with stunning images of Croydon town centre by prolific 1930’s local photographer, Charles Harrison Price currently held in a collection by local heritage society, Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society.

These images of areas such as Surrey Street Market, North End and Old Town will be paired with photos taken by Year 6 primary school students as part of Capturing Croydon.

Capturing Croydon was launched in 2018/19 to enhance the lives of local children by exploring photography and geography techniques linking to ‘a sense of place’ in the national curriculum.

165 Year 6 children from local primary schools attended workshops and took photos at locations in the town centre before their images were entered into a competition to win photographic prizes for themselves and their school.

Croydon Council said of the project: “Croydon town centre has a number of pedestrian subways, a legacy of the radical redevelopment of Croydon in the 1960s that placed vehicles at its heart. New crossings are now replacing these unfriendly spaces, making them redundant. This now provides us with a fantastic opportunity to work with our communities and develop ways to reuse these public spaces.”

What happens next?

Now that Croydon Council has released the shortlist, the public are invited to comment on the ideas submitted on an online survey. This feedback will then be passed to the competition’s judging panel who will choose a winner from each category.

A public exhibit of the shortlisted entries will be displayed on the hoardings outside Fairfield Halls from 7 February, and an indoor installation will be in place at the Museum of Croydon.

Click here to take the survey.