roydon is to become the unlikely location for a series ofNational Trust tours in an attempt to shake off the London borough’s “crap town” reputation.
The tours, which take place later this month, will showcase the area’s brutalist concrete architecture.
It marks a departure from the traditional, rural National Trust trails, in locations including the Lake District and the South Downs.
The project, named Edge City, aims to change the view of heritage away from country houses and coastlines to celebrate “real places”.
Croydon has suffered from an unsalubrious reputation, with one of its most famous former residents supermodel Kate Moss describing the south London town as “rough”.
Described by the Trust as a “riposte to Croydon’s ‘Crap Town’ reputation”, the project aims to encourage debate about what makes suburbia special.
Joseph Watson, London Creative Director of the National Trust, said, “Love it or loathe it, it is indisputable that Croydon stands for a post-war ambition that few other places can match.
“Its irrepressible spirit is what we seek to uncover – and how that can be harnessed so that the best of the past, present and future can be combined to create places in which we can all share pride.”
Events will include behind-the-scenes visits to Fairfield Halls, where stars including The Beatles, and The Who have played, a Routemaster bus tour of the borough and a film screening of archive 1960s footage of the town on the roof of a multistorey car park.
John Grindrod, Croydon-born author of the book Concretopia said: "There are millions of people like me in Britain, who don’t recognise the village green, country cottage or Georgian square as the epitome of our nation, but whose identities have instead been moulded by ‘concrete monstrosities’ or ‘bad planning’ – or rather, the post-war optimism that sought to build a better future."