I’d been looking forward to my return visit to Croydon since BRAPA spend a night there in  January, the first overnight tourist since Mrs RM got lost looking for the IKEA in Purley in 1995 (this is true).

So a short post to terrify other Guide pub tickers who may find themselves unexpectedly at Croydon East station, wondering what sins they’ve committed against CAMRA to justify the Cronx

Well-pubbed Croydon

Or to be fairer, Croydon Boxpark.

Security area, pre-Cronx

Boxpark is a giant shipping container filled with independent fashion, bars and eateries. I’m sure you’ve all seen the Shoreditch one while trying to avoid the Crown and Shuttle.

It contains Croydon’s new Guide entry, and also a vast disco of the sort last encountered by me at Roxy’s in Peterborough in 1992.

Look at that old man !

So to get my tick I needed to be searched by 3 security guards and sniffed by a dog (more of a highlight for me than Fido).

I love live music, but this was deep house played at ear sucking volumes to skimpily dressed 20 year olds. In my trenchcoat, BRAPA Fan Club T-shirt and dungarees I was attracting a lot of attention fom the entire under-25 population of Croydon.

Dunno, mate

I couldn’t find Cronx. Three security folk looked blankly at me, thinking perhaps it was a word old blokes used to refer to physical ailments.

So I gave up, assumed it must have closed early, and weighed up a visit to Croydon’s other GBG treasures, even if it was a giant Spoons.

But as I walked towards an inevitable Doom Bar at the George my tick appeared, like those palm trees in “Mad, Mad, Mad etc World“, firmly outside the Boxpark. Like the Piccadilly Tap is to the station, an oasis of calm from the Boxpark madness.


No, not really.

Let me out !
Blurry men, the Cronx

Cronx makes your average micropub feel spacious by comparison. And I’m very claustrophobic. And I don’t like uncovered lightbulbs. They remind me of a shady hotel in Los Angeles in 1996.

Nice hat sir

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see such a mix of folk in a pub, and I bet at 4pm on Tuesday it’s a much more relaxing affair.  I might return and test that hypothesis.

Standing at the bar, quickly drinking a half of interesting Marzen, I was wishing I was in the Dog & Bull.


Instead I headed to Highbury, where things took a turn for the worse.

12 thoughts on “LOST IN THE CRONX

  1. By jove,you’re now venturing into SAS deep undercover behind enemy lines territory where operatives evacuate their bowels into a plastic bag and carry the offending item in their rucksacks to avoid tracker dogs picking up the scent of a BBB man.
    And you leave us on a Brexit -style cliff edge heading to Highbury with a hint of events taking a turn for the worst.
    Move over Andy Mcnab.You’re a pussycat compared to Retired Martin.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Nice hat sir”

    I don’t get this affectation (did I say that right?) of wearing a toque like it’s some bloody fancy bobble. Either pull it down over your ears or, if you’re inside and it’s not cold, put the bloody thing in your pocket. It’s remarkably easy to fold since it doesn’t have a hard brim (sigh).

    As for the “Look at that old man !”, was that said like “look at that old man” or like “look at that, old man” (see the difference?). 🙂
    (for the above, if I remember my grammar correctly, was “that” being used as a pronoun or adjective?)



    1. He better not wear that hat in the Lyndon House, Walsall. The young lady behind the bar said to me, “Sir, May I ask you to remove your hat?” I obediently removed my hat and ordered two Bathams.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Was up at Highbury recently, with my own tales of ridiculous pub law ‘n’ order fantastical excesses now stored in the memory banks. Waiting agog for this next instalment :-).


  4. “sniffed by a dog (more of a highlight for me than Fido)” –Ha! Laughed more at this than I care to admit.

    For many years the only way I knew of Croydon was by way of a lyric from a Thomas Dolby song. Then I later was introduced to the term “Croydon facelift,” and the two will forever battle to be my primary impression of Croydon. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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