The canal through Betts Park was considerably more attractive before the improved concrete trough was built!
Moving on from the previous section, we are on the other side of these flats adjacent to Betts Park which stand on the actual course of the canal. There was a bridge here but it was likely of brick or stone bridge, hence the suggestion that railings along the side of the road come from the canal bridge are doubtful. Right: Looking from the opposite side of the road, the railings can be seen. It is obvious they are of later origin, and may even date back to only 1934 when the local council made “improvements” to the canal’s route in Betts Park. Behind the tree in the centre of the picture can be seen the information tablet referring to this section as the only bit of canal left. There’s Dacres Wood, and another section in Norwood!! If one compares old pictures pre 1934 (right below) its apparent the 1934 improvements were destructive
– Used by permission of Croydon Local Studies Library –
One can see the canal has suffered badly in terms of this development. Perhaps somehow the renewal of virtually the entire length of the Grand Union Canal’s main line to Birmingham in the 1930’s with concrete sides prompted the local council to ‘modernise’ the Croydon Canal in the same sense. If it had still been open today, this is at least how it would look – complete with the modern amenity that is a slipway!
On the far side of Betts Park, the course of the canal is still extant and one can walk in the canal bed. At one time this section was watered and provided an attractive feature for houses in Seymour Terrace. Like other stretches, it was dewatered and became part of Betts Park. The right hand view looks from flats on the side of Seymour Villas – at the far end of Betts Park. Behind is the railway and South Norwood reservoir. Unfortunately absolutely no trace remains of the canal beyond here until Norwood
THE CROYDON CANAL PAGES:
hatcham / new cross / barriedale / shardeloes rd / brockley / honor oak / boveney rd / davids rd / forest hill / sydenham / dacres wood / venner rd / penge / anerley / betts park / norwood / towpath way / spurgeons br / west croydon / route maps