Croydon Airport Visitor Centre

Unofficial Museum Guide

Key Facts

Croydon, London
SatNav: Region:
CRO 0XZ Greater London
United Kingdom
Category: Only Aviation:
General Yes
Aircraft Exhibits: Status:
circa. 1 Open

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What’s Here

Croydon was London’s principal airport from the 1920s. The Visitors Centre comprises two galleries in the airport’s old control tower, with displays and memorabilia telling the history of the world’s first international airport.


A guide from the Croydon Airport Society will meet you at the front entrance of Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon, London.

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Opening Hours:

Open on the first Sunday of each month 11.00 am to 4.00 pm, (last admission 3.30 pm).





List of Aircraft Exhibits

Displayed I.D. Aircraft Type Real Identity Condition Status
‘G-AOXL’ de Havilland DH.114 Heron 2D G-ANUO Complete Displayed

Note: Tiger Moth T7793 has now left this location.

More Information

Croydon Airport Visitor Centre, Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon, London, CRO 0XZ. Tel/Fax: 020 8669 1196. e-mail:, Website: Croydon Airport Society

Any photographs illustrating this museum would be welcome.
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32 thoughts on “Croydon Airport Visitor Centre

  1. As a 15 year old, prior to joining the RAF I sat for many hours alone plane spotting and recording plane numbers in my Ian Allen spotters book. this would have been in 1955.

  2. this may be a useless comment, but my uncle Robert Palmer was a radio operator for Imperial Airways in the 1920-30s until it disbanded , then with Mrs Victor Bruce airfreight company,ei then did service for the country

  3. my maternal great uncle , Ralph Hope, flew from croydon with 605 squadron during battle of britain , until october 14th, Hurricane still buried in south norwood . Am intending to visit airport centre on sunday .

  4. In about ’54-’58 I and several mates known as the ‘Croydon Mob’ used to frequent the airport ‘spotting’ as Mike Norman.
    Other names Mike Kimber, Tony Harper, George Trussell, Mike Oddy,Vick Lewis and others. Possible that we came across Mike Norman. Does he remember coming across any of us?
    The Croydon Mob intend a reunion shortly, at the Airport.

  5. I definately remember the Croydon Mob, They made our visits very tentative. They hurled car tires at us in the public enclosure, and generally made life miserable’ To Mike Castle and others; enjoy your reunion and I forgive you Les Roth

  6. i remember seeing Edgar Percival at Stapleford Tawney in the mid to late 1950s. This was at the point when he was developing the EP9. I recall that he was sporting a large bandage on his head’

  7. 1 remember the last aircraft to take off from Croydon September 1959.i think it was a Morton airways DH HERON there were a group of about 4 of us waving it goodbuy for a motion camera crew does any one know if the film exists ?

  8. Does anyone have any photos of the Airport in 1953/54? My father worked here i have a few photos. John Fisher school will be making a Documentary about the airport soon.

  9. Both my parents came from Beddington, where my maternal Grandfather had a dairy not far from the airfield. He had a wooden propeller on the wall of his living-room which presumably came from the sale of post-WW1 artefacts. As a kid I lived in Purley and recall some of the post-war flights passing over our house. As a 10 year old I recall going to the Croydon Millennium Exhibition in (I believe) 1959. Does anybody have details of that event?

  10. Croydon mob members in the 1950’s as message from Michael ‘Mick’ Castleton also included Chess, Hairs, Gordon and many more including myself. Mick was a regular visitor to my home and I often picked him up on our bikes at Worcester Park en-route to “LAP”.

    Meetings also took place at The Marv cafe in Kenley.

    I’d like to know how many of us are still around.

    Geoff Dye

  11. I’m after Airport(1934)by Roy Lockwood.
    Either VHS or dvd.
    Will pay handsomely.
    Looked all over but no luck.
    Any info???

  12. Surrey Flying Club’s instructors in the mid-1950s included Alan Sproxton (CFI), Peter Chinn (club secretary), C. Nepean Bishop (Chairman), Ann Briggs, Tony Richmond and “Tiny” Marshall. I edited a club newsletter and wonder if any copies survived. One thing I didn’t write up was the unofficial (and thoroughly illegal) tail-chases between our Tiger Moths and Airways Aero Club’s Austers.

  13. I remember Croydon as an aircraft spotter cycling from Fulham in the 50s and went there in 1958 or 59 as a member of the Met Police (cadet) doing airborne traffic control for the Epsom Derby and going to an airshow long after the airport had closed but can’t remember when – late 70s ?

  14. In the late 1940’s and during the 1950’s I lived near the back of Croydon Airport. I remember especially two very large planes flying over our house, one at midnight and one at 5 a.m. As a small child I remember thinking they were going to take the chimney pot off, they flew much lower (and were much louder) than any other aircraft from the airport. Does anyone know what planes they were? My father used to say they were taking the mail to and from Holland but whether this was true or not I do not know.

  15. Living right behind the airport, I also remember the early morning flights taking newspapers and mail very well. I was told they were going to the Channel Islands amongst other places.

    The aircraft were Dakotas (DC-3) operated by Transair. Interestingly, I think that at least one of the Transair ‘Daks’ is still flying in the UK giving pleasure flights at air shows.

  16. I worked at Croydon from 52 to 54, for Birkett Air Service and Transair. Geoff, you are right about the Transair DC-3s flying newspapers to Jersey & Guernsey. They also flew mail and had a contract to fly to Paris, Le Bourget. I flew on these planes quite a few times. I am not sure if the DC-3 is still flying as European rules do not allow passenger flying in DC-3 anymore. As for Marjorie’s question about large airplanes. BOAC had a maintenance base at Croydon until the mid 50s and often flew Avro Yorks in as well as Avro Lancastrians. Both development of the WWII bombers, the Lancaster. There are reports of B-24 Liberators and B-17s coming during and immediately after the war.

  17. The Croydon Airport Society publish a quarterly newsletter, which has many articles about those great days. Membership is inexpensive at GBP10 per year and well worth the money.
    The visitors center is open to the public on the first Sunday of each month from 11:00 to 16:00 hours and it is free. There is also a lecture and meeting each month which is free to members.
    You can apply at:
    Also on Facebook at: Croydon-Airport
    & Twitter at: #CroydonAirport

  18. John, you mentioned B-24 and B-17 visitors after the war. Perhaps you recall the visit of B-25 registration N10V owned and piloted by the diplomat Rubirosa with actress Zsa Zsa Gabor on his arm, visiting London around 1956?

  19. I found, when turning out our old family home, a “5/= Flight Ticket on Avro 130 h.p. Clerget Machine from Surrey Flying Services Air Port of London, Croydon”. I think either my dad or my grandpa must have taken this pleasure flight, but am wondering when the airport would have opened for business. The ticket must have been some time in the 1920’s I believe – any info gratefully received.

  20. I had my first flight from croydon airport pre-war in 1938 as a birthday present and flew in a DH dragon 6 of Ollie Air Services. The flight cost 5 shillings but my mother would not let my father come with me in case she lost both of us. We often went on a Sunday evening and watched the departures for Paris. I slept in the control tower after civilian flights had been cancelled just before the RAF moved in. This was arranged by the Croydon Air Defence Cadet Corps of which I was a member.I had a camp bed in the control tower as a fire watcher.

  21. Two entries from my Grandfather’s diary:
    8 July 1938 – Alan [my father] arrived at Croydon from Bangkok.
    24 November 1938 – my parents flew from Croydon to Bangkok.
    No further information regarding stops on the way or flight times. Has anyone any information on this?

  22. I did visit yourexcellent reminder of a piece of aviation history a few years ago. A former KLM colleague of mine Stan Saunders worked at Croydon just prewar and died a week ago at age 92 – certainly the last KLMer who knew Croydon. After Army service he rejoined KLM at LHR in 1047 and completed 47 years service. He did speak of his first days and the departure hall which remains

  23. On leaving HV School my first job was with KLM Croydon Air Traffic as a junior (Jan 47) and I probably worked alongside Stan Saunders and Denis West who apparently both joined KLM in 37.A photo of M West with 2 others taken at LAP North 1953 beside a KLM CV240 can be googled. I also have a contact for the son of Mr West who lives at Cornwall if interested. Brian Phillips

  24. I should be pleased to hear from anybody who flew with Surrey Flying Club at Croydon between 1958 and 59.I was a trainee pilot and apart from the instructors mentions I had Alfie Westaway. I completed my training at Biggin Hill and remained with the club for a few years before getting married. Photos and films were made when we left Croydon, but I cannot track them down.

  25. Can anyone remember a documentary about Croydon airport , and interviewed people who had taken flights from the airport . I remember one particular man saying that if you wanted to smoke you had to stand on a balcony on the exterior of the plane , can this be true or did I just dream it . Hopefully someone will be able to help .

  26. My Grandfather George Sadler was a policeman based at Wallington Police Station from 1936-1946. One of his duties was patrolling Croydon Airport. I have a handful of stories concerning Croydon Airport especially during the war, he was there when the airport was bombed.

  27. I had a Flying Scholarship in 1954 which I did at Surrey Flying Club. My instructor was a man called Ward (can’t recall his first name but he wore socks until the holes became too large and he drove a surplus Jeep): I stayed with the Sproxton’s and Mrs. S gave me breakfast in bed each morning. The two active Tiger Moths were G-ANRA and G-ANRY; we practiced aerobatics over the Epsom racecourse. It was a wonderful time and it was there that I met Ron Ledwidge doing the same thing; we were reunited later flying Canberras in Germany (1964-66). Ron later became a well-known test pilot and received 2 Air Force Crosses for outstanding flying.

  28. I did my Flying Scholarship with the Airways Aero Club at Croydon in1958 and went on to do my CPL course 1958/9 at Croydon then Biggin Hill. Ted Boggis was the CFI and my instructors were Alan Smith, and Ken Sirret.
    My last flight out of Croydon was 28th. August 1959, ferrying a Chipmunk G-AOZV to Biggin Hill.

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