Blue plaque unveiled in Coulsdon


31 July 2018

IMAGE: A group outside by the blue plaqueA blue plaque has been unveiled in Coulsdon to commemorate a group of Scouts who helped in the aftermath of a fatal train crash over 108 years ago.

The plaque was unveiled on Thursday (27 July) at nearby Leaden Hill where we've worked with The Oakwood Group to deliver 97 homes.

We partnered with The Bourne Society, East Coulsdon Residents’ Association and The Oakwood Group to honour the scouts who assisted following the accident at Stoats Nest Station.

Seven people were killed and 65 were injured when a train derailed and split in two on a chilly Saturday afternoon on 29 January 1910.

The express ploughed into the platform at Stoats Nest Station. Among the heroes of the rescue were a group of Scouts who had been playing football in a nearby field.

IMAGE: A Scout Leader looks at the plaqueThe boys – aged 11 to 14 – together with Scoutmaster Frank Beckett and Adjutant Parker, were from the Purley, Coulsdon and District (Princess Christian’s Own) Scout Troop.

They assisted in any way they could, including using the Troop stretcher to carry the injured, applying first aid and carrying messages as needed by the police and other rescuers.

Rod Bavin, Group Scout Leader, said: “The scouts were instrumental in helping injured people and they dealt with some very terrible things that day. It’s part of our history and is commemorated still today, because we all wear a train badge on the back of our scarf – from Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.”

Bunmi Atta, Director of Construction at Optivo, said: “As we continue to build homes for the future and tackle the housing crisis, it’s so important to remember the past. So we’re very proud and honoured to have been involved in the unveiling of the blue plaque in Coulsdon.”

IMAGE: The blue plaqueThe Bourne Society provided the wording and sign, which was installed by The Oakwood Group.
They also put together a small exhibition about the 1910 disaster at The Comrades Club, in nearby Brighton Road, Coulsdon.

We've strong links with Coulsdon and are continuing to develop good quality, affordable homes in the area. This includes providing 133 homes for affordable rent and Shared Ownership on the Cane Hill development with Barratt Homes. And the organisation is continuing its partnership with The Oakwood Group with 25 homes being built, alongside Oakwood’s open market homes and commercial units, at Leaden Hill Industrial Estate – next to Coulsdon Town railway station.