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Croydon Airport Calling Josephine Baker

Last night I went to a talk organised by the Croydon Airport Society at the Museum of Croydon.

Josephine Baker was a singer and dancer from the USA who took Paris by storm in the 1920s. When the Croydon Airport Society turned up a striking photo of her landing at Croydon in 1928, they contacted historian Gemma Romain to bring the full story to light.

Baker had been asked to take part in a charity performance for flood victims (an 'all-coloured revue' also featuring other black stars of the day), but declined due to other commitments and a sprained ankle. A special flight was chartered to whisk her from Le Bourget to Croydon, so she went from asleep in her Paris flat to the West End stage in something like three hours. The papers loved the story, and the performance was a massive success.

As well as this tale, I learned about ethnic communities in interwar London and about the Thames Flood of 1928. A nice tailpiece is that Baker took her own pilot's licence eight years later.

It was my first visit to the museum, but I found it easily, and there was indeed motorcycle parking a stone's throw away (thanks, nou!). Unfortunately, when I tried to leave I got sucked into the one-way system and spent several minutes travelling in the wrong direction without a damn thing I could do about it. And this is why I hate Croydon.

When I'd managed to extract myself I went to IKEA, because the word on the street was that they were selling large, cuddly huskies. And they were.


Interesting :)

sucked into the one-way system

Yeah, it has a gravity field all of its own. It's taken me multiple orbits to achieve an escape trajectory before now...
I've more or less mastered going through Croydon now, but God help me if my destination should be in it!
Thank goodness for IKEA! You're so in need of another cuddly husky.
And I didn't even know that I was until I saw it.
I admit, I hadn't heard of her before - but her tale brought me to tears. How terrible can it have been to have been so welcomed in Paris, after such epic effort, only to be rebuffed as a "negro wench" on her return?

At least she did finally feel acceptance from America, before the curtain fell.

And a flyer herself, too! Wow.

Can we have the Doctor go back and just have a chat with her sometime?
I want to put her in a furry story, as something fierce and exotic, like an ocelot.

Another very interesting woman who found slightly more acceptance in France than her native USA was Bessie Coleman.
The acquisition of a large, cuddly husky is the perfect way to end an evening. 🐺🐺🐺 😉

We STILL have not gone through the doors of an Ikea, yet.... though we literally walk past one when we go to the mall in Southampton. I think we might have to go in next time.... though I am slightly worried that the bank balance might be in danger.... esp after leaving the mall too. 😉😆

(The Christmas fair/festival creeps closer and closer every day!!!! Soooooo excited, and can not wait to kick off our Christmas decorating with YOU!!!! 😄🎄🎅🎁🎍)

Shall I break out my Christmas icon? I shall!

IKEA is one of those dangerous places where everything is cheap but it all adds up, especially in the cuddly toy department.