Crawley turns 75: This is what the council is doing to celebrate town's anniversary and how you can get involved

Crawley New Town turned 75 on Sunday (9 January) – the date in 1947 when it was announced that the area around Crawley, Three Bridges and Ifield had been chosen as the location for one of eight new towns outside around London.

On January 9 1947 the then Minister for Town and Country Planning, Lewis Silkin MP, confirmed the order designating Crawley as a new town. The intention was to move people and industry out of the overcrowded and bomb-damaged capital and into the countryside.

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The aim was to create a town of 50,000 people by building nine new neighbourhoods between the villages of Three Bridges, Ifield and the small market town of Crawley.

(l-r) Councillor Michael Jones, Cabinet member for Community Engagement at Crawley Borough Council; Willow Smith, with her winning design; Councillor Chris Mullins, Cabinet member for Wellbeing at Crawley Borough Council

Since then, Crawley has grown beyond the original vision to become 14 neighbourhoods with a population of more than 120,000 people.

To mark the new town’s diamond anniversary, Crawley Borough Council asked students from across the town to design a logo to ‘badge’ the 75th anniversary events. Several quality logos were submitted and the winning design was announced at Crawley Museum on Monday (10 January).

The design, incorporating a diamond and all 14 colours of Crawley’s neighbourhoods, was created by Willow Smith who attends Dormans Youth Arts Centre.

Willow Smith's winning design

The council is working together with Crawley Town Centre BID, Creative Crawley and Crawley Festival to plan a programme of events that celebrates the diverse and vibrant cultural life in Crawley.

It’s hoped that 2022 will see the return of regular annual events such as Crawley Festival, WORDfest, STEMfest, FUSION Festival, St George’s Day, the Continental street market, Crawley Museum exhibitions and more. There are plans for an array of new events too, some specifically designed to celebrate Crawley New Town turning 75 with a vintage street party in Memorial Gardens in the spring, an exciting community show at The Hawth, tea parties and an end-of-year sound and light show.

Crawley Town Centre BID is working in partnership with Creative Crawley to create an exciting cultural calendar with pop-up workshops and exhibitions, youth and arts projects, food and craft fairs on the High Street.

Visit crawley.gov.uk/council-information/news-and-events/events for an up-to-date list of events.

In celebration of the 75th birthday, the council would also like to hear about any clubs, societies or schools that are planning, or would like to arrange, small community led events to celebrate the town’s platinum year.

The celebrations could be anything from community bake sales, 1940s themed parties, or a themed activity which remembers and celebrates any part of our town’s 75-year journey. Please email your ideas to [email protected]

In addition, the council’s Open Grants scheme is now open for applications for neighbourhood action. This can include events celebrating Crawley’s 75th anniversary so for more information and to apply for funding visit crawley.gov.uk/grants2022 also marks the 70th year of The Queen’s reign and Platinum Jubilee celebrations are planned for the first weekend of June with the lighting of the millennium beacon in Tilgate Park and the Big Jubilee picnic.

If you are planning a street party, please visit crawley.gov.uk/council-information/news-and-events/organise-event for further information.

Councillor Michael Jones, Cabinet member for Community Engagement at Crawley Borough Council, said: “We want the community to get involved as much as possible in this historic year for Crawley so please tell us what you’re planning to do to celebrate.

“Don’t forget, we have grants available to help fund events so please get in touch!”

Councillor Chris Mullins, Cabinet member for Wellbeing, at Crawley Borough Council, said: “We’re pulling together an exciting and varied programme of events to make this a year to remember for everyone in Crawley.

“Please keep an eye on our website for the latest events; I look forward to seeing you!”

For the latest events information visit crawley.gov.uk/events, read Crawley Live, find us on Facebook or use #Crawley75 on Twitter (@crawleybc) for up-to-date information.