The Pardner System and the Caribbean Community in Croydon from 1950's Onwards

This year-long project will explore the Pardoner System and the role it played in Caribbean communities in Croydon from the 1950s onwards. The Pardoner System was used by Caribbean migrants to acquire resources to buy houses, set up businesses if they could not get loans from banks. The Pardoner System was a social, cultural, entrepreneurial network used by first-generation Caribbean migrants and relied on verbal contracts of trust.


  1.  In-depth interviews with 15 Caribbean elders who used the Pardoner System from the 1950s to-1960s. This will help us to gather fresh insights into how the system worked, the social systems used and how they developed.
  2. Documentary film, photos, and writing will be made by interviewees and exhibited. We have consulted with a film company that is committed to training and involving our PAG volunteers in making the documentary.
  3. Exhibit the writing, documentary, photos at Croydon Central Library during Black History Month 2020.
  4. Create an online archive of the film, photos, and writing so that the exhibit is accessible in the long term. Elements of the archive will be posted widely on social media.
  5. Talks and exhibitions at local schools to share this heritage.
  6. Six Social Research Volunteers carry out the interviews. Volunteers will receive training from the Oral History Society to learn and share best practices in oral history and engage with current thinking in oral history.
  7. A Project Advisory Group (PAG) made up of 10 residents of different ages and backgrounds will oversee all aspects of project delivery to ensure that people from Croydon's diverse communities are engaged and able to relate to the activities and exhibits and benefit from learning about our shared heritage