Video of Croydon in the 1980s shows how much it’s changed while somehow looking ‘almost exactly the same’

A video of Croydon in the 1980s has emerged which shows not only all the changes but also how it bizarrely looks almost exactly the same. Over 40 years on from when it was taken the footage has been shared on TikTok and Croydon locals have shared their thoughts on how much the area has changed.

For those familiar with the area they will know that East Croydon station is now surrounded with modern high-rises. However, the layout of the road is pretty much the same as it was in the 1980s, other than the new buildings that have grown skywards over the years. The station itself now has its iconic metal structure on top which is missing in the video.

The bus shelters that appear in the TikTok post have also been replaced by the tram line and tram stop. On George Street, the building that now houses Sainsbury’s Local hasn’t changed very much at all – at least on the top half.

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It used to be the site of a huge Blockbuster video rental store which was open from the end of the 80’s and closed down in the early 2000’s. One building that remains practically the same is the ‘Croydon No 1 Tower’ previously known as the NLA tower. This was constructed in 1970 and has been nicknamed the 50p building by locals as it resembles a stack of 50-pence pieces.

It has also been known as ‘the wedding cake’ and the ‘three penny bit’ building over the years. The only thing that makes it different is that now some lights have been installed that are turned on at night. Croydon Underpass which takes cars on the A212 under George Street is still there today and that features in the video looking largely unchanged.

The post ignited a stream of nostalgic comments. One user called Osgarmz wrote: “Grew up in Upper Norwood as young teens we would get the 68 & loaf in Croydon all day. Loads of teens did the same.”

Patricia wrote: “Lived I Waddon in 1960 in Croydon, loved it. We had clubs and cinema and walk home after going out weekends, no trouble. Bring back them days.”

A tram passing through East Croydon
Many Croydon residents today can’t imagine the town without its tram lines
(Image: Getty Images)

Croydon is one of the few areas in London with a fully functional tram system. Some of the viewers were shocked not to see the tram line on the video. One person said: “It feels so wrong not to see the tramlink but then I have to wonder what S utton would look like with trams.”

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