By Community Correspondent Kevin Thomas The Croydon Water Palace was an indoor water park complex that opened in 1990 on Purley Way in Waddon in the London Borough of Croydon opposite Croydon Airport. Croydon had the largest leisure centre in the UK. Croydon then Water Palace comprised of four internal water slides, wave machine, lazy river, Jacuzzi, whirlpools and extensive catering and relaxation areas. It was part of the Purley Way retail development drive that occurred in the early 1990s, which also saw the creation of the Valley Park superstore complex. The Water Palace experienced continuous financial difficulties and finally closed in 1996. The Palace itself was renowned for poor health and safety and several accidents were publicised in local press, however this was not the main reason for the closing of the park. It featured water slides, a large Jacuzzi area and a wave pool using an artificial wave making machine. There was also an on-site cafe. The Water Palace was replaced with The Colonnades leisure park in the late 1990s, featuring City Limits; an entertainment centre, with a restaurant, bar, arcade and bowling facilities. Now 13 years later 2009 and what feature do we have that represents Croydon as a leading innovative borough, well nothing. Yes for sure there were mistakes and mismanagement but surely after so long lessons would have been learnt. The people of Croydon want a water adventure for the kids to be proud of, instead of venturing out of Croydon, we should be getting people to come into Croydon. Advertising the fact that this town is developing and working hard to rid itself of the many self inflicted tarred names people give the town many being “shoddy” and “Chavy”. Far too long there has been a self demolition of the family society, closures everywhere and what reason? Places to take the family are far but few and even these places are overcrowded or run down. We need a big complex for families to get out and about; instead we are forced to put up with small centres that spend more time being closed due to maintenance! Open up a BIG complex and advertise to the other towns that Croydon is innovative, resourceful and we hold family values highly. A centre as this would help to put Croydon on the map as far as the leisure trade is concerned. We have the resources the experience and know how from the lessons learnt from the past. With the long summer holidays, what better venture for them to have! Exercise enjoyment and plenty of activity to keep them busy. Lets go for it Croydon!