EVEN the Croydon Historical Society admits that local history can seem a bit dull sometimes.
But the society has released a new book, Croydon Then And Now, which it hopes will buck the trend and get residents interested in their own backyards.
"I think that people do turn their noses up at local history because often it can be pretty dry, it can be very academic, it's based on a lot of facts people can't relate to," society vice-president Geoff Arnott said.
The book tells the history of Croydon and is split into several sections but, unlike many history books, it's light on words. Instead, its focus is on before and after pictures of local landmarks like the main street, the railway station and the now-closed Croydon market.
"By reading the text but more particularly by looking at the photographs, people are more able to appreciate the massive changes that have occurred in Croydon from the time when it was very much a country town."
Mr Arnott, a former history teacher, moved to Croydon in 1973.
He said he always knew he'd end up joining the historical society.
He's hoping that the book will appeal to readers of all ages.
"People do want to have an understanding of the area in which they live and what it was like before," he said.
"A lot of local history books are pretty dry and pretty boring, but when you've got a lot of really interesting photographs, I think people see it quite differently.
"We've shown the book to younger people and they seem to show a greater appreciation than what some of the older residents would.
"It also appeals to people who naturally have an interest in history but also people that normally wouldn't spend a lot of time reading history."
Croydon Then And Now was launched by the Croydon Historical Society last Friday. Copies are available from the Croydon Historical Society Museum or at newsagents around Croydon. For more details about the society or the book, contact Geoff Arnott, 9726 0605.