The history of the Association started in the 1920’s when houses of the Kenley Estate centred on Beverley Road formed the Whyteleafe and Kenley Estate Residents’ Association in August 1929. The objectives then, as now, were to ensure that basic necessities were provided but additionally to get a primary school and a library, both of which were achieved.
Meetings in the 1930’s took place monthly in the Rose and Crown or the Kenley primary school. Annual fetes were held to include fancy dress parades, concerts, balloon and military parades. An all-time record was achieved in 1939 with 8,000 people attending the 11.00am to 11.00pm festivities.
No meetings or fetes were held during the war years but the committee was maintained with plenary powers. After the war, the Association extended its area to the west of the Kenley Ward and included the whole of the Little Roke district and the Wattenden area. At this time the name of the Association was changed to the Whyteleafe and Kenley Residents’ Association.
Arising from the success of a children’s tea party held in Little Roke Avenue in 1945 (to celebrate the end of the war), the organisers formed the Roke and District Residents’ Association in 1946. The area covered expanded considerably over the next few years and in 1952 the name was changed to Roke and East Purley Residents’ Association (REPRA as it became familiarly known). By 1954 the area was bounded by Hayes Lane, Old Lodge Lane, Brighton Road, Downscourt Road and Godstone Road and in 1964 extended further to Higher Drive, Beamont Road and Foxley Hill Road.
In the summer of 1968, REPRA approached the Whyteleafe and Kenley Residents’ Association with a merger proposal. The issues of Kenley and district were common to both and some areas actually overlapped. By the middle of 1967, the merger had been agreed and on 1 January 1970 the present Kenley and District Residents’ Association (KENDRA) came into being. The new Association started with a membership of 2,000, 1,400 from the Whyteleafe association and 600 from REPRA.
Since that date, although our area has reduced in size as the result of boundary changes, the Association has grown and today we are standing at just over 3,000 members.