Few suburbs in Melbourne have ever been named as optimistically – and as half-wittedly – as Croydon. While it is widely known that the area was named for the town south of London (now absorbed by the metastasis of that city), it not so widely known why this decision was made.

It all comes back to Raymond Chandler, the author of “The Long Goodbye” and “The Big Sleep”, as well as the screenplay for “Double Indemnity”, among others. The earliest settlers of the area were big fans of Chandler’s hardbitten prose, and upon learning that he had been born in the original Croydon, decided to name their new property for that area. They believed, it appears, that Chandler was a notorious drunkard, and that he might become so confused when he visited Melbourne. This seemed a plausible thing to them, although it had several flaws, the most obvious being that if Chandler were drunk enough to make such an error, he was probably drunk enough to be unable to navigate there in any case. Or, more likely, in hospital having his stomach pumped.

In the event, Chandler never came to Melbourne, which is probably just as well, as the city was already plenty noirish. But the name not only stuck, it grew. When shops opened in the area, they used the name to indicate their location, as did the railway station that followed them. And Croydon itself grew, splitting off Croydon South (to the south) and Croydon Hills (to the north). Today, the Chandler connection is little known in the area named in order to attract his connection, although this is little surprise. A person leaving Croydon is far more likely to simply tell it farewell, than farewell my lovely…

Suburbs near Croydon:

Warrandyte South Wonga Park Wonga Park Chirnside Park Chirnside Park Mooroolbark
Warranwood Croydon Hills Croydon North Croydon North Chirnside Park Mooroolbark
Ringwood Croydon Croydon Croydon Croydon Mooroolbark
Ringwood East Croydon Croydon Croydon Croydon Kilsyth
Ringwood East Croydon South Croydon South Croydon South Kilsyth Kilsyth
Ringwood East Ringwood East Bayswater North Bayswater North Bayswater North Bayswater North
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