Portland Road Community Garden

People for Portland Road regularly maintains the green space outside the Leisure Centre and Woodside Health Centre. Volunteers are welcome to join us. We meet on the first and third Saturday of each month at 10 AM and finish at 12 Noon. Why not come and join us?

We have recently begun to create a new hedgerow behind the leisure centre, starting with a couple of donated Christmas trees. We were also delighted to receive donated plants from Blooming Desires – thank you! These included Cyclamen, Hyacinths, Saxifrage, Forget-Me-Nots and Dianthus – all helping to brighten up our green space.

Portland Road Community Garden – Let’s Play

People have been asking “What is that structure outside the Leisure Centre?” Our answer is “Anything you want it to be!” Perhaps you’d like it to be a house or a fort? Perhaps you’d just like to dance on it or sit in it? Perhaps you can use your imagination and decide what you want it to be today!


Our gardening group had the idea of building an ‘Adventure Play’ area. We already knew that the existing stage was enjoyed by children and so we thought we would add to the theme and provide another structure for their enjoyment and imaginary play.

It started life as a drawing on paper and was finished this month. Today we began to put some plants around it to soften the edges and add more greenery to the garden. A mum with her daughter told us how popular the structure is saying “We can’t get the children away from it in the afternoons.” Today we talked to another mum who was showing her daughter how to make a daisy chain and we stood for a long time watching Blue Tits and Great Tits feeding their young. One of the reasons why we created this garden is to help wildlife and we seem to have been rewarded!




We held our online AGM on Saturday 9 January 2021

Christine Claridge was unanimously re-elected as Chair, Paul Scott as Vice Chair & Chris Peskett was re-elected as Secretary & Treasurer.

On our Steering Group Audrey Bobb, Rachel McKoy and Shuba Rao were re-elected. And Sedley Wilson joins as a new Steering Group member. 

A summary of PPR activities can be seen by following this link. As with many organisations’ activities, its been a year where we couldn’t carry out many of our activities that we had planned.



People for Portland Road 2020 AGM will be held on Saturday 9 January 2021 at 2.30 PM, we expect to finish at around 4 PM.
This will be an online meeting, using Zoom. If you would like to join us & find out what we’ve been up to in this extraordinary year, please register your interest by emailing PPR. You will be sent the link for the meeting. Contact us at contact@peopleforportlandroad.org.uk

We know that this is very late to hold our 2020 AGM. We were hoping to be able to do this face to face, so we waited and then waited a little longer. Finally we had to make the decision that face to face just wasn’t going to be possible.

If you would like to join our Steering Group, please get in contact at the email address above, new people will be welcomed!

Membership Donations are now due

Whilst we apply for grants for our projects, we do need donations from our members to ensure that we have funds for the administrative things such as website fees.

Payments can be made via this link on our website, either by Paypal or card. We suggest £5 per residential household or £2 for low waged households.

Christmas Lights for South Norwood

People for Portland Road and We Love SE25  worked together to make arrangements for the installation of Christmas lights in South Norwood for 2020.
Unfortunately it had become financially unsustainable for the wrap-around type lamps to be used this year, and in future years, due to the costs that are to be imposed by Skanska (the Council’s lighting contractor). A decision was therefore made to purchase additional motif type lights to replace these. The motif type Christmas lamps attract no costs from Skanska and will be ours to keep for future years.
We have been lucky as we have received money from our Ward Councillors that will enable us to purchase an additional 36 motif lights to add to the 24 that we purchased two years ago. However we realised that we needed six more so that the lights could be brought down as far as Dundee Road.
We approached local businesses situated at the southern end of Portland Road, asking them for financial help. We’re delighted to say that we received a positive response which allowed us to purchase the additional lights.                                               
Thank you to (in no particular order)
Treasures Gift Shop – Our favourite shop for gifts and cards
Nix Hair and Beauty – “A friendly and professional service in a beautiful, relaxed atmosphere”
Tyretrax – “The Number One Tyre Company in the South East, Kent, Surrey and London area”
The Portland Arms – “We are proud to be a great community pub with a large beer garden”
South Norwood Glazing – “Every Pane a Pleasure”
London Plumbing and Heating Merchants – “one of South London’s fastest growing Independent Plumbing Heating and Bathrooms Suppliers”
Book Love – “The Multicultural Travelling Book Carnival and Shop”
And a big ‘thank you’ to a very special South Norwood resident
For more information about some of these businesses, click on the links above.

Commemorating Remembrance Sunday

Every year the nation unites  to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.

This year we put poppies on the lampposts along Portland Road as our gesture to honour the fallen and remember them.

We thank South Norwood Glazing for erecting the poppies on our behalf.

Our Community Garden

During lockdown we’ve tried hard to keep our garden watered and tidy whilst working within the government’s safe distancing rules. With some very dry weather, watering has been challenging!

We’ve even managed to create a new border against the wall of the leisure centre and added some colour to the raised beds outside the health centre. 



And enjoyed watching the blackbird that the garden has attracted……

Welcome to our new Chair

At our AGM on Saturday 26 October we unanimously voted in our new Chair – Christine Claridge.

Christine has lived in South Norwood for most of her life, was born at Mayday Hospital, went to the local schools and now works for the local NHS. She regularly volunteers to help out at Portland Road Community Garden and also with Friends of South Norwood Country Park.

Paul Scott was unanimously voted in as Vice-Chair and Chris Peskett remains as Secretary and Treasurer.

A summary of PPR activities, over the last year, can be seen by following this link to the slide presentation, given by Paul.

Notice of PPR Annual General Meeting

We shall be holding our AGM on Saturday 26 October 1.30 PM – 3.00 PM at the Victory Club, 227 Selhurst Road SE25 6XY. Doors open at 1.00 PM. (The entrance is in Whitworth Road).


Light refreshments will be provided and drinks will be available to purchase from the bar.

Hear about our activities over the last year and plans for the next year.

All are welcome – bring family, friends, neighbours and ideas!

We are accepting nominations for officers and steering group members. All nominations should be sent to PPR at contact@peopleforportlandroad.org.uk

Membership donations can be paid on the day or via our website 

Portland Road in Bloom Winner Announced!

Three judges have walked the length of Portland Road looking at all the front gardens and commercial buildings to decide which should be the winner of our Portland Road in Bloom Competition 2019. The lucky winner will be given two tickets to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2020. 

Our judges started with a list of the gardens and floral decorations that they found most attractive and gradually eliminated them one by one. Eventually they agreed that the winner is the front garden of 325 Portland Road.

They said “A small front garden which always looks very attractive. An additional space with trellis has been created for extra colour. There’s also an arrangement of attractively planted pots.  Really welcoming and beautifully kept.”

Congratulations to the green-fingered resident who will be receiving her prize later this year.

Several other gardens and floral arrangements were highly commended. Here are some of the judges’ comments about other gardens:

“Lovely window boxes, baskets and pots even on the side entrance stairs to the first floor. Shows how colour and cheer can be added, allowing for practical uses – use of plants for the way we live now.”

“Lovely little ‘secret garden’, visible only by leaning over the gate.  Immaculately kept (not a weed, even between paving stones), lots of colour and all space used, including walls and fences, while still allowing for practical uses.”

“This ex-shop window is a little South Norwood gem. The window is wonderfully creative, with extremely well-established cacti and succulents, as well as a quirky, fun display using all kinds of props and materials.  This one is technically not a garden, but is a delight for all – we couldn’t leave it out.”

“Despite running a busy café, the owner always has a colourful, attractive display of plants at the front.  This one is the best small business, non-professional planting in Portland Rd.”

“A notable feature of all places with attractive planting was that they were also well-kept, clean and tidy – an achievement in itself, with so much wind-blown litter.”

“Well done to local businesses which use professionally cultivated displays – they also add to the colour and attractiveness of the street frontage as do the shops that use artificial flowers as a window display.”

“Finally, St Luke’s church have recently installed well- proportioned, attractive planters in front of the church in Portland Rd and along the Spring Lane side.  There’s also a brand new garden along the front wall, planted with attractive shrubs which will look really lovely from next year.”