PPR Annual General Meeting will be held on 22 September 2018 from 10 AM – 12 noon, at Stanley Halls, South Norwood Hill. Doors open 9.45 AM. All members paying annual subscription at the AGM will be entered into a draw for a pair of tickets to a Screen 25 film of your choice (we have 4 pairs of tickets to be won).
PPR is joining The Royal British Legion in saying “Thank You” to the First World War generation who served, sacrificed and changed our world. 100 years ago, the guns fell silent and the First World War ended. The example and experience of those who lived through it shaped the world we live in today. In 2018 The Royal British Legion is leading the nation in saying “Thank You” to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world.
During the weekend of 11-12 August volunteers from PPR installed poppies on lampposts in and around Portland Road, Station Road and South Norwood High Street. These will remain until Armistice day on 11 November.
You can find out more here
Don’t forget the South Norwood Walk and Talk on 12 June.
And do check out the Croydon Advertiser‘s article ‘9 fascinating things you probably never knew about South Norwood‘ this week.
Think you know South Norwood?
Join local historian John Hickman for a PPR ‘walk and talk’ on 12 June and you’re almost bound to learn something new.
Meet at Stanley Halls at 7pm – there are only 18 places, so be sure to turn up on time!
There’s no charge but donations are always welcome, and will help PPR keep up the good work.
To begin with, weather permitting, there’s a morning session at the Portland Road Community Garden, from 10am.
Then at 2.30pm there’s the launch of the latest addition to the PPR Heritage Trail.
The Dean of Winchester, Catherine Ogle, is coming all the way up to South Norwood to unveil a special plaque, designed by Ken Baker, on the exterior of 118 Portland Road, once the home of William Walker (1869–1918).
So who was this William Walker? Only the local man who saved Winchester Cathedral from collapse!
A professional deep-water diver, he spent more than five years propping up the cathedral’s water-logged foundations with concrete, working in total darkness in trenches as much as 6 metres deep, shifting thousands of bags of cement and concrete blocks. Heavy work, especially wearing lead boots, a bulky diving suit and a huge round copper helmet. But he’d still find the energy to cycle the 70 miles home to his family in South Norwood at the weekend.
Walker has long been celebrated in Winchester, where they’ve even named a pub after him. Now, thanks to the sterling work of local historian John Hickman and designer Ken Baker, PPR is about to put Diver Bill on the South Norwood map.
Thanks to the combined efforts of ‘the beast from the east’ and Storm Emma, there will be no work at the PPR Community Garden today. Next session 17 March.
A Community Economic Development Plan for South Norwood
In June 2016, PPR applied for and won a modest grant that enabled us to develop what is known as a Community Economic Development Plan for South Norwood. Thousands of local groups bid for this. We were one of only 20 successful applicants!
The idea behind this is that local people work together with businesses and other ‘stakeholders’ like the council, to find ways of improving and regenerating the local area for local community. So often, when an area changes for the better this results in ‘gentrification’: many local people are then priced out and the area is totally changed. We want to improve South Norwood while protecting all the many good things about it.
One key way of doing this is encouraging more wealth generation that stays in the local area. This can be done through encouraging and supporting local entrepreneurs to set up new businesses and create new jobs. They could then occupy the empty shops that blight our local high streets. New and improved businesses will then encourage more local residents to shop, play and socialise locally, generating income for local businesses.
A working group was formed including local residents, councillors, businesses and representatives from Croydon Council. Under the banner ‘We Love SE25’ meetings were held at the Stanley Halls where a succession of conversations was held with residents and businesses, rather than any formal presentation. We also floated the idea of a community hub and asked for people’s ideas about what they’d like to see take place there. Surveys were completed both for residents and businesses to understand what was loved and what was wanted in South Norwood.
As of summer 2017, we are collating the information and putting together a ‘Plan for South Norwood’ and intend to carry on using our branding ‘We Love SE25’ as the recognisable logo of this activity.
You can read the final version of the plan here
Consultation meeting in Stanley Halls
We Love SE25 banner on display
Economic development plan title page
South Norwood Country Park is an amazing and unique nature reserve with 125 acres of wetland, lakes and meadows, it is home to a huge array of plants and animals. We have the countryside on our doorstep in SE25!
Friends of South Norwood Country Park was formed in November 2014 to help maintain the park for the benefit of the plants and animals and to ensure the park is a place where all the community can enjoy nature.
They work closely with the park wardens and have monthly workdays on the second Saturday of each month, meeting at 10am at the Visitor Centre. They also hold regular wildlife walks throughout the year, looking at birds, bats or butterflies.
If you love this park, why not join the Friends of South Norwood Country Park? You can do this by going to their website
Since April 2006, visitors to South Norwood Library and passers-by have been greeted by a mosaic artwork in the forecourt of the library. This was originally designed by Tamara Froud from Mosaic Art and inspired by the heritage of the area. The design was carried out working with local schools, community groups and members of the public. May Johnson, a local heritage expert, was on hand to advise and help with the design and commissioning.
Over the years, the mosaic had been badly damaged, not least by vehicles parking on it! So in 2014 discussions began between Tamara, local councillors and community groups with a view to repairing the damage. In September 2015 the repairs were finally completed, bringing the mosaic back to its former splendour. PPR was involved in these discussions and donated £500 to help pay for the repair. We also put pressure on the Council to ensure it was protected from vehicles in future!
South Norwood Library Mosaic
The railway bridge over the northern end of Portland Road creates beneath it a very poor quality public area, which is dark, unappealing and dirty. It has become a foreboding barrier dividing South Norwood into two halves.
Portland Road Railway Bridge
Despite the current situation, the bridge has the potential to be transformed into positive linking space. This could form an important project within the wider South Norwood regeneration strategy. A comprehensive and unified project is required by Network Rail and Croydon Council, potentially with outside funding from the GLA and possibly other sources, to transform this space.
Our vision is to transform this negative urban space into an attractive gateway, linking Portland Road to the rest of the centre of South Norwood, through a public art installation-led public realm solution.
Once a viable project is established the designer/artist would be appointed. They will develop the initial designs which will be costed. Once all parties have signed off the initial scheme, the local community will be consulted on the development of the proposals. Given the approach of having a design-led approach, all creative thinking should remain the property and copyright of the artist until the project is completed.