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.”




Portland Road Bridge Lighting Project – The People Have Spoken

This was the design which was selected by local residents who attended our consultations for the Portland Road Bridge lighting project earlier this month.
Two concepts for lighting installations were shared at our event on Wednesday 1 May at Caribbean Dreads and again at the Clock Tower Market on Saturday 4 May.
Michael Grubb Studios developed the two concepts to show people different approaches to the brief, which asked for designs to make the bridge a more inviting space for pedestrians, transforming the space into a connector of the two sides of Portland Road. White lighting was proposed in each concept and both focus light on the footway and walls of the bridge, making the mosaic more visible and the architectural features stand out.
One concept was a traditional response to the architecture of the bridge, similar to lighting you will see on heritage buildings.
The second was an artistic response, based on the theme of the pedestrian’s journey through the space. The idea was movement through a tunnel of light, from a warm-toned, sunset light through to cooler, moonlight tones.
68% of people who responded preferred the artistic concept. People felt that this approach could help to improve the identity to the area, welcoming people in a fun and interesting way.  There were two variations on this concept and people favoured the simplicity of the straight installation which echoes the lines of the bridge’s architecture.
People were interested in how the lighting scheme could be animated, either through movement or via the lighting changing colour. The designers will also be looking at the potential for incorporating this within the project budget.
The next stage of the project is to develop technical designs and secure all the necessary permissions. The aim is to install the new lighting mid-Autumn. Watch this space for further updates.

PPR Helps to Pay for Planters Around South Norwood

PPR has reserved a pot of money to help bring colour to South Norwood. A group of residents received training from the Croydon ReUse Organisation to create planters from old recycling boxes and pallets. So far four have been installed with more to come. This is a jointly sponsored project with PPR, We Love SE25 and Addiscombe, Woodside and Shirley Leisure Gardens all contributing towards the cost. 
Another workshop will be held in June to train more SE25 volunteers to make the planters. Thank you to our first volunteers for helping to make our area a little more colourful and to Peter at the ReUse centre for his inspiration and expertise.



PPR to Adopt Norwood Junction

For many years PPR volunteers have been looking after the planters on the platforms of Norwood Junction station, each season the flowers and shrubs are renewed to keep the displays attractive. 
We have now met with Arriva’s Customer Experience Manager and agreement has been reached for PPR to formally adopt Norwood Junction. 
This means that our previous informal partnership now becomes official which will make our volunteers’ task much easier. 
We are hoping that two community noticeboards will be installed, one at each station entrance and we are looking at the possibility of installing a book exchange facility. 
In the meantime, the planters have just been refreshed with new plants for the summer.

Portland Road Bridge Lighting Consultation

A big thank you to Dwayne and Cynthia of Caribbean Dreads Unisex Salon for hosting our consultation on the Portland Road Bridge lighting project on Wednesday 1 May. Their salon is a familiar landmark on the junction with Clifford Road and proved an inspired location for the event. We had over 30 visitors who were able to compare the designs with a view of the bridge as it is today from the door of the salon.

Caribbean Dreads opened their salon at 2 Portland Road in 2013, specialising in the locking of natural hair. This was a great opportunity to step inside and see the salon. Dwayne and Cynthia were very welcoming hosts and were delighted to be part of a project so close to where they are based.

Croydon Council continued the consultation at the Clock Tower Market on Saturday 4 May. We’ll update you soon on the designs presented, the results of the consultation and what happens next. Watch this space!

Michael Grubb of Michael Grubb Studios with Cynthia and Dwayne from Caribbean Dreads

Portland Road Railway Bridge Lighting Concept

PPR have been working on plans to improve Portland Road Railway Bridge for some time and secured funding to make it a more pleasant experience for pedestrians and the local community.

Michael Grubb Studios, creative lighting designers, have been appointed to produce the design and representatives from PPR’s Steering Group and Croydon Council have been part of the working group tasked with overseeing the project.

We would like to invite you to see the potential designs at a public consultation on Wednesday 1 May. This will be a drop-in session from 5 to 8 PM at Caribbean Dreads Salon, 2A Portland Road (on the corner of Clifford Road), close to the bridge itself.  Michael Grubb Studios and Michelle Normanly, Croydon Council’s Regeneration Manager for South Norwood will be in attendance to update the community on the planned installation.

If you are interested in hearing more about this exciting project for South Norwood please save the date & ask your friends and family to come along too.

Although there is a wonderful mosaic under the bridge, which will stay in place, this bridge has been unwelcoming and unloved for too long. We look forward to a brighter, welcoming bridge.