South Norwood Suffragist and Suffragette plaques were unveiled on 21 October 2023.
On 21 October 2023 we unveiled two plaques opposite South Norwood Clocktower to commemorate two special women.
The individual plaques, designed locally by Ken Baker, commemorate two women, Ethel Fennings a suffragist, and Mary Pearson a suffragette who lived nearby and were actively involved in the move to acquire the vote for women early in the 20th century.
Ethel, of the Church League for Women’s’ Suffrage was the eldest daughter of a suffragist mother. She was very active in South Norwood particularly during the years immediately before WW I. She regularly wrote letters to Norwood News, a local newspaper cogently advocating the right of women to vote. The newspaper additionally advertised times on a Friday evening during May until October when Ethel stood on the base of the Stanley Clocktower and gave voice to the women’s cause. It has to be said that her younger sisters Muriel, Agnes and Jessie as well her father also contributed to the agitation to acquire the vote.
Mary Pearson lived nearby. A member of the Croydon branch of the Women’s Freedom League, she was in February 1908 imprisoned in the second class for nuisance through her attempts to gain an interview with Sir Edward Grey, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
Local historian, John Hickman, introduced proceedings at the unveiling venue. He thanked those responsible for acquiring funding for the People for Portland Road project; namely We Love SE25, Stanley Arts and the community for their donations.
In attendance was the Deputy Civic Mayor, Cllr Appu Srinivasan. Sarah Jones MP and Carole Roberts (President of Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society) unveiled the plaques for us. All three talked about these two courageous women.
Date: Saturday, 21 October 2023 Time: 3:00 PM Location: Plaques at the building housing Costa Coffee Address: 251-253 Selhurst Rd SE25 6XS (corner of Oliver Grove)
We are delighted to extend a special invitation to you for an event that celebrates our local history with the remarkable contributions of two outstanding women. As part of our ongoing heritage trail initiative, we will unveil two plaques as a tribute to the pivotal roles played by Ethel Fennings, a Suffragist, and Mary Pearson, a Suffragette, in advocating for women’s right to vote. This history is intertwined with the legacy of our community as their fight for women’s suffrage was in the vicinity of South Norwood Clocktower.
We have placed multiple plaques commemorating individuals and artefacts that are integral to our local history. A few notable examples funded and erected by People for Portland Road include:
The Norwood Junction Subway – an engineering marvel as the world’s inaugural reinforced concrete underpass
The location of the Jolly Sailor Inn – a significant milestone as South Norwood’s earliest public establishment
The London to Croydon Atmospheric Railway – a historical railway route that traversed through South Norwood
William Walker – the renowned diver who played a pivotal role in rescuing Winchester Cathedral
Introduction of the honourees by John Hickman, local historian
Presence of guests, including the Civic Mayor, Sarah Jones MP, and Steve Reed MP with participation of Councillors and other notable community figures
We Love SE25 and Stanley Arts, who both played their part in making this happen, will also be in attendance
Plaques designed locally by Ken Baker
Reception:Following the unveiling ceremony, we invite you to join us for a reception at South Norwood’s Brutalist Library. This gathering, hosted at Lawrence Rd SE25 5AA, will feature delightful refreshments courtesy of Little Mouse Cheesemonger
RSVP and Contact: Please RSVP to – firstname.lastname@example.org so we can manage the event successfully.
Your presence will contribute to the celebration of our local heritage and the incredible achievements of these inspiring women. We look forward to sharing this meaningful moment with you.
We’re delighted to see three of the new trees in bloom on Portland Road. These three, near to the Leisure Centre, are Amelanchier trees. They have spring blossom, autumn colour, and even edible fruits, which are attractive to birds.
The new trees for Portland Road will be planted on Friday 10th March. We are so excited to share this wonderful news with you! Field Maples will be planted in the twelve tree pits and three Amelanchiers will be planted directly into the ground near to the leisure centre entrance.
As a way of celebration, we’d love some of you to come to Portland Road so that we can watch a tree being planted together. At 10am on 10th March, one of the Field Maples will be planted outside South Norwood Glazing at 181 Portland Road. We hope to see some of you there! Thank you once again to every single one of you who contributed to make this happen. The project is a partnership between People for Portland Road, Trees for Streets and Croydon Council. See you on Friday 10th March.
Artist’s impression – Imagine how much more attractive this part of Portland Road will look lined with trees!
Last week the tree pits were created in Portland Road, into which the new trees will be planted. We have sufficient funds to plant 15 new trees, although only 12 of them actually need tree pits. The other three will be planted directly into the ground at the end of the leisure centre entrance (very near to Tesco). We are expecting the new trees to be planted in the next few weeks and definitely before the end of March.
A New Hedgerow for Portland Road Community Garden
On Saturday morning nine volunteers planted 100 new hedging trees in Portland Road Community Garden. These were planted alongside some Beeches that were planted a couple of weeks ago. The hedging is made up of native species – Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Dogwood, Hazel and Dog Rose. The hedging is part of TCV (The Conservation Volunteers) ‘I Dig Trees project’ – they hope to have planted 3 million new trees at the end of this planting season.
We’ll be adding some woodland plants amongst the hedging and creating a couple of bug houses too, from recycled wood.
The new hedge is situated at the back of the leisure centre car park, against the green wire fence. We hope that it’ll attract more wildlife as it grows and matures.
Every year the nation unites to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.
Again this year our friends at South Norwood Glazing, Darren and Mark, have put poppies on the lampposts along Portland Road as our gesture to honour the fallen and remember them. Remembrance Sunday this year takes place on 13th November.
We thank South Norwood Glazing for erecting the poppies on our behalf.
We’re delighted that we’ve raised enough money to plant 14 additional trees in Portland Road. This will include creation of the tree pits to plant the new trees and paying the Council contractors to plant them and look after them for three years.
The expectation is that these trees will be planted this winter.
For more information, have a look at Trees for Streets. Maybe you’d like to sponsor a tree in your road or replace one that has had to be removed.