Inventing South Norwood

Inventing South Norwood

This project is a celebration of South Norwood’s history of invention and creativity. Over three years the programme will deliver online and in-person events that engage the whole of our local community in our unique local story of invention.

The project will be inspired by famous South Norwood historic figures like the inventor & industrialist William Stanley and the composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor. We will also celebrate the creativity and invention of our community today, as well of lots of unknown stories from the past.

The Archive of Invention

The Archive has been built into a digital interactive map centered on the history of local people and foregrounding the integral role of invention in their daily lives. This map has started to collect and house all the stories from around South Norwood. The archive is here to provide us all with a platform to upload and track the inventions from the past, as well as highlighting the ongoing innovation happening in and around the area today.

Historic England : High Streets Heritage Action Zones

The Inventing South Norwood Programme is funded by Historic England as part of the Culture strand of the High Streets Heritage Action Zones programme. Our little cultural programme is part of a big national HSHAZ Cultural Programme which you can read more about here.

Invention Points

Invention Points

Throughout the programme there have been regular pop-up points around South Norwood to exercise your inventive side.

These ‘Invention Points’ might be a workshop or a lecture, the performance of a piece of music or the sharing of spoken word. They will be a chance for you to be led by local inventors in their fields and perhaps a chance for you to try your hand at inviting something new yourself.

The Invention Points will also be a chance to hear more about other parts of both the Culture Programme and the main programme of capital investment on the High Street so it’s an ideal chance for you to come and hear more.

Hosting an Invention Point

If you are a local artist/craft person or a local venue in South Norwood and would like to run your own pop-up Invention Point in the future with support from the ‘Inventing South Norwood’ programme then drop us a line on inventingsouthnorwood@stanleyarts.org. Our team is available with technical equipment to assist in any filming, photography and cataloguing.

Grants programme

Grants programme

Inventing South Norwood Grants Programme

The grants programme enables people inspired by South Norwood’s history of creativity and invention to create their own community event or activity. Grants of £500 to £1000 are available.

The activities could be anything from a guided walk or talk to a musical performance or a spoken word evening. There are few limits, the activities just need to be inspired by South Norwood tradition of creativity and invention; past or present day, and can be focused on any form of invention, whether it be new music, new imagery, a new building or new ideas. So whether you are inspired by Samuel Coleridge Taylor, William Stanley or Stormz, drop us a line on inventingsouthnorwood@stanleyarts.org

Walking Tour

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Team Members

Moa, our Heritage Engagement Manager

Moa Taylor Hodin

Learning and Engagement Manager


Kay Michael

Carnival of Invention Producer

Chrissy Jay, Associate Producer Producer

Chrissy Jay

Carnival of Invention Associate Producer

Looking for Volunteers

Looking for Volunteers

History Detectives Wanted! We are looking for local enthusiasts who have an interest in South Norwood and its history of invention and creativity. 

We are a small group of volunteers who collect local stories of invention and creativity. Initially we will research and uncover known and unknown the story that we already have and then work with our team to research new stories of invention from South Norwood which will then become part of our  online Archive of Invention.

There will be some training provided with an experienced archivist as well as other professionals and local historians who will provide guidance and support on research tasks.

Our free sessions are held in the Social Cafe at Stanley Arts once every two weeks.

Please contact Ruth on inventingsouthnorwood@stanleyarts.org if you are interested in getting involved.

© 2024 Stanley Arts Charity No: 1155680