• Floor Mosaic outside South Norwood Library

    Lawrence Rd 2006 Creative

    This is a floor mosaic celebrating local heritage and community. It was developed by local people with the assistance of Tamara Froud and the Art Mosaic Design team. A large number of workshops were held engaging local school children and community members. They were taught the process of mosaic and collaborated to make the designs into colourful murals.

    A wide range of people engaged with the project to create the mosaic that shared ideas about the past and the present in South Norwood. The project was begun in November 2005 and completed in April 2006. An opening celebration was held on 29thApril 2006. The overall project was funded by Awards for All, Community Builders Fund and Croydon Council.

    Tamara Froud has undertaken many collaborative artworks with local communities. She has won awards, and worked internationally as a mosaic artist and educator. She is currently the president at British Association of Modern Mosaic (BAMM).

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  • The Song of Hiawatha: A Composition by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

    Upper Grove 1898 Creative

    This piece of music is the best known work by composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

    Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was an English composer and conductor.

    He was born in London in 1875 to Alice Hare Martin, an English woman, and Daniel Peter Hughes Taylor, a Krio man from Sierra Leone who had studied medicine in the capital. This meant he was mixed race. Samuel’s father did not marry Alice so he was brought up in Alice’s family home where he was taught how to play the violin.

    His talent was noticed and he was given violin lessons and then he was able to study at the Royal College of Music. Clearly gifted, he completed a degree in musical composition and became a professor at the Crystal Palace School of Music.

    He became particularly known for his three cantatas on the epic poem Song of Hiawatha by American Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Coleridge-Taylor premiered the first section in 1898, when he was 22. As this piece of music was so popular, he was able to do three tours of the United States. One his first visit he was received at the White House by President Theodore Roosevelt which was a rare event for a man of African descent.

    Although he had created a very successful piece of music because he sold the music outright, he did not benefit directly.

    In 1912, at the age of 37, he caught pneumonia and died.

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  • Portland Road Railway Bridge Mosaic

    Portland Road Underline Bridge 1997 Creative

    This community art piece consists of nine panels divided into three spaces underneath the bridge. The colour palette is minimalist, mainly consisting of green, white and brown pieces of glass and ceramic.

    Artist Gary Drostle and Rob Turner were commissioned by the London Borough of Croydon to work in consultation with local schools and member of the community to create a mosaic mural.

    The first section of the mosaic shows a person herding sheep, someone picking fruit from an orchard, a man moving bricks, Stanley Halls, a person conducting with the name Samuel Coldridge Taylor written below. Other local names included are Handley’s bricks, Steven’s Farm, W F Stanley and Conan Doyle. The final part of this section shows a vegetable garden and modern townscape with words such as ‘organic’, ‘think locally’ and ‘new energy’ displayed above or below the graphics.

    The second section of the mural shows stories of transport. It has an image of the canal, an old steam train leading to a polluted congested city and finally showing people walking and cycling. The images are surrounded by the words, ‘congestion’, ‘cycle routes’ and ‘use buses’. The final section tells the story of the Great North Wood, showing images of trees, plants, dancers, oaks, bonfires, and modern people enjoying the outdoors. This is paired with words such as ‘charcoal burners’, ‘forest dwellers’ and ‘recreation’.

    At 25 years old, the mural has remained in very good condition underneath the bridge and still is an improvement to the area. It also offers a chance to tune into the local history of South Norwood and the ideas of the local community in the 1990s.

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  • Concrete Underpass

    Station Road 1912 Commercial

    This subway underneath Norwood Junction Station was opened in July 1912 and is the first reinforced concrete subway in the world. It improved the accessibility of the neighbourhood for the local community who lived on either sides of the tracks.

    Local people ‘agitated’ for a subway for around ten years  until the council swung into action to get this local improvement. Key figures involved in this action were Councillor W Roberts and the local vicar. In October 1909, the councillor asked the Streets Improvement Committee to consider the possibility of a subway and after December 1909, the plans and specifications were set out at a planned cost of £6,000. The subway was completed and opened in 1912 and continues to be in use.

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  • The Sensible Garden

    54 High Street 2014 Creative

    In early 2014 collaborative volunteer groups with overseeing and networking by former South Norwood councillor Jane Avis set to cleaning up a notorious fly tip site on South Norwood High St opposite Harris Academy South Norwood to transform it into a landscaped community garden with planning contributions and maintenance from Harris students under the tutelage of professional gardener Alan Oakley.

    The idea to morph a hideous waste ground into a well-maintained public garden was conceived in late 2013 by South Norwood Tourist Board (SNTB) whose plan was to fix a dangerous bench and to try to get Captain Sensible to officiate at its formal transformation.

    Permission was granted to install a wooden fence in early 2014 to prevent any further flytipping, which has worked. The garden’s name was painted on the fence and inscribed on banners. Councillor Jane Avis introduced the SNTB cheerleaders to Crystal Palace Transition Town’s  (CPTT) Palace Pick-up volunteers, led by CPTT’s inspiring member Robbie Gibson, who had already transformed a number of green spaces in SE19 with extensive litter clearance.

    The 26 July 2014 opening was heralded beforehand in the local papers, as Captain Sensible kept his promise to keep the day free to be guest of honour and guest performer in the Ship pub. Stephen Barnes’ Inside Croydon blog also wrote up descriptions of the celebrations with a Youtube interview. The revellers adjourned to the then-flourishing Ship pub close by, with a buffet and impromptu solo gig by Captain Sensible, rendering his local hit “Croydon” (co-written by Robyn Hitchcock) from 1982.

    Located by a High Street bus stop, the garden has active gardeners from SNTB and CPTT continuing to plant flower bulbs and clear rubbish to keep it looking cared for and encouraging passers-by to sit and enjoy the space. Janice Green maintains her own Sensible Garden Facebook page that regularly shows updated garden images and sustainability features.

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  • Spray Paint Mural on Cargreen Road

    14 Cargreen Road 2018 Creative

    The six panel spray paint mural by south London artist Morganico shows colourful flowers, creatures and surreal plants and adds a dash of colour to the front perimeter walls of a local house.

     

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  • ‘Croydon’ A song by Captain Sensible

    South Norwood Hill 1982 Commercial

    ‘Croydon’ is Captain Sensible’s autobiography in song, immortalising his days at Stanley Technical School, South Norwood. With a tale of the theft of the bronze bust in the entrance hall as well as trying to get to know girls from the local schools, and cleaning Fairfield Halls’ toilets, the song celebrated life growing up in Croydon.

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