• Avril Coleridge-Taylor: A Lost Musical Legacy

    2022 Creative
  • Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: In Search Of The Blue Note Documentary

    South Norwood Hill 2023 Creative
  • Matthew, Walnuts and Honey (South Drawood exhibition)

    2018 Creative
    A sketch in black pen of Matthew, owner of the cake shop and cafe, Walnuts and Honey, overlaid on a zoomed in close up of the sketch to create a landscape image. The sketch is black and white and Matthew is smiling in a hoodie and a backwards cap.

    Walnuts and Honey opened in 2018. The owner, Matthew, had always wanted his own business, watching both of his parents run do so when he was a child.

    The shop specialises in cakes: Matthew was inspired by the anime show Yumeiro Patissiere, which follows a young pastry chef. Like in the anime, Matthew loves experimenting with flavour and has come up with many creations in the past.

    He looks at flavours which work well together and then modifies them: for example, taking chocolate and orange and replicating another sweet flavour with citrus, such as toffee and yuzu.

    However, his experiments don’t always work, with his self[1]described worst flavour combination being peppermint and liquorice (‘great in tea, but not in cake!’).

    Matthew grew up in London and wanted to open a shop based around his roots. When Walnuts and Honey was a mere idea, he had a market stall at the Clocktower Market to gauge demand for his creations. While he was on the market, he would see the store he currently occupies, which was then a former record shop, and just before he was about to sign the lease for another property on the high street, he took on his current premises instead.

    The community around South Norwood is Matthew’s favourite thing about the area. He says he has lived in other areas of south London which have ‘no soul’ compared to the ‘indominable spirit’ of South Norwood. From the litter picking society, to the ‘save the library’ group, Matthew says the people are all so friendly and have the community at heart.

    Matthew points out that now people can shop on the internet so easily, people aren’t as fussed about products anymore but want experiences. He hopes that there will be an increase in the night time economy, bringing niche and creative ideas to the area. Above all, Matthew wants to see more community spaces created.

    This project was part of the South Drawood exhibition in 2022 by artist Jonny Kemp. A community art project celebrating the people of South Norwood, SE25.

    From autumn of 2021 to summer 2022, Jonny drew 40 portraits of independent business owners, volunteers, and other movers and shakers from South Norwood, his local area. His partner Lizzie interviewed them.

    South Norwood is regenerating yet doesn’t want to gentrify: it wants to keep its character and support people who already live in the area to prosper. This was Jonny and Lizzie’s way of ‘giving South Norwood a hug’: by representing the diverse people of SE25 through portraits in fine liner pen, and their own stories.

    The portraits were displayed in Stanley Arts, a beautiful Edwardian arts venue on South Norwood Hill. Over 150 people attended the opening night: Friday 29th July 2022.

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  • The Electric Disc: Machines for Exciting Frictional Electricity

    Stanleybury, South Norwood 1868 Commercial
    Invention: The Electric Disk

    William Stanley’s patent of 1868 for “Improvements in the Construction of Machines for Exciting Frictional Electricity” no. 3878.

    The hand-held machine in the drawing, shown held against a table, is the form he patented. His patent does away with the large frame and replaces it with two slips of wood brought close together with only a slit for the glass, forming a handle at one end. The long metal axis carrying the disc is short and made of wood.

    The intention of the improvement was to pare down the size and complexity of the plate glass static electricity generating machines used for demonstration and experimentation to its essential, functioning elements that would be cheap and easy to manufacture.

    Soon after registering the patent Stanley published a book of experiments: Stanley’s Patent Electric Disk and 100 experiments by a Positive Conductor. In it, he states that the experiments are amusing so as to be memorable. They are numbered up to 150 and divided into categories such as attraction/repulsion, effect on the human frame, and the luminous effects of electricity passing through gasses.

    Some experiments are meant to impress, like igniting gunpowder inside a model of a house (exp. 114) or illuminating a fish (exp. 88). Others do things like ring bells or see-saw using the motion of push and pull through the alternating charging and then grounding little hanging wooden pith balls.

    Watch the video below to find out more, and you’ll also find a video all about Patents and their importance in relation to Inventions.

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  • Sustrans Portrait Bench: Samuel Coleridge Taylor

    66 Charles St, Croydon 2013 Creative

    Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912)  commemorates by cycling charity Sustrans.

    Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, South Norwood composer and resident is celebrated in this cut-out, silhouette steel portrait.

    On either side of Coleridge-Taylor are silhouettes of Dame Peggy Ashcroft (1907–1991) and Ronnie Corbett (1930–2016).

    These portraits were made in 2013 and can be found on Charles Street, near Church Street Market.


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  • Love Fighter Liquor

    210A Selhurst Road 2018 Creative

    Lover Fighter Liquor is a small batch, hand crafted spirits range. It was born out of curiosity, craft & a love for flavour exploration.

    We opened The Craft Beer Cabin as a passion project on the side to our day jobs in August 2018, after spending a few years ‘on the road’ with our mobile bar – a vintage black taxi named Stanley (The Craft Beer Cab).

    Lover Fighter Liquor was born out of the lockdown. Josie had been made redundant from an events agency & started restoring vintage furniture @loverfighterfurniture, which was a lifelong aspiration. Our interest sparked during some work on a few cocktail cabinets & we started experimenting with cocktail recipes.

    Nick is really passionate about the drinks industry & has a very discerning palate. He loves the process of discovery & perfecting flavour balance, so we were exploring all sorts of new concoctions.

    As coffee fanatics, it didn’t take long for us to start looking into coffee based cocktails & after some research we discovered a gap in the market for locally produced cold-brew coffee liqueur. So we decided to make our own!

    This then expanded into other cold-brewed liqueurs too to really broaden the flavour spectrum available.

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  • The Mysterious Doors of Stanley Halls Zine

    Stanley Arts 2022 Creative

    I wanted the Zine to be a fun, unpredictable, epic adventure full of interesting characters!

    I’m pushing myself to tell a story I don’t always tend to do (I tend to do superhero comics). I’m also going back to basics a little with my art style. With The O Men, I started out drawing everything on paper in black and white. Nowadays, I draw digitally and in colour. I’m going to go back to my earlier black and white style, as people seemed to really like it. I’ll be drawing on my ipad but it’ll be more natural and there will be no Photoshop trickery.

    I’ve been drawing comics since I could hold a pencil (and crayon). I used to create comics to show my school friends and I was always making comics throughout my teen years (my mum read them all!).

    You can access the ezine by clicking here.

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  • The Disco Brownie

    South Norwood 2015 Creative
    The Disco Brownie by BonBon Parade

    I wanted to offer a brownie that was not only gluten free but also dairy, soy and nut free too!

    After experimenting with lots of different ingredients I found the right measurements for the perfect allergen friendly brownie that still tasted as good as a regular one, then added some shimmer to make it extra special. My customers from ‘Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet’ lovingly named it ‘The Disco Brownie.’

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  • 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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