Alan, Lynsey, Cameron, Joel, N & C Home Improvements (South Drawood exhibition)
- Year Invented: 2018
N & C Home Improvements is a family business which has been alive for 47 years. It started off as a DIY store owned by Alan at 64 Portland Road, but has since grown with three generations of family now working in the business and the store now occupies 62-64 Portland Road. They supply fittings for kitchens and bathrooms, and also sell general homewares. The store has gathered many loyal customers over the years, some which still order their supplies from the family even once they’ve moved abroad. They have even sent stock to former customers who have moved as far as Jamaica!
The sense of family and community within N & C Home Improvements is clear. Lynsey notes of how they have factories in Ukraine which has led to the family being very concerned for their colleagues. They have tried to stay in touch with as many people as possible during the war in Ukraine. Closer to home, N & C Home Improvements have been responsible for decking out Socco Cheta with its new bathrooms.
During the regeneration of the area Lynsey says she wants the area to stay a little ‘rough around the edges’ to not lose its character. She would like to see more diverse and independent shops come to the area to represent South Norwood’s diverse community.
Words by Elizabeth Walters
Interview with Lynsey, second generation owner of N & C Home Improvements, April 2022
N & C Home Improvements
62-62 Portland Road, SE25 4PQ
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.