Lots of happy talk as residents do the Sensible thing

Almost 30 people from South Norwood, Shirley, Penge and Crystal Palace united to transform a long neglected piece of greenery on South Norwood High Street at the weekend.

Crystal Palace Transition Town volunteers take a break from their clean-up work on Sunday after collecting a mountain of rubbish from one small plot of land

Crystal Palace Transition Town volunteers take a break from the clean-up on Sunday after collecting a mountain of rubbish from a small plot of land

Crystal Palace Transition Town joined forces with South Norwood Tourist Board and Councillor Jane Avis to help push forward their plans for a community garden on land opposite the Harris Academy.

The patch was a depressing blight on the area strewn with rubbish and fly tipped builders waste for a number of years.

However the South Norwood Tourist Board and Avis have plans to create a community garden and have had wooden bollards installed to deter further fly tipping.

The site is set to be transformed into the “Sensible Garden”.

The South Norwood Tourist Board, the inspiration behind the area’s best-loved beauty spot, Lake Conan Doyle, has arranged for punk star Captain Sensible to dedicate a bench to be erected in the garden.

Sensible SeatSensible, aka Raymond Burns, the founder of 1970s punk group The Damned, is noteworthy as being the only person ever to have a single released with the title “Croydon” that includes mention of both the Virgo Fidelis school and Fairfield Halls’ toilets.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that Burns was furious a couple of years ago when Croydon Council, together with Sustrans, proposed a “portrait bench” featuring some of the borough’s noteworthy figures: apparently, it was not the fact that Captain Sensible was left off the council’s short list altogether, but that he was passed over when Ronnie Corbett was selected that irked the most.

Now, it looks as if South Norwood will get a bench dedicated to Captain Sensible and no one else, positioned opposite his old school, the former Stanley Tech.

On Sunday, the volunteers filled close to 50 bags of rubbish and other discarded items. Among the jetsam of south London life found on this neglected corner of South Norwood was a sofa, a bath, three toilets, broken window panes and plenty of rubble.

How the rubbish-strewn patch of ground looked before Sunday's clear-up by Crystal Palace Transition Town

How the rubbish-strewn patch of ground looked before Sunday’s clear-up by Crystal Palace Transition Town

The community co-operation came about when Crystal Palace residents Nuala McLaughlin and Robert Gibson met the South Norwood Tourist Board and Councillor Avis at the recent lake-naming ceremony.

Crystal Palace Transition Town “Palace Pick Up” initiative led by Anna Kostyrina has already cleared several other Croydon sites in Upper Norwood.

“When I first saw the site it was terribly depressing, but the community response was fantastic,” said Gibson who is on the steering group of Crystal Palace Transition Town.

“People made new friendships on the day and were really buzzed up with a sense of empowerment of reclaiming their space for their community. The gratitude and support of those walking past made it all worthwhile and Jane Avis seemed quite emotional about what we achieved on the day.

“I also have huge respect for the South Norwood Tourist Board and how they are strengthening the sense of community.”


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Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 516,649 page views (Jan-Dec 2013)

If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at inside.croydon@btinternet.com

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in Community associations, Jane Avis, South Norwood, South Norwood Tourist Board, Transition Town and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Lots of happy talk as residents do the Sensible thing

  1. Pity that both Turtles and Nestle have gone.

    Like

  2. Pingback: 2014 What is happening in the World of Transition | Highest Good News

  3. Pingback: The March 2014 Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition | Transition Network

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