Saturday was the grand opening the Community Kitchen, and by all accounts was the first great success, of what will hopefully be many.

I’m sure it’s not too late to contribute and / or volunteer as it’s success can only be maintained by continuous support – working and / or eating. The concept of complete inclusivity is wonderful and should be applied to everything in South Norwood; knowingly exclude any element of our wonderful community is at one’s own ignorance.

Anyway a review direct from Paul regarding the opening:

We were disappointed initially, having collected all the Tesco stuff that actually all we had was 7 bin bags full of bread – though it’s quite impressive how much bread people can get through! – and we went to Aldi to buy a load of veg. It didn’t cost a lot, and it’s good I suppose that they don’t have anything else wasting, but I’m suspicious that is the case and besides it sort of undermines a key part of our plan.  So we’ve got to try and find other connections, local grocers etc that might be interested in helping out.
Other than that I don’t think the day could have been better. About 30 came to eat, a real mix, the atmosphere was jovial, the food turned out nice, and I think we were all blown away by how positive opening day was.
There has also been an upsurge in social media interest and I’m talking to one of the councillors about what they can do for us, no doubt in part to your publicity and support so thanks again for that.
Work to do still but looking forward to next weekend.
Speak soon.

Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 20.35.17.pngPaul contacted SNTB to see if we would promote South Norwood Community Kitchen. Interested in their underlying philosophy, aims and trying to gauge if they truly believe in what they are doing or simply a stepping stone to their own personal agenda. Before giving our support, we asked to meet them for a drink as we won’t support self interest, exclusivity by economic means and the desire to gentrify as opposed to regenerate our wonderful republic. We weren’t disappointed.

South Norwood Community Kitchen opens April 22nd, and is Laura and Paul’s desire to create an environment where anyone can come and get a free meal is a wonderful concept; no labels, no judgement and no tug your forelock, grateful for the scrapings of self worthiness from the privileged few! The kitchen will serve everyone as an equal, young and old, all sitting together as a community without the feeling of preconceptions, prejudice and stereotyping.

When questioned Paul explained:

‘Why?  Well, Why not?’

We chose South Norwood due to the sense of community we could feel around the place. Food Cycle, the closest thing to what we are doing, thrives in if not close knit, then bustling communities that live close to one another……. we liked the idea so much we decided to do our own thing, without the bureaucracy of an overarching charity.

I am hoping to get funding from big business and the like, as part of their corporate responsibility, but this will probably only open once we have proved we can run it, hence the crowdfunding now so we can knock it into shape.

People find it hard to comprehend that altruism can be truly that, but in this case I’d say it is.  We have nothing to gain other than the knowledge that we might have had an impact in some small way and that we’ve not just sat at home watching TV.

Meeting Laura and Paul turned into a wonderful afternoon, chatting about life experiences and ultimately their new venture; both are really passionate about what they want to do and their integrity shines through with every answer to any question.


Currently, everything associated with the preparation, advertising etc for the community kitchen has been from their own pockets, which are not that deep, hence the crowdfunding request. Their concept of complete community inclusion is something the tourist board hold close to their heart and ask if people can again donate just what they can afford; 10p or £10 it all adds up.


Asked how it works:

We take food, currently donated by Tesco, but thats not to say other people cant get involved – and in fact we would very much like local grocers and the like to give us dibs on their unsold stock.  It’s better we make something of it than it just goes into the bin.
We then cook up whatever we get, supplemented by our own stores and dish up a hearty meal for all who want to come and have it.  The menu of course will vary depending on what we’re given, but its always guaranteed to be good.  
Leftovers will be boxed up to be taken away and enjoyed at home.

Regarding the venue at South Norwood Baptist Church, Oliver Avenue.

We will be able to hold 30-40 at one time in the space the church are letting us have, in big long communal tables where the idea is everybody from the various walks of life they may come from sits down and eats together.  
We want to make a point that it is open to all and sundry, we won’t be means testing anyones eligibility, if you want to come and eat, just turn up at 12.15 and be seated.  
The hope is of course that anyone in need will come, and those who may not like to admit they’re in need as it will not have any stigma of being something only for the poor or the homeless and instead will be a celebration of local community getting together.  
To be kind………..Viva L’anarchie

Art has always been a topic of great debate as to what is a ‘masterpiece’ or what can be defined as being created by someone with talent. Is art, simply, in the eye of the beholder…the argument can go on and on. Now put the word ‘street’ in front of it, and does the discussion change? Now use ‘graffiti’, a common word that is usually used in a negative manner, and associated with a degenerative youth.

When does ‘street art’ become acceptable, appreciated or approved – and who makes these decisions. Whilst Croydon Council appear to be sanctioning certain hoardings to be used by street artists, other places of banal grey, showing the frayed historic flyers advertising club nights long gone are left, highlighting an area’s disengagement or decline.


A representative from a group of like minded artists have contact SNTB to help fight there corner by widening the debate. They are just a small example of talented individuals but there are lots more within our community that have a lot of diverse talent, and the desire to express themselves in  a variety of ways. If it is adding vibrant colour and life to our community, and not causing any danger, should this be suppressed or encouraged?

The images above have been returned their original state – devoid of life and colour, whereas other ‘graffiti’ has been left and accepted. Why? Because it has been approved through a bureaucratic system? Is it about taste or simple control? Who are we to judge what is acceptable and what isn’t, even though the location of the art is of similar conditions but the difference is, the above doesn’t have ‘approval’.

SNTB have always encouraged anyone to make a positive ‘contribution’ to their society, and that ‘contribution’ should not be defined by bureaucrats or restricted by people’s reluctance to accept new ideas or measured by the past.

Always question, then question the answers, then question again.

It has been brought to our attention that our coarse language is inappropriate, however whilst colourful, it can serve a purpose;  ensuring we will not be accepted within the belly of the bureaucratic  machine, as we refuse to tug our forelock to the established order and institutions.

An interesting article we have just come across, but begs the question Tommy Cooper or David Blaine!





Pardew warns Sam of SNTB’s influence!

Upon news of the appointment of new Eagles boss,Sam Allardyce, my first thought was Croydon ensure we always have the shitty end of the stick, and now a manger who the FA deem is not worthy of the England job, a match made in heaven really; overlooked perfection by blinkered people!!!!

SNTB offer an open invitation to come and chat about the local area. Eagles fans are passionate, South Norwood people are passionate – the two combined is a fan base second to none.

The Holmesdale Fanatics are unique in their unequivocal way to get their point / anger / frustration known, and don’t care who it fucks off – it has landed them in trouble but they know where the fundamental rot lies in football; a fantastic bunch of loyal fans – pure football, born and bred Eagles. We ain’t pretty, we ain’t rich but I’ve stayed in almost every area where ‘Big Sam’ has managed and nowhere comes close to passion, community, loyalty and local history.

As SNTB have always pointed out, not only do we have more lakes that the Lake District but we also have a fucking good football team – how could any manager refuse such an opportunity to broaden their horizons.

We have already posted our ideas and would be interested if Sam thinks any of them could jettison the Eagles to heights they have never soared.





So Pardew was sacked for introducing a front foot, elaborate gun ho style that just didn’t suit Palace, so where else to start than looking at SNTB’s credentials

 However our template for success is promising but I think a little ahead of its time:

  • Co-operative Management style with SNTB being simply the front for all Eagles Fans
  • Tickets prices halved and kids go free (we would forgo our wage to cover this), and players could hold a jumble sale or car wash to raise any shortfall.
  • Team selection discussed in pub night before; consultation will include  all season ticket holders who have won the premiership with Crystal Palace on Football Manager 2017 (whatever qualifications do you need) and the current Palace Squad – team and fans both being acceptable for our progress.
  • Tactics are simply score more goals than the other team – rush goalie will be our secret weapon. (Is this any worse than a long ball tactic!)
  • Substitutions, tactical change mid game decided by fans on a specially designed app.
  • All transfers conducted by creating a player mortgage – (can bailiffs repossessed a player!). Or challenge other teams to a game of spoof, dominoes or rock, paper, scissors, with a win meaning you get to loan one of their players for a month for free – Messi at Selhurst Park!
  • Dress down days for one game a quarter where the players can wear what they want with a 5% donation to fans who are financially struggling but remain loyal. It would also confuse the opposition and hopefully guarantee 3 points.

After a long night soul searching as to work out if SNTB could guide Palace to the heights they belong, we came to the conclusion it may not be in the best interests of the club, why you ask?

No, ignore the rumours that we were caught in the pub offering to sell an undercover reporter Wayne Hennessy’s left kidney but it was rumoured that the FA were worried that we would bring the game back to the working man and their local area, where fan and player constantly rubbed shoulders and would discuss topical current footballing issues such as Jamie Vardy’s chances of winning the Nobel Peace prize etc

Lets just hope whoever takes over has the clubs best interests at heart.




Met with open arms, a red carpet with tic-a-tape pouring from the ceiling*, SNTB entered our latest addition to the area – The Portland Arms. (* Artistic licence used, didn’t actually happen)


Ali (landlord) introduced me to the keen eager bar staff, Luke and Leeward and then soon all realised that they had made a mistake inviting us in and all began to look busy when I began to rant about how we despise business’ that are only interested in profit, abuse community loyalty and basically pretend they are in Dulwich or Crystal Palace. Looking up, expecting the red faces and the usual apologetic drivel about quality, and teardrops from a silkworm riding goat cost money, I WAS FUCKING SHOCKED.


(From front to back – Luke, Leeward & Ali)

Ali explained that they only own one other pub, saw the potential in the location but understands the area and the importance of offering a service that the community actually want to use.  He continued to say they are getting on their feet but are completely open to any feasible ideas that will meet varying needs. Including my request not to be served cider in a chalice!

I asked about prices, and he has said that they are trying to be as cheap but fair a price as possible, making there margins minimal with the hope that the quantity of business will offset any need to increase prices in order not to go under – it was an quiet acknowledgement that they know times can be difficult but don’t want to exclude any part of the community. Families, football, fantasy and frolicking (I love alliteration) are all welcome as long as it doesn’t encroach on other people’s enjoyment etc.

The crux of their ethos is – they are open to become whatever type of pub the  community require, as long as it is INCLUSIVE and reflects positively on them and the area. However, lets not forget they are a business and if no-one goes, they will either close or become the type of pub that calls our community ‘Riff Raff’ or ‘wants to keep out the undesirables’!


(my new friend Ike – thanks for your company)

After chatting with the new faces in our area (although Leeward is born and bred SN), I sat at the bar to watch Palace destroy Chelsea (* Artistic licence used, didn’t actually happen) and met Ike who i continued to chat to for the next two hours (sorry if your head hurts Ike), then in a flash someone came in looking the pub up and down, stopped, looked at me and said ‘Aw it’s one of those yuppie places’, to which I replied ‘Fuck off, I’m born and bred working class but because I have blue hair and look different you’re calling me a yuppie – you can fuck off and how dare you judge me’ – he apologised and left and I continued my non judgemental conversation with Ike.

Did I mention the food is fantastic with an open kitchen!


If you want a 1950’s traditional blokes boozer, where beaten women cower over their halves of beer or waiting at home in anticipation of feeding the breadwinner – this is not it

If you want a modern pub, with kitsch decor trying to be trendy, expensive prices to ensure that only those with a decent credit rating can enter to drink Moldavian asp’s piss and eat a peruvian style curried unicorn hoof – this is not it

Could it be Henry the mild mannered janitor………. could be………….

If you want a place to drink, that is 100% community minded, has a wide selection of beverages, well cooked food and non judgemental staff who work hard but also have time to chat, and everyone I’ve met is worth chatting to and doesn’t want to be any of the above (except maybe Hong Long Phooey because who doesn’t want to be!) then it has arrived:

It is called the Portland Arms and is ready and waiting to bring a smile to your face.

The saying goes – Use it or lose it – but remember it is rare for businesses wanting to embody the whole of South Norwood’s community as it is.