South Norwood needs some spontaneous entertainment, more musicians given the opportunity to perform locally; there are enough ‘Phoenix Nights’ entertainment nights (without the irony) but we need new, fresh artists, poets, agitators and musicians.
We encourage anyone who has the nerve just to turn up and showcase their talents on the grass outside the leisure centre on a Saturday from 12 – 1pm. This is not an organised event just an attempt at a thing/proposal/suggestion of how any artists, talented or not, can give voice to their calling and show the whole of London you don’t need to be an organisation, a council approved initiatives, to encourage the community to smile, making it a brighter place.
No limits only potential
Art (a generic term for all types) should not and cannot be sterilised and governed, it is organic, dynamic and can encourage change without any bureaucratic body being involved (look up COUM Transmissions as example of experimental, challenging, controversial but extremely important)
There is no money on offer, no-one to greet you, but hopefully an audience will grow – perform and they shall come!
The only restriction is your imagination.
What is the truth about rock music?
Music is a powerful and perhaps the most powerful medium in the world. Music. Plato says when the music of a society changes, the whole society will change. Aristotle, a contemporary of Plato’s, says when music changes there should be laws to govern the
nature and the character of that music. Lenin says that the best and the quickest way to undermine any society is through it’s music…
……..no not the council (boo hiss…not pantomime season yet but can practice) but Kermit et al organised by Stanley’s Film Club.
You all know that us at SNTB fucking hate people not charging a fair price for things, and not try and accommodate ALL of our community, not just those who ‘have’ or whose face fits, well Stanley Film Club are actively promoting that philosophy with their planned:
Stanley’s Christmas Extravaganza – a day-long celebration of community, togetherness and the magic of cinema, with two screenings of A Muppet Christmas Carol.
The event will take place on Saturday 17 December at Stanley Halls, South Norwood. The day will centre around two screenings of Brian Henson’s 1992 classic The Muppet Christmas Carol; one in the morning for children as part of Stanley’s Junior Film Club, and another in the evening for a more grown-up audience.
There will also be a free Christmas market from 2pm, in partnership with the community group behind South Norwood’s Clocktower Market. Local retailers will be on hand to offer a wide selection of festive food, drink and handmade crafts, and a programme of Christmas-themed shorts will be available to watch throughout the afternoon.
A Spacehive crowdfunding page has been set up to raise £4,621 to fund the event. If the target is reached, the organisers will use the money to enhance the event in the following ways:
Puppet cabaret in the evening, including a piano performance by Rowlf! (right) and walkabout theatre courtesy of Frolicked;
A free drop-in puppetry workshop in the afternoon and puppet-themed activities before the Junior Film Club matinee screening;
Free mulled wine and mince pies for evening ticket holders.
The Film Club has promised to donate 20% of available tickets to local residents on income support, to maximise social impact and make the event as inclusive as possible.
There will also be a Christmas gift collection point for leading children’s hospice charity Shooting Star Chase.
Pledges can be made through the event’s crowdfunding page by 10th December:
Crowdfunding can be a wonderful thing, and as Christmas is a time to think of others and not simply an opportunity to ‘show how good a person you are by how much you spend’.
Stanley Film Club have give us all an opportunity to support a local event, where the tone of the day is the embodiment of Christmas spirit; 1p or 1k, anything you can afford to spare is a generous contribution to making this work, nothing is too small.
SNTB cannot endorse their attitude and ethos enough; ring fencing 20% of tickets for those who would be excluded due to the economic circumstances faced by a lot of our wonderful area, lets hope others follow their lead.
The organisational bits:
Evening screening: Doors 6pm / Film 8pm
Matinee screening: Workshop 10.30am / Film 11.15am
Market: 1pm – 5.30pm
Evening screening: £10, or £8 for members of Stanley’s Film Club.
Matinee screening: £3 for children, £5 for adults, or £12 for a family (up to 2 children & 2 adults)
Market: Free of charge, no ticket required
All tickets are available to purchase on the door or online at stanleysfilmclub.com . A portion of ticket sales will be pledged towards the final crowdfunding target.
Over the weekend you may have seen SNTB’s vision for South Norwood posted on our Facebook page. It may or may not be coincidental that this vision came about the same weekend as the South Norwood Beer Festival – but this is a genuine plan to build on the surrealism of Croydon Council’s plan to regenerate South Norwood.
How else could you describe the Lewis Carroll world where we see plans to build on green land while our high streets are blighted by vacant, rotting and derelict plots? It’s easy to blame the council (we know, because we do) – but they are also players in a world as surreal as anything Carroll could have written.
In the name of localism, the government has taken away and centralised many local council planning powers. While proudly proclaiming the need to “take our country back”, we allow international property speculation to place unsustainable values on our property. People are priced out of neighbourhoods they have lived in for generations to be replaced by professionals who have themselves been priced out of Central London. They move in, bringing with them their expensive coffees, craft beers and chips in a bucket. We jump up and down at the thought of these imagined riches while selling anything of any real value (industries, railway lines, healthcare etc.) to overseas investors. While the fat Cheshire Cat grins and disappears up his own arse.
SNTB will not stand silent in the face of such foolishness. We are not here merely to paint the roses red. The rotten pomegranate gives birth to the chimera that devours the property speculator, the profiteer and the gentrifier. All power to the imagination!
Following our push for all the community to demand answers and not get lost in the noise, a recent statement gave wonderful positive promises BUT failed to answer the question regarding the increase in permits being detrimental to any proposed changes; it is the things that aren’t said that are the most important – smoke and mirrors.
Anyway after a week long of demanding answers to difficult questions SNTB have been handed an exclusive secret film of the recent emergency planning meeting. Whilst we were concerned about legal implications of secret filming and the fact that it was 9 hours long, we have recreated and filmed a synopsis of the meeting* so you don’t fall asleep.
*SNTB hold no responsibility for any errors or omissions when interpreting the meeting. Actors were used to replace those actually present.
We’d been meaning to come to South Norwood for some time, drawn by the South Norwood Tourist Board’s mantra: ‘Celebrating what others fail to see’. It could be a motto for all of South London.
But it was the opening of the new Antic pub, the Shelverdine Goathouse that finally got us off our arses for the 13-minute journey from London Bridge to Norwood Junction. Antic, too, celebrate areas where Pubcos fear to tread. We were going to get on fine.
I started at Coffee Craft, the sweet caff in the lovely Edwardian venue, the Stanley Halls. With its film club, performances, excessive yoga and upcoming CAMRA beer festival, you could say Stanley Halls is the cultural heart of Norwood. It’s named after William Stanley, a noted local inventor, architect and philanthropist (plus painter, writer, musician and photographer). Back in the day, geniuses used to try their hand at anything they enjoyed; there was no barrier between the practical and the creative. Nowadays our best and brightest tend to stick to one discipline, though to be fair, singer Cheryl Cole does have her own perfume and shower gel.
But if Stanley Halls is the heart, then the Sensible Garden could be considered its soul.
The Sensible Garden is the brainchild of the SNTB, whose other fine work includes a failed attempt to get Norwood Junction station renamed Norwood Intergalactic. The SNTB, with the help of the community, turned a derelict piece of land on the high street into a green space in which to pause, be seated and enjoy a little can of what-you-fancy. The Sensible Seat, the world’s first park bench to be named after a punk, was unveiled by Captain Sensible himself two years ago. The solo artist and co-founder of punk legends, The Damned, went to school over the road and later went on to form The Blah! Party, whose policies included stopping the Iraq War and making John Prescott lose weight.
After sitting on this nobly reclaimed land awhile, it was time for a stroll in the fresh air and green pastures South Norwood is known for (possibly). There’s a lovely walk around South Norwood Lake and Grounds – a remarkable beauty spot that even some locals are yet to discover. The lake has several timber platforms dotted around it for anglers to spend the day in solitude with their maggots. They’re equally tempting for a toke with a view, if you like that sort of thing. However, I’d arranged to meet Half-life at the South Norwood Country Park, the area’s other green expanse, with the express purpose of playing an 18-hole game of pitch and putt on its lovingly tended course.
The walk to the park revealed a virtual graveyard of closed down pubs and a surfeit of pebbledash. The park itself has been through many changes over the years: From part of the Great North Wood, to ancient moated house, to sewage farm, it is now a real slice of the countryside, with no building in sight for most of its 125 acres and nature running amok, willy-nilly.
‘Thank fuck for the car noise,’ said Half-life of the distant sound of traffic. It is comforting being reminded you are not in the actual country and are only minutes from speed bumps, wifi and artisan olives. ‘What is a sewage farm anyway?’ he went on. ‘Aren’t we all sewage farms in a way?’
The park is now a glorious wilderness, but sadly, infuriatingly, the pitch and putt was closed, without explanation or indication of when it would open. Shit, being closed for no reason was taking this country imitation too far. I wouldn’t have minded so much but it was too early for the pub. What the fuck were we supposed to do with ourselves? It’s no wonder country people are forever stabbing horses in the arse for fun.
You could easily get lost in the Country Park and indeed we did, immediately, which at least lent us some purpose. When we found our way again we had to cross a tram line to get to the streets. It gave us that exciting sense of danger you get in the country, where you’re never entirely sure you’re not about to be eaten by a larger animal, like a wild boar or a farmer.
On the way to the pub, we ran into another pub. The Albert Tavern is a pleasant enough backstreeter that shows all the football and has a Sunday meat raffle. I love the idea of going to the pub to win dinner. Unfortunately my ale had more floaters than Tony Soprano’s pond, so we didn’t hang around. We headed to the Gold Coast, South Norwood’s West African pub. We’d just stopped for Guinness but the smell from the garden’s grill persuaded us to try the chef’s special: Chicken with rice and black-eyed peas. Flavourful and spicy, it was a real treat and a departure from most pub fare. This you don’t get in the country.
From there we travelled to the southernmost London pub of all time, the Joiners Arms. That is to say, the pub nearest the equator with a London post code. Beyond it is Croydon, a mysterious world from where few travellers have returned. The Joiners feels every bit as country as the park. Almost every inch of wall and ceiling is covered with ephemera, from horse brasses to stuffed birds. It’s dark, welcoming and cosy. Just a shame they didn’t have more than Doom Bar on, or we could have seen out the winter there.
We paused in Brickfields Meadow (a meadow on the site of an old brickworks) for a smoke in the children’s play area and pondered the significance of the concrete mini-maze like addled mystics.
By the time we arrived back at the Junction, it was still too early for the Antic pub to be open (don’t get me started), so we popped in the Cherry Tree, another ‘half a Guinness’ pub – a pub with either no ale, or ale you don’t trust. It’s Polish-run but nonetheless rather patriotic, with St George much in evidence. The regulars seemed a decent bunch, but Half-life watched in awe as a woman punched another woman in the face after she’d refused to let her assailant touch her hair.
In the garden there’s a mural of a Crystal Palace eagle smiting a Brighton seagull, reflecting one of football’s more mysterious rivalries. It’s thought it began, or at least intensified, in 1974/5 when the two teams, managed by Terry Venables and Alan Mullery respectively, played each other five times in one season. In a second FA Cup replay, the referee, Ron Challis, subsequently known as ‘Challis of the Palace’, ordered Brighton to retake a successful penalty because Palace players had encroached in the area. It was saved and Palace won 1-0. Mullery went ballistic, especially after a Palace fan chucked hot coffee at him. He threw down some change, shouting that it was all Crystal Palace were worth. They’ve hated each other ever since, to the bemusement of the wider football world.
I had to drag Half-life away as the Shelverdine Goathouse was about to open. We arrived at 15 seconds past four and were beaten to the bar by about half a dozen punters. Clearly the thirst for a decent pub is strong here. Having been deprived of a good pint all day, we made our way through their range: Beatnik, Signature Pale, Neck Oil and Jaipur, pausing between pints for a smoke up.
‘See you in 20 minutes, boys,’ the barmaid winked. And there was us thinking we were being discrete.
Half-life accused me of slipping him acid after coming out of the gents screaming, ‘The goats, the goats!’
He calmed down when I told him I’d seen the pictures on the wall of people with goats’ heads too. Something about the combination of Victorian refinement and cloven-hoofed weirdness freaked me the fuck out as well. It was probably the most powerful anti-drug message I’d ever seen. I tried not to look in their eyes and focus on the hands but my eyes were inexorably drawn to their spooky rectangular pupils. Worryingly, Half-life thanked me for making him feel normal.
Despite the exceptional ale array at the Goathouse, we sampled two other hospitable pubs nearby, the Albion, another solidly Palace and football pub (half a Guinness) and the Jolly Sailor (half a Guinness), so we could catch a game. Norwood’s first railway station was named the Jolly Sailor after the pub, a naming convention that we heartily approve of.
‘They should name all stations after pubs,’ suggested Half-life.
‘It would mean a lot of Kings Arms, et cetera, if you named stations after pubs. You wouldn’t necessarily know where you were.’ I said, like a bore.
‘You’d be in a pub. Who gives a fuck where you are?’ concluded Half-life.
We stayed a little longer as the welcoming hosts at the Sailor let Half-life order in Thai food (and chips). It had been a long day, but afterwards he wanted to go back to the ‘good pub’. I assumed he meant the Goathouse, another Antic success story, doing a thriving business with customers they weren’t even sure existed until they opened their doors. But from my bus window I saw him turn towards the Cherry Tree, possibly in hope of finding a nice girl with a criminal record for the night.
There was an application to open a late bar near Norwood Junction station in evidence. Along with the Goathouse, the Joiners, the Gold Coast and committed campaigns to reopen the lovely old Ship and Portmanor pubs, it’s easy to see South Norwood ‘happening’. It’s got a diverse community with a sense of civic pride and we all know the arrival of fine beer foreshadows enlightenment. It might have some rough edges but how else can you be sure you’re not in the country?