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46308153_10160835677215411_6670784483630776320_oNever have we felt so proud to be a part of the South Norwood community as we did on Wednesday night. Over 300 people turned out to show that half a dozen half-wits with a cardboard box do not speak for us.

The media like to look for leaders and talk about organisers, but Wednesday nights silent march in solidarity with Grenfell was a result of the spontaneous mass outpouring of feeling across the community that something had to be done – and the people of South Norwood got out there and made it happen.

It was a sombre event but it was also a beautiful event. To be surrounded by so much love and solidarity is a reminder of what humanity can and should be. So many different people helped out, doing what they could. It showed what we are capable of as a community when we come together.

It was small mindedness, self-interest and spite that led to the terrible events of Grenfell. The idea that some people’s lives are somehow worth less than others. We will not forget those who died because someone thought that it was “reasonable” to cut corners; because our leaders put fiscal “prudence” before prudence with people’s lives.

We will continue to stand in solidarity with Grenfell. We will stand with them in their fight for justice. As long as it takes.

And maybe one day we will live in a world where lives matter more than spreadhseets. The people of North Kensington and now the people of South Norwood have shown that many of us already do. Perhaps one day our leaders will too.

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Stands With Grenfell

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Storm In A Chip Shop

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Port in a storm? (Photo by Learning Lark)

Last week a throw away comment on social media regarding the relative pricing of fish and chips in pubs caused quite a stir. We were accused of being negative. “Why are you talking down local businesses?” we were asked, “Surely the point of the tourist board is to promote business in the area?”

Indeed we have promoted businesses in the area. When people have made thinly veiled complaints about the number of barbers and chicken shops in the area we have been happy to celebrate South Norwood as the place where you can get a good haircut, a bellyful of chicken and still go home with change in your pocket. We celebrate South Norwood in all its wonderful diversity.

We also aim to be inclusive – which is why, to date, we have never charged a penny for any of the events we have organised. We understand that businesses operate in a different environment and that they might have different strategies to achieve their bottom line. We also understand from the proposed strike action by Wetherspoon’s staff that cheap beer and food can often be bought on the backs of the workers. But we also know people in the local community who genuinely can’t afford to come out and drink with us; wonderful community spirited people who we would happily stand a few drinks for – but if they can’t afford to buy a round they won’t come.

It is a difficult knot to untangle. Capital poisons the relationships of all it touches. Pubs in particular like to be seen as more than businesses; the centre of the community. We love a pub. We love our community. It is the people who are the heart of South Norwood. From the outset, we have been clear with pubs about our belief in inclusive pricing structures. We know this is just one of many pressures that pubs face, especially independents. We will continue to support them all to the best of our ability (and capacity) – but we make no apologies for also encouraging businesses to consider the whole community. We might be the tourist board but no-one should feel like a tourist in their own community – not unless it’s part of our grand plan to make everyday a holiday – for everyone.

Velázquez_-_El_Triunfo_de_Baco_o_Los_Borrachos_(Museo_del_Prado,_1628-29)

The Triumph of Bacchus by  Diego Velázquez

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All Aboard!

Trip Around South Norwood

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Hello all,

Our t-shirt campaigns are now over and the “We are all Sharon” and the “SNTB Logo” T-shirts have succeeded in going to print. If you purchased one of these thank you; they should be winging their way to you in the near future.

Apparently total sales ended up at over £650 of which we will receive about £200. This will go towards our forthcoming Tourist Guide. A great success and encouragement for us to make further products in the future.

Thank you all again for supporting!

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Hello all,

Just to let you all know that you have one day left to get yourself one of our t-shirts. Currently we have the SNTB logo and the Sharon T-shirt that are definitely going ahead; Picklesfest is lagging. Now is your chance!

Here are the links:

Sharon T-shirt

Picklesfest

South Norwood Tourist Board

Also thank you to those that have already committed to purchase; please expect your payments to go through over the next few days.

 

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Hello again all,

So we have two weeks left of our t-shirt campaign and here is the current state of play:

The “Tourist Board logo” t-shirt has sold 12 and is definitely going to print at the end of the campaign. Thank you for all those who have bought so far.

The “We are all Sharon” t-shirt has sold 9. Hopefully we can persuade one more person to buy so that the silk screen design can be made up and the shirts made.

“Picklesfest” and “Don’t F with the Tourist Board are lagging but there is still plenty of time left.

Here are the links to the pages:

Tourist Board Logo

We are all Sharon

Picklesfest

Don’t F*ck with the Tourist Board

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