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.





A rare thing has happened in South Norwood, a community group which exists to serve it’s current community; restricting the tickets to a fair price, with 20% being given away free to those who couldn’t otherwise come.


Crowdfunding is a wonderful way to raise funds, hoping that the community will pledge what they can feasibly afford to give, no matter how small, allowing pricing to be fair and appropriate. It’s easy to stereotype and use pricing to keep out the ‘riff raft’ or create a vibe like Crystal Palace. Stanley Film Club accept South Norwood for what it is, warts and all, and our community should accept nothing less.


It is a brave move for SFC, as if they don’t hit their target they get nothing, which only results in providing less of a free fun packed afternoon for all the kids.

It is Christmas, most people are broke but even 50p may make the difference, all church congregations could step up and offer support to ensure that kindness, respect and integrity are key to a good community, not in principle but in practice.

A community is only as good as those who participate, whilst a younger generation will follow the standards we set.



Success may also be the first nail in the coffin, encouraging others to continue hammering; a clear message that South Norwood may not be pretty at first glance but its a fucking great place to live.




screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-19-52-37How do you top an opening of last years imaginary Christmas lights, introduce Sharon, the Shining Sensible Saviour Celebrating South Norwood.

In true SNTB style our comrade Rose has marked the season with our very own ‘Angel of South Norwood – London’s Lake District’. Armed with scissors in one hand, and a chicken drumstick in the other, Sharon is representative of the ‘melting pot’ which is South Norwood, a wonderful mixture of all vibrant and diverse cultures.

The creator is a member of citizen group the South Norwood Tourist Board. She added: “The chicken and the scissors are emblems of hope and industry and symbols of our roots. They are also found on the South Norwood Tourist Board flag.

“It reminds people we should be proud of our working class roots. Sharon is gazing lovingly towards our high street and she is really happy about it.”

The Mirror

The Mirror, Evening Standard and Time Out have articles, interviewing Rose and name checking the world famous SNTB; I think Australia and South America are the only continents not to have reported on events in our wonderful area but I’m sure Sharon may change this, especially if Brazil get jealous that Sharon has her hands full!


All at SNTB love it and now the media has caught on, we expect Sharon to have her own Facebook page, Twitter account and agent. It has even been rumoured that the Democratic Party in USA are considering asking Sharon to run against Donald Trump in the next election but this may be a pack of lies.

If you are travelling on Southern Rail, look out for the glowing light that radiates from Sharon, bringing Peace, Joy, sensibility and hopefully a wry smile during our festive season.


The Mirror

The Standard

Time Out

These are just a few but we’ll keep you updated on Facebook.

If anyone can get Boris Johnson or Donald Trump to comment on Sharon, SNTB will buy them a pint, and present a framed photo of them next to Sharon – LET THE WHOLE WORLD KNOW OF SOUTH NORWOOD.



Thanks to Tom Ziebell for permission to use his photo.

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…

–“Jimmy Swaggert”–

Be inspired not led.

……..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!