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South Norwood / Portland Road


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#1 360 Degrees

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 12:52 AM

Hello All

I was wondering if any VNers live or work in South Norwood, around the Portland Road area near to Norwood Junction Station? It rarely gets a mention on the forum and I wondered if anyone would mind sharing their views on the area, as it seems to be the poor relation to the mostly CP based VNers, that no-one wants to talk about?!

Assuming that most people are aware of the planned East London Line Extension (which is discussed in great detail on another thread) to Norwood Junction, I would be interested to hear about other views from residents and businesses, or any information of what else is going on or planned in the area.

What do the property owners in the area think about living there and how do they feel the area will be affected over the next 2-3 years?

Has anyone heard or seen anything about the proposed regeneration of Portland Road and its surrounding streets? Is there any neighbour watch areas that are up and running, etc?

Speak up and do not be shy VNers, no matter how little or large your comment!

Many thanks Julie
Julie Laughton - 360 Degrees - Improving Every Angle of Your Life. Property Maintenance Solutions, Lifestyle Management Services and Project Management for your Home Improvement Projects. Visit My Website Email for Info

#2 360 Degrees

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 01:36 AM

WOW! Complete tumbleweed...

I cannot believe that no-one out there has an opinion of South Norwood?
Julie Laughton - 360 Degrees - Improving Every Angle of Your Life. Property Maintenance Solutions, Lifestyle Management Services and Project Management for your Home Improvement Projects. Visit My Website Email for Info

#3 jannism

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 08:12 AM

Isn't this the kind of service your business offers or are you simply conducting market research?

FWIW I lived on Chalfont road for 3 years and while I found it a pleasant enough place to be, I avoided the high street like the plague. It was always a crowded, dirty, smelly street with few (if any) decent shops and the kind of oppressive atmosphere that keeps one on one's toes for fear of being set upon by almost anyone with whom your path crossed. Match days were either incredibly exciting, with the place thronging with happy, drunken people or incredibly exciting with the place buzzing with an air of menace...

Portland road was always quieter with the standard proliferation of chicken shops and the like, although many of the adjascent residential roads seemed ok or even, dare I say it, quite nice.

I hope it's changed in recent years. I doubt it has.

Edited by jannism, 19 March 2008 - 08:22 AM.


#4 timetraveller

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 10:36 PM

I also live in South Norwood and would be keen to know from other VNers what's planned as am fairly new to the area - even in the short time I've lived here, it's already changing - for better and worse (on balance more better I'd say).... some new retail premises opening on the High St - including one that even sells things you'd consider buying and, gasp, is not a fast food joint/nail and hair shop/estate agent (though we've had another 2 of those opening in an many months). It would also appear that lots of other shops are refurbing and tidying up somewhat. And that ghastly David House is being demolished, hurrah. On the down side, I was sad to see Kennedy's empire close down. Our high st branch is now sitting forlornly empty and unloved :(

However, I have heard that we're about to get our first proper coffee shop - but that might just be wishful thinking of course... Portland Rd even has an organic type food shop recently open, though I've not been down there as it's closed Saturdays (don't understand that logic but hey...).

#5 360 Degrees

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:55 PM

:D

Great to hear that there are some new shops opening in the area, they say that a coffee shop is one of the things to look out for, although I must admit I must be one of the few people who do not like the taste of coffee and much prefer the idea of an Organic Shop!

My friend has just had an offer accepted on a house in a road off of Portland Road and is trying to tempt me into the area from Upper Norwood, so she has a friend nearby... We drove around the neighbouring streets the other night like a couple of detectives discussing the merits and pitfalls of the area, when I suggested that we could put the topic to the VN forum for a honest and up to date opinion of what is going on at the moment. Sometimes the information that the Estate Agents and Council give you is not based on actual experience of waking up every day in the area and using the local amenities and services, but local residents and businesses say it as it is!

It is interesting to see the new Leisure Centre open again, I used to swim there many moons ago as a child. Does anyone know if they have other facilities there apart from swimming now?

I am sure I will be driving around for a while yet (they say it will be 8 weeks until she moves - Gulp!), discovering all the weird and wonderful things about South Norwood that I never realised before, so please do not be alarmed if you see two women slowly cruising past your window sometime soon!
Julie Laughton - 360 Degrees - Improving Every Angle of Your Life. Property Maintenance Solutions, Lifestyle Management Services and Project Management for your Home Improvement Projects. Visit My Website Email for Info

#6 Spoon

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 03:23 PM

The leisure centre has got a gym. Went to have a look on grand re-opening night last year.

I think South Norwood has a lot going for it and can surely only be on the up after years as the poor relation. Portland Road gets good reviews in terms of restaurants, etc. There's a Portland Road Society or some such name - maybe Friends of Portland Road - I think they're a member of VN.

In a book I have on the Norwoods/Palace, it points out that South Norwood is the only one still to look so much like it did in the 50s, even in the sense of what the shops specialised in. The author says things like, even if the shop is now a newsagent with sweets, it is still on the site of the old confectioner's, and so on. The book is a few years old itself now, though, and I imagine he wasn't counting places like Blockbuster or the nail places.

#7 trixie

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 05:22 PM

I moved to South Norwood last autumn - was actually hoping for Crystal Palace area but couldn't afford it - and managed to get a very affordable victorian house with a decent garden. The street's really quiet during the day and even quieter at night apart from a couple of frisky foxes, and at least we're not in a controlled parking zone. Takes me exactly 5 mins to toddle up to NJ Station and if you plan things right you can get one of the half hourly non-stop trains to London Bridge which takes 12 minutes. Not bad if you fancy a stroll along the South Bank! On the downside the High Street & Portland Road are a tad run down, but full of amazing takeaways (especially Portland Rd). There's a fantastic boozer called The Ship by Goat House Bridge - looks quite small from the outside but when you go in stretches for miles & has a huge garden out the back. Its a proper "old" pub in every sense, welcoming and sells 4 different real ales. There's also the atmospheric Country Park, Norwood lakes and Brickfields Meadow which has its resident regular fishermen sitting patiently with their flasks & sarnies. Everyone I talk to is convinced house prices will start to rise once the underground/overground happens in 2010. South Norwood does get odd reactions from people though: its like we're seen as the poorer cousin to Upper & West Norwood. If ever I'm up CP way and asked where I live, when I say South Norwood there's a sort of embarrassed silence, not quite knowing what to say - I'm not sure if its pity or the fact that not many people venture that way! There's a group called People for Portland Road who are organising an Arts Festival in June - apparently there was one last year.

#8 Spoon

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 05:41 PM

That's it - People for Portland Road.

I agree with everything, Trixie. Bought my first flat in South Norwood and never had a day of regret. 12 minutes to London Bridge is great and of course you get Tony's fish and chips on the walk home - what more do you want? We're triangle now but it's nothing against South Norwood, simply the house we needed came up there.

I love my flat.

Getting misty-eyed now. As well as allowing dogs in the office, work gives us unlimited beers, wine and cocktails in the office every Friday at 5...

#9 trixie

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 06:09 PM

Blimey - has your work got any vacancies?!

#10 Ziwa

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 08:27 PM

there have been a number of threads discussing South Norwood - did you do a search? I used to send them to a friend of mine - and he ended up buying a house in S. Norwood. He (now a 'they') are very happy there. We've gone to meet them in The Ship - a pub they are happy to be near as well.

#11 Tui

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 11:19 PM

I've lived here 3 years, and agree with all the posts so far about the area. It's nice to see that other VNers live here too, i thought I was the only one!

The high street shops aren't great, which is a shame as there are some pretty victorian buildings. Glad to see that awful pebble dashed David House is coming down ... does anyone know waht will be in it's place?

#12 360 Degrees

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 11:34 PM

Just had a sneeky peep on the Croydon Council Website and it would appear that there are several applications to convert shops into flats and other types of residential accomodation along Portland Road... Also seen a Sold board on the outside of the large green (I think) pub on the right hand side of Portland Road, near The Ship, that is currently being used as a rather fetching car sales front, wonder if it will be turned into another pub or will be some nice flats? I do not know the name or door number of the old pub, so could not investigate further. :ph34r: Maybe all this change from commercial to residental properties will help the look of the area, although it seems a shame to lose shop fronts to more housing developments... maybe I need to get my friend to list all the well know shops she wants nearby and we can start writing to them to get their attention on the local empty plots - if it worked in getting Sainsburys into CP maybe we can do something similar to South Norwood.

Had a look at The People for Portland Road website (www.peopleforportlandroad.org.uk) and it does mention the latest Art Festival which is on from the 18th - 22nd June 2008, plus they are having a Posh Up Portland Road on 10th May where everyone puts on luminous jackets and picks the streets bare of unwanted debris. The list of all the shops and businesses along the road is also handy when not wanting to travel too far for something and by the look of things they are mostly independant shops, not chain stores.
Julie Laughton - 360 Degrees - Improving Every Angle of Your Life. Property Maintenance Solutions, Lifestyle Management Services and Project Management for your Home Improvement Projects. Visit My Website Email for Info

#13 trixie

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 08:44 PM

People for Portland Road are having their AGM on Weds 16th April, 7.30pm at Stanley Halls. Looks like anyone can go, so might be worth a shout.

#14 timetraveller

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 08:43 PM

Thanks for that Trixie... I will definitely be toddling down to Stanley Halls on 16th. The area will never change unless the local population get the opportunity to say what they want for the area! :)

#15 timetraveller

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 09:40 PM

I stand corrected on an earlier posting re the rumoured coffee shop - which I'm happy to say has now opened at long last (last week in fact), hurrah!
I think it's called No. 10 (the shop front isn't named as yet but it's the red and black stylish looking corner premises on the high st, can't miss it - puts the other, er, cringeworthy caff offerings in the vicinity to shame). Please do go in there and say hello - the owner Mike is very friendly and eager to get feedback from Snorewoodites like me.... I believe it won't be long before they are doing brunch, which means even I could be temped away from CP on a saturday!