How a once-derelict patch of ground, is helping to galvanise a community in one corner of South London.
It doesn’t take much to make a familiar place unfamiliar. A change in the weather – rain, bright sunshine, or more dramatically, snowfall or fog can all do it. Smells too – who hasn’t found themselves aware of sniffing more consciously than normal when drains are blocked, or there’s a whiff of barbecue, bonfire or worse in the air?
And then of course there are a place’s distinctive sounds.
In 1837 London was growing rapidly and expanding at the edges. The city had an urgent need for space and not just for its living – the metropolitan dead also needed somewhere else to go…
An ordinary looking grassy field, at the foot of Gipsy Hill in South London, turns out to be anything but…
You can tell a lot about a place from the local shops.
Especially on Norwood Road.
A landmark’s physical presence is usually the thing that draws me to it, but in the case of Honor Oak’s One Tree Hill, it was the name that attracted me.
When I first went there, my journey became as much a walk towards an idea as it was towards a place.
The pervading spirit of some places hangs quite obviously in the air. Even if you’re only passing through and not looking very hard, the distinctive atmosphere will soon make itself apparent.
West Norwood isn’t one of those places.