Hidden away in West Norwood, behind the Vale Street recycling centre is our local Community Shop. This provides quality food at low prices to those who need it most. They do this by taking surplus food from manufacturers and retailers that would otherwise go to waste. The food is sold to members at up to 50% off the usual retail price. To join
If you care for a child or children and they receive free school meals, or you are on any means tested benefit, then the Community Shop is currently offering free £15 food vouchers per child, per week, for six weeks! To get your vouchers, just head down to the shop with proof of free school meal eligibility or your benefits.
The Brixton Chamber Orchestra put on a storming performance on the estate yesterday, playing music in a wide variety of styles: musical theatre, Argentinian tango, Irish dance, hip hop, classical, punk rock and more! The weather looked threatening, but the rain held off and the event was enjoyed by both residents and visitors from the wider area.
Thank you to Hugh Johnson for taking these photos.
If you missed yesterday’s event, you can still catch them later today at Cressingham Gardens Estate (2pm) and Lambeth Towers (5pm).
The Friends of Hillside Gardens Park will be holding their popular summer football coaching sessions again this year. There will be three weekly sessions with the first on Saturday 22 August at 2pm. There will be more sport, including football, at the annual Hillside Gardens Park sports day on Saturday 12 September. The sessions are free and open to all children aged 7 to 12 years. You can sign up for each session here.
After a delay caused by the current epidemic, PRERA will be holding our AGM on Tuesday 8th September at 7.30pm. To comply with government guidelines to minimise the risk of infection, we will hold the AGM online using the Zoom conferencing platform. It should be possible to attend the AGM using most computers and smartphones that are connected to the internet.
Alternatively, you can join by telephone, by dialing 020 3481 5240. The meeting ID is 834 5775 4497 and the passcode is 550358.
We realise that not everyone will be able to attend, just as with the usual face to face meetings, so we apologise if this is the case for you. We invite everyone to submit questions for the current committee in advance of the meeting. Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also contact us if you would like to get involved in the work of the association, whether as a committee member or not.
There has been a toxic haze of diesel smoke hanging over the estate for over a week. This is caused by a diesel generator running on the Coburg Crescent building site. PRERA has been told by Farrans that a replacement generator is on order. However, no date has been given for when this hazard will be removed.
You may have noticed that some signs have appeared at the play area saying that antimicrobial cleaning agents have been applied. PRERA have made enquiries and have been told that a product made by Zoono was used. This is probably Z-71 – the product that Transport for London uses.
Please note that Z-71 is an antimicrobial agent and coronavirus isn’t a microbe. So please continue with good hygiene practices, including washing hands before and after using the play equipment.
Interestingly, according to the Daily Telegraph, Zoono was told to stop claiming that Z-71 was “more than 99.9pc effective against COVOID-19 [sic]”. This claim was removed from their website after the intervention of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The safety data sheet for Z-71 can be downloaded here.
The geraniums which we planted in the long bed at the entrance to Coburg Crescent, near Despard House, had been doing particularly well. There has been a fine display of green foliage and pink flowers this spring and summer.
In early August the geraniums in this bed lost their leaves and flowers and their stems were damaged.
The geraniums along the length of the bed were damaged in this way. The photos below from early July and early August are “before” and “after” images. In the “before” photo, geranium foliage can be seen along the length of the front of the bed; this was still present at the beginning of August. In the “after” photo, the geranium foliage along the front of the bed has disappeared.
The damage occurred on Monday 3 or Tuesday 4 August. A member of the Estate’s gardening group spotted the damage on the Tuesday afternoon. Pinnacle – the council’s grounds maintenance contractors – had been on the estate on the Monday to mow and strim.
Pieces of geranium foliage had been left lying in the bed. These demonstrate that the plants had still been in leaf when they were damaged.
The gardening group co-ordinator has sent a complaint to Lambeth Council asking for an apology for the damage and replacement of the damaged plants. She has also asked for assurance that the council and their contractors will not damage other planting performed by residents. An update will be provided on this blog once a full response has been received.
One of the gardening group’s aims is to brighten up the estate and the local area. Recently we brought a disused planter on Palace Road, outside Baly House, back into use.
In June we cleared the planter of weeds and self-seeded trees. We also broke up the compacted soil. Here are members of the group hard at work.
Then in July we put in the wonderful plants shown in the photos below. These plants were donations from Chelsea Physic Garden. This amazing garden, tucked away beside the Thames, is the oldest botanic garden in London. It contains a collection of around 5,000 different edible, useful and medicinal plants that have changed the world. It’s well worth a visit!
Many thanks to Nell Jones, the Head Gardener at Chelsea Physic Garden, for passing these spare plants on to our community gardening group. Thanks too to Iain Houten, Marketing Officer, for helping to arrange for us to collect them.
Do you have further ideas for how the gardening group could brighten up the estate? Would you like to get involved? Do contact us at email@example.com
We chose the area between the service road and Chalner, Despard and Ponton Houses. This spot gets good sunlight for most of the day. Lots of residents pass by and can enjoy seeing the plants grow and help to pick the produce. Also, several members of the gardening group live close by and can help with watering. We informed Lambeth Council, as the legal landowners, of our plans.
Step 2: Moving the planters into place
The planters were made by Farrans at the Resource Centre construction site with wood salvaged from the old shop. We carried them through the estate to their new home.
Step 3: Lining the planters
Next, we lined the planters. The material was kindly donated by Iain Houten from Mawbey Farm on Mawbey Brough Estate in north Lambeth. We used a staple gun to secure the liner to the planter.
Step 4: Knocking the planters into the ground
We knocked the planters into the ground using a very big hammer to ensure that they would be stable and wouldn’t move.
Learning point: The lining material started to come off whilst we were knocking the planters into the ground. When we installed two further planters the following weekend, we lined the planters after knocking them into the ground. That worked much better.
Learning point: The ground is very hard in this area of the estate and it was very difficult to knock the first two planters into the ground. We asked Farrans to make the next two planters with much shorter legs. That made this step much easier.
Step 5: Filling the planters with soiland compost
We filled the planters with soil which Farrans had given us from the Resource Centre construction site. We added compost on the top. This had been kindly donated by Pinnacle.
Step 6: Planting seedlings
Children from the estate, helped by their parents, planted seedlings in the new planters.
Step 7: Watering the new seedlings
The children watered the seedlings after planting them. A team of residents from the estate is continuing to water the plants every day.
Would you like to get involved with the Palace Road Estate gardening group? If so, do get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
At the end of June and in early July, the Palace Road Estate gardening group installed four planters in the grassy area between Chalner, Despard and Ponton Houses. We’re growing herbs and vegetables for local residents to harvest and enjoy.
The planters were made by Farrans who are building the Resource Centre on Coburg Crescent.
We took soil from the construction site to fill the planters. Reusing materials in this way is good for the environment.
Local children helped to plant herbs and vegetable seedlings in the new planters. The plants are being watered regularly by a team of local residents and they’re looking really healthy. Tomatoes, beans and squashes are starting to form and will hopefully be ready to pick soon.
Thank you to the following people:
Farrans for building the planters and providing the soil