South Norwood Net Community Group

Local History

Image credit: Croydon Council

Tracing the Past of South Norwood offers a peek into South Norwood’s unique heritage.  Inspired by the neighbourhood walks led by long-time resident John Hickman, it traces the earliest days of South Norwood as the Croydon Canal arrived and the short-lived atmospheric railway of the early 19th century. It also introduces some of the fascinating people and businesses that shaped the area and the people creating new stories for today’s community.

A special thanks to everyone who contributed to the film and to the Jolly Sailor, Stanley Arts and Little Mouse for opening their doors for us. This film was produced by Snowmedia, a South Norwood creative company specialising in film and communications.

Funded by Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme as part of Croydon Council’s South Norwood Regeneration Programme. For more information visit


Tracing the Past of South Norwood

You can also watch the film in three excerpts focussing on the origins, shops and people of South Norwood. 

The Origins : how the arrival of the canal and railway in the 19th century shaped South Norwood.

The Shops : locals recall their memorable high street shops of the past and we meet some of today’s shopkeepers.

The People : an introduction to some of the many notable people of South Norwood, composers, suffragettes and suffragists, inventors and philanthropists.


Want to learn more? 

Discover more of what makes South Norwood an amazing place to live and visit with our History page


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