Sports Feast on Sunday 2 July!

Put your trainers on this Sunday because we have SO MUCH sporting activity planned! Which obviously means you can feast just that little bit extra because you will be working it all off…

Sports Day for kids!

There literally will be fun and games up at the kids picnic and play area! Egg and spoon type races throughout the day and at midday Moving Matters and Nutty’s Drama and Sports holiday camp doing activities to promote their summer camp!

The Better team from the leisure centre will be doing circuits, boxing, spinning and rowing – AND they will be offering FREE DAY PASSES as prizes for winning challengers!

Feast festival entertainments

Feast’s open mic performance space for young people has a really special line up this month. Be sure to catch some tiny weeny ballerinas from Rose Arts, an inspirational talk by 12 year old Inspiring Vanessa and the Royal Society for Blind Children‘s Youth Choir performing at 14.20.

PoetrySlabs are doing readings about bicycles in Bon Velo – who are offering a free pastry to anyone who buys a strengthy Volcano coffee in their shop (get there early, once the cakes are gone, they are gone!)

Local sporting promos!

Those of you who watch our Facebook feed will have seen a plethora of offers from all the local businesses who have any link to sport, health and activity. Here’s just a selection.

The Portico Gallery are offering a Feast day of free yoga.

These guys great guys from FitFunActive will be at the Family Wellbeing hub all day doing energetic kinds of workout things – please feel free to join in (and join up, they have a 45% DISCOUNT for those who sign up to personal training via this link!)

The Netball Club are offering a 10% discount for those who sign up and mention Feast…

West Norwood has its own dive school (who knew?) (we did!)

Purple Turtle Diving are offering 25% off to the first 20 people to book onto a Discover Scuba Dive! Vouchers can be bought as presents and will be valid for 6 months. (When booking please use code FEASTDSD25)

After all that sport, some of us might need a massage… West Norwood Therapies have a raffle on, look out for the ladies with the balloons!

Get walking!

In addition to Feast there are two other events happening this Sunday! We have L’Arche’s Summer Fair at the Gothic Lodge gardens (just a short walk from the Artisans Hub on Chatsworth Way)

And we have another wonderful West Norwood Jumbletrail! You’ll have to walk around ALL of West Norwood to check out everyone’s yards…and then come back to Feast for some R&R (and food).

At the time of writing, this year’s Jumbletrail has 114 participants, if you want to take part you have until midnight to be included on the posters…

The Hainthorpe Tenants and Residents association are also having a tabletop sale – this will on the path right near the picnic and play area so be sure to check it out.

WeNo blog

A couple of Feast volunteers work together to bring out a monthly blog featuring one of West Norwood’s businesses. This month it’s the children’s clothing and uniform shop’s turn in the spotlight. Read here all about in An Insider’s Guide to…Wear Abouts!

Food Week

Assuming you are reading this in the week, we still have two Station to Station Food Week events left, the community BBQ at the Portico Gallery on Friday evening and afternoon tea at Frangipani on Saturday.

And finally…

If you really wanted to see Feast Film Night’s screening of Dazed and Confused at the Book and Record Bar last month but couldn’t – don’t worry, it was postponed! It is now on at exactly the right time – the last day of term! This being Friday 21 July…

See you all at Feast!

West Norwood and Tulse Hill Food Week, 24th June – 2nd July

West Norwood and Tulse Hill’s third annual Food Week starts next week, from 24th June – 2nd July, celebrating the culture, diversity and creativity in our area.
Featuring storytelling, art, live music, family-friendly events and much more.


Some of SE27’s favourite local pubs and restaurants will be participating, plus pop-up events in more unusual venues.


We will start off with The Great North Wood’s WoodFest, a two-day celebration of live music and good food, beer and cider, with activities for kids, and a hogroast on Sunday.


You can choose between the very best of contemporary British food at Knowles of Norwood on Monday (Book here) or a stylish modern Italian menu at The Garden on Tuesday (Book here)

Whilst Tulse Hill Hotel is bringing fish, chips, battered saveloy and deep fried Mars Bars to town for one night only.


On Wednesday, Park Hall Business Centre are hosting a unique storytelling event featuring local foodie businesses and featuring Indian street food from Lucknow 2 London, wine, locally brewed beer and of course Volcano coffee. Book a free ticket here

POP West Norwood, the new hair salon on the high street, will be featuring a local artist, Mr Dane, painting their windows on Thursday – a one-off live art event not to be missed, free to drop in and watch him at work!

The Portico Gallery are putting on a fantastic community meal for all the family on Friday, with arts and crafts and junk modelling for the kids in conjunction with local artists. Book Here (free for children under 6)

There are two chances to sample something new on Saturday – afternoon tea from Frangipani launching a brand new menu, (Book here) and an Indian Feast with Bollywood singer at Village Masaleh.


Finally on Sunday we’ll wrap it all up with July Feast, and the L’Arche Summer Fair at Gothic Lodge on Idmiston Road.


Whatever you are interested in, there is bound to be something for you – check our Eventbrite page for all the details in one place, and get booking!

WeNo Guide to…Hobby’s!

It’s Spring and FEAST is back! And so our intrepid reporter set off once more to explore the streets of West Norwood, meeting local traders.

Presenting Hobby’s, a family business for model makers and hobbyists since the 1950s. Stray behind Knight’s Hill into the quiet streets of the industrial area to find their large warehouse – the location of Hobby’s retail and wholesale since the 1970s. Following the sign to the shop entrance reveals a bygone era showroom with a hotchpotch of doll’s houses, matchstick models and power tools for model making. This belies the fact that beyond the counter and out of view of the customer, lies a comprehensive selection of model making and hobby stock. Behind the scenes, there is a 15-strong team busy servicing the mail-order side of the business, sending out goods nationwide and internationally. So if you have popped into the showroom to browse, make sure you look at the annual catalogue. Ask, and a member of staff will source what you choose from the warehouse. To give you an indication of the shelves and shelves of items nestling in West Norwood, the 2017 catalogue boasts 324 pages, ranging from model planes, boats, railways, crafts such as glass engraving and candle making, and a large section on the fittings to create a doll’s house – everything the dedicated model enthusiast could desire. But also lurking amongst the specialist model making goods, there are items for the gift hunter or budding hobbyist – wooden self-assembly kits, remote-controlled toys and 3D puzzles to name just a few.

The origins of the business go back to the glory days of hobbying. Owner Mike Crossland explains how his father WF Crossland, who was station master at Tulse Hill, was persuaded by a Swiss relative to sell 50 musical movements (for the uninitiated, these are the musical parts that can be used in toys, boxes, clocks and models). He first placed an ad in Practical Householder, the business took off and eventually he opened a shop at 202 Tulse Hill. When his father retired from the railways, he took new premises at 109 Norwood High Street trading under the name of Swisscross, playing on the Swiss connection and family name.

Eventually they expanded to 62 Norwood High Street and changed the name to Hobby’s to reflect the widening of their stock. Mike comments that those early days of the business were an era when people made things in their leisure time, pre-digital revolution if you can recall or imagine life then. Now, he says sadly, some of the model making high street shops Hobby’s supply are closing – a sign of the times. Mike expands: “People also made things because they couldn’t afford them”. Nowadays, model making is a niche market catering for a distinct community. It’s a labour of love to create and decorate a doll’s house – you don’t do it because you can’t afford one. Indeed, the components available for the larger scale doll’s houses have become more sophisticated, with designer wall papers and carpets, and even electric light fittings!

So, who are Mike’s customers in the here and now? Not surprisingly, many are older generation. A lot of regulars have worked with their hands all their lives and now they have retired, immersing themselves in a making project. Then Mike smiles sheepishly, there are quite a few living courtesy of Her Majesty, either buying direct or via the prison shop! A fact confirmed by a heartfelt “thank you” from a former prisoner on their FB page. And what are their most popular items currently? Well, the biggest seller is matchstick kits, where you stick matches onto card templates to make a model. In fact, Hobby’s create and package the kits themselves; sometimes using the design suggestions of their model making regulars. Galleons are very popular – model ships such as the Cutty Sark. And musical movements still feature in the catalogue as a throwback to the company’s origins. There are some sweet self-assembly wooden music boxes for children. Mikes smiles – in the 1970s, they used to supply musical movements for ice-cream vans.

So how about tech… the digital market? Mike comments that they don’t stray too much into tech as you need to service enquires when a customer gets stuck. Also, it’s a highly competitive market. He is content – they have expertise in physical model making and have the know-how to support their customers, but they are on a continual quest for new stock. Mike has been a regular at Nuremberg Toy Fair, staying at the same hotel over a 20-year period. Now, his son goes to what is the biggest toy fair in the world. Fairs provide a great opportunity to meet suppliers and search for latest toys. Mike remembers with satisfaction stumbling over 3D foam jigsaw puzzles at an American toy fair. It was a totally new concept at the time and he promptly bought £8000 of stock from the small Canadian supplier, sold it all and ordered another 11x 40ft containers worth. Eventually, Hasbro broke up the party by taking over the supplier!And then it was time to leave Mike behind the shop counter. Our reporter left musing over a quote from the catalogue: “Happy is the person with a hobby for they have two worlds to live in“.

Hobby’s Ltd

2 Knight’s Hill Square

SE27 0HH

Mon-Fri 9 to 5pm and Sat 9 to 1pm – online catalogue