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One of Norwood’s lost buildings was the Technical College on Knight’s Hill

Norwood Society’s next local history meeting is on Thursday 18th May at 7.30.

The author and expert on Lambeth architecture and heritage advisor to the Mayor of London Edmund Bird will speak on the subject of Lambeth’s Lost Buildings.

The meeting will be held, as always, in the Upper Norwood Library, Westow Hill, SE19 1TJ. The Library is undergoing refurbishment and it may be that the entrance will be at the side on Beardell Street (look for the sign). There will be no lift access to the first floor where the talk will be taking place.

Please note the car park will be unavailable.


One minute’s silence was held for Bridget Driscoll, first victim of a motor car accident, was held in Crystal palace park last Friday – and for those who have died in road accidents since.

The occasion was to mark United Nations Global Road Safety Week 2017 which runs from 8-14 May 2017.

Among those attending the one minute silence held by RoadPeace were Living Streets local residents, Cllr Angela Wilkins, Cllr Richard Williams (both Bromley), GLA Green party member Caroline Russell and Ellie Reeves (Labour Parliamentary candidate for Lewisham West and Penge).

On Monday, 17th August, 1896, according to various contemporary reports, “at the Crystal Palace, just prior to the Roman Catholic sports, Mrs. Bridget Driscoll of Croydon was knocked down by a motor car”. She died minutes later, “despite the attentions of several doctors and Canon Keens”. Mrs Driscoll’s death made history, for she was the first person in Britain to be the fatal victim of a motor car.*

The fatal collision was watched by her 16 year old daughter, May, who gave evidence at the inquest.

****  Tragedy of the first motoring fatality ***

At the inquest for Mrs. Driscoll, it was heard that three cars regularly gave short demonstration rides on the Italian Terrace, provided by the nearby garage on Anerley Hill. May Driscoll, said that the car “was covering the ground rather quickly and was going in a zig-zag direction along the road” and that “the driver did not seem to understand how he was driving, he seemed to go anyhow”. The party had been “walking quietly along at the time of the accident”.

The jury returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased met with her death by being run over by a motor car, the cause of death being fracture of the skull, and they found that there was no negligence on the part of the driver, the death being purely accidental”.

When the foreman asked, “how are we to distinguish between accidental death and misadventure?”, the coroner replied, “it is one and the same verdict”.

Another notable exchange took place between Mr. H Barker, a barrister who “represented the owners of the motor car”, and Mrs. Murphy when he asked her, “You were paying no attention to the car?” She replied: “The car ought to have paid attention to us”.

*By kind permission from Crystal Palace Foundation, the full text article from ‘New Crystal Palace Matters’, The journal of the Crystal Palace Foundation, Issue 9, September 1996.


Around 30 trees have been felled in Stambourne Woods which stands between Church Road and Auckland Road.

A council spokesman told News From Crystal Palace: “The tree fellings were part of the council’s ongoing programme of woodland management.

“During a recent inspection, it was found that work was needed on some trees in order to reduce potential threat or hazard; in some instances it was necessary to fell trees for health and safety reasons.

“The works have been completed, subject to reinspection, which would generate, at most, only remedial work to trees that have been worked on.

“The blue numbers on trees are there simply as a guide to those trees needing work; the green number on one tree was probably from a previous survey, indicating that the tree has been worked on again.”


Good Taste on Westow Hill is closing for two days – for staff training in the form of wine tasting.

The dates will be: Tuesday 23rd May and Tuesday 6th June. “It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it” say Good Taste.


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