Bishop’s Folly 228 South Norwood Hill

Bishop’s Folly, 228, formerly called St Helen’s was in 1960 the home of Mr Amphlett Micklewright, the first Chairman of the NORWOOD SOCIETY and Mrs Helen Hamilton Flint.  Mrs Hamilton Flint was the first Honorary Secretary of the Norwood Society, or as it was first known ‘The Society for the Preservation of Upper Norwood and District’.  The inaugural meeting, called by Mr Micklewright, took place at All Saint’s School 5 February 1960.  Its aims were:

  • To influence public opinion and assure local authorities of the Society’s interest.
  • To preserve, protect and improve the amenities of the district.
  • To ensure that unoccupied land be kept in good order.
  • Gradually to build up cultural activities.
  • To issue publications bearing upon the aims and activities of the Society.

 

After the first year, in which it was growing in numbers and experience, the Society decided to change its name to ‘The Norwood Society’. The word ‘Preservation’ was not a complete success. ‘What is there to preserve?’ was the facetious comment of some as they surveyed the post-war desolation. That the Society was really seeking to preserve the opportunity for enabling a new Norwood to emerge from the ashes of the old, so that it should compare favourably with its earlier charm, was perhaps too obscure. Preservation of trees, so distinctive a feature of Norwood, and their replacement when lost, was a first priority. Protection of skylines was another urgent matter. Preservation of semi-derelict Victorian houses that could not be adapted to modern requirements was not in the master plan.

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