Croydon’s Mayor officially cut the ribbon to mark the completion of a stunning mosaic at a ceremony where residents spoke about how it had become a symbol of respect and community.
Young and old who didn’t even know each others names before the project have become firm friends since working together to create the mosaic on Frant Road.
Over the summer they collected tiles and bits of broken crockery working with artist Grace Holliday who prepared a draft design using ideas from local residents who named which flowers they would like to see in the summer garden mosaic.
Last Saturday (Nov 30) residents gathered around to see Mayor Humayun Kabir, a Bensham Manor ward councillor, cut the ribbon and hear speeches from those involved in the project including 23-year-old resident Anpu Sivokumaran, and nine -year-old Tiah Caesa.
The mosaic was part of a Street Action project led by Thornton Heath Community Action Team and funded by the People’s Health Trust with the aim of breaking down barriers by uniting people from many different backgrounds, to help residents feel safer and more connected, whilst improving their streets.
Over 200 residents have been involved in various ways to make their streets cleaner, and greener throughout the two year project which won £26,000 funding.
Anpu who has lived on Frant Road for 10 years said: “What started off as a small mural has actually brought together various people on this road who otherwise admit would never have met. I’ve met some really great people that before I would have walked past looking at floor. It’s created dialogue, it’s improved people’s sense of security, it’s improved the aesthetic of the area and reduced littering; as people see people care about the street live on. What might seem like random collection of broken crockery from people’s homes on this road is actually much more than that. Its a symbol of respect, and a symbol of community.”
The mosaic was made possible because Roadside Windscreens owned by Steve and Barbara Cole agreed to have it on their wall as well as opening up their yard and offering refreshments.
Tiah said:“This has been my first experience of helping to produce a community mosaic. WhenI look at it it now I can see how much effort went in to it .
“I loved doing the butterflies, gates and flowers. I hope all Frant Road residents are proud.”
This is the fourth mosaic overseen by illustrator and teacher Grace who was first approached to become involved by Chair of Thornton Heath Community Action Team Linda Watson, after a talk she gave at Thornton Heath Library. The others are in Brook Road, Grangewood Park and The Pond.
Linda who has been instrumental in organising, helping and guiding the mosaic said: ”It is really important what has been said about how this was so much more than a mosaic. People made friends myself included since taking part in the mosaic.”
Grace said: “It has been a real privilege for me to get to know some of you and really be accepted and brought in to the Thornton Heath community. “
Adding that the mosaics were a: “real tribute” showing a journey around this “wonderful area showing the creativity.”