Visitors to The Parade in Norwood this month will be taken back in time thanks to a series of striking banners created by a group of older artists.

The ‘Banners on My Parade’ project coordinated by ACH Group has transformed the popular dining and shopping precinct.

Life during World War II, tram rides in the 1940s and the old Odeon Theatre are some of the highlights of The Parade’s past depicted in the banners.

The artwork for the 10 banners was created by 16 local residents aged 60 to 90-plus, who received assistance from community artist, Helen Crawford.

The banner images contain mosaics and collages made from a range of unusual materials including lollies, sand, coins and flower petals. The banner designs have also been used to make a series of postcards.

ACH Group’s Dementia Services Strategy Manager, Lenore de la Perrelle, said the art project gave participants a chance to share their personal experiences.

“There was a 93 year-old-man in the area whose grandfather had opened a boot shop on the parade,” she said.

“He was very proud that he was able to tell that story and have it recorded on the back of one of our postcards. He had a very rich history to share.

“Someone else had an original tram ticket from her first date with her boyfriend whom she ended up marrying.

“She had kept it from the 1940s and the artwork of the tramline was made with copies of the tickets and thruppences.”

According to Ms de la Perelle, the project also gave participants an opportunity to regain confidence.

“They came along thinking, ‘I’m not an artist’, or ‘I’m no longer an artist – I used to paint a bit in the past but I can’t do it now’,” she said.

“But as they were doing it, they said they were very proud of their connection to the area and they felt as though they had rediscovered their identity as people who lived and worked in Norwood.”

A number of people involved in the project have now been linked into other activities, including a community choir also run by ACH.

The tram line banner incorporates a tram ticket from the 1940s and thruppences.

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