As community spirits go this weekend probably marked the high point of the year, with the Plumstead Make Merry yesterday and the farm’s summer show today, and I went along to both to see what was going on, but my computer’s battery is just about to run out, so here’s a few thoughts on the make merry for now.
Unfortunately I missed a lot of the early action, and can’t confirm if the man who does a fantastic punch and judy with incredible sound effects who also doubles up as a balloon contortionist was there – I fear not. The terrifying clown was also possibly not there, and neither were the blackheath morris men, so my expectations were dampened a bit.
However things obviously change at these events, and there were some great newcomers too: including Stepz School of Dance, who were promoted on this site in winter, and have been successful so far and are now offering evening classes on Wednesdays at St Josephs on Herbert Road.
It was also nice to see Mariama Samba a promising local singer songwriter who recently supported Youssou N’dour at the dome as well as winning a ‘Spirit of London’ award. She’s so charismatic that by the end of her show a spontaneous crowd of admirers gathered around her on stage, and she thanked them all for being her new backing dancers.
Speaking of award winners, the multi award winning Plumstead Common Environment Group had a nice stall there, selling attractive postcards and giving out copies of their quarterly newsletter. It’s a full colour printed and bound publication and alone justifies the annual membership fee of £2/4, and demonstrates very effectively how their care of public spaces has benefited the area – they have also produced an excellent glossy book. It’s not all good news from them though, and things take a turn for the worse when they describe the limited resources and motivation of the council and police when it comes to littering, dog control orders and vandalism. The group were also promoting the newly released third volume of colin weightman’s plumstead-stories, a collection of reminiscences and pictures, which comes ‘sprinkled with nostalgia’.