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’.
The biggest of all the farm shows is happening this Sunday:
All are welcome at the Woodlands Farm Trust Summer Show. Come and meet our animals, and enjoy the chance to buy quality local produce at reasonable prices, including home-made preserves, cakes and honey. Relax in our café to music by Greenwich Concert Band, get involved in craft activities and games, and enjoy displays of country crafts and falconry. Entry is £2.50 adults, £1.50 concessions and £1 children aged 4-16. Children aged 3 and under go free. All proceeds go towards caring for our animals. A great family day out!
The first Woodlands Barn Dance of the year is coming up this Saturday, and has been added to the events list, here’s a bit of eynsham morris to get the mood going, although i gather that skinners rats are a full ceilidh group offering all styles of folk dances… The next event is on the 10th of July.
Sat May 15 2010 7:30 PM: Music by Skinner’s Rats; ploughman’s meal included, but please bring your own drinks and glasses. Tickets £10, available from the Farm office. These dances were very successful last year and sold out quickly so please book early to avoid disappointment. Tel: 020 8319 8900
The farm’s educational activities are becoming increasingly popular, with thousands of school children visiting each year – and so it’s nice to see that they are putting on some after school activities too. It’s been quite busy there of late, with various new faces moving in, including some ducks, and some sheep from cumbria (via heathrow).
Do Your kids have lots of creative energy to burn?
Join in the fun at our new:
Drop-in family activity workshops
* Explore Nature
* Listen to Stories
* Create Animal Art Masterpieces
WHEN? First Wednesday each month – 3.30-5.30pm
WHERE? Woodlands Farm, 331 Shooters Hill. DA1G 3RP
WHO? Primary and pre-school aged children and families
BOOKINGS: No need to book. just turn up (places are limited)
HOW MUCH? free!
They also have their Christmas Fair coming up next Sunday from 11-3.
As part of the south east london Green Chain Walking Festival , a guided walk from Eltham Palace to the Thames Barrier is taking place that visits in Oxleas Woods and Severndroog Castle en route, tieing in with the Open House events there and at other stops along the way.
Walk London Audio Guides have been provided for the different sections of the chain, including those that make this pathway; although they go clockwise, this particular trek is being done the other way, presumably as it involves more downhill walking, well it is seven miles long after all! The guides make for curious listening, and even feature cameo appearances from boycie. I’ve put the audio alongside the maps, which include the Green Chain in red lines, and the Capital Ring route in yellow.
Shooters Hill Road is currently home to Climate Camp 2009, in the kite field! No wonder they are finding it a bit blowy, those popular little 2 second tents don’t look designed to deal with bracing blackheath, but we’ll see.
There is a six day programme of free activities ranging from workshops, to live performances, to sustainable living, so it all feels rather jolly and festive, and innocent bystanders seem to be quite safe.
Shooters Hill’s own Councillor Danny was there as the envoy of Greenwich Council, and lots of other local people are visiting the campers – who have pitched up in clear view of Canary Wharf, a symbol of the interests being held to account for profiting from arms trading, carbon “gambling”, and coal power.
The police are doing an excellent job of staying out of trouble, and are standing by at their own camp over the road just in case they are needed; which so far hasn’t been the case. It should however be mentioned that if you do visit the site, it would be wise not to take anything that could potentially be construed as a weapon; which primarily includes glass bottles, penknives, and dogs, although I did see a nice whippet there.
Title: GB4SH – From The Top of Shooters Hill Location: The Bull Link out: http://www.radioclubs.net/cvrs/events.php?events_id=1667 Description: At 132 m or 432 feet above sea level, the top of Shooters Hill has long played a part in communications; from bronze age barrows that could be seen from the thames, to the antennas and dishes that cover the hilltop today, so it’s no surprise that local radio enthusiasts are going to try their equipment out here this weekend, I wonder how far they will be able to reach?
For those hill dwellers who are not celebrating a late pancake day at a certain hill in west london, or scooting down to the south coast for a long weekend, it’s nice to know that the bull are putting on something a bit different for the last bank holiday of summer.
Start Time: 12:00 Date: 2009-08-30 End Time: 20:00
Title: Severndroog Castle Preservation Update Location: Shrewsbury House Link out: http://www.shlhg.btik.com/ Description: At this meeting the Severndroog Castle preservationists update us on the work on the castle since the BBC Restoration program. The castle attracts nearly 1000 visitors on Open House day and people are willing to queue for 2 hours to climb the stairs to see this fine folly and wonder at the fine views over London.
The ongoing work to preserve the castle is currently looking very rosy, having turned around its fortunes and saved the castle for the public – at one point in its decline towards dereliction it was the subject of an office conversion bid by Cathedral Group, the people behind the re-development of the once beautiful streamline moderne Well Hall Coronet.
Title: The Odyssey Location: Oxleas Woods Link out: http://www.londonbubble.org.uk/fanmadetheatre Description: London Bubble’s acclaimed promenade performances take audiences on a journey through parks or woodlands, involving them in an unfolding story. Hugely popular with a wide range of ages, previous shows have included Greek myths, classics such as the Arabian Nights, the surreal The Crock of Gold as well as Alice in Wonderland, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Dates
Tuesday 14 July, 7:30pm
Wednesday 15 July, 7:30pm
Thursday 16 July, 7:30pm
Saturday 18 July, 7:30pm
Sunday 19 July, 7:30pm
Monday 20 July, 7:30pm
Tuesday 21 July, 7:30pm
Full Price: £15
*Concessions available to children under 16, students, over 60’s, disabled people, unemployed family credit and leisure cardholders (proof must be shown).
Group discounts are available for parties of 6 people or more. Please call the Box Office on: 020 7237 1663.