The St. John’s Society ran two community picnics in Brookmill Park many years ago in 2003 and 2004. This year saw the first Picnic in the Park in Friendly Gardens on Sunday 18th June and it did not disappoint. A fantastic demonstration of community collaboration between the St Johns Society, Friends of Friendly Gardens, That Place in the Park and the Deptford Railway Meadow. This partnership produced an outstanding event. Friendly Gardens is a cherished family space that saw a lot of fun and laughter that day. Using community members as a resource to develop the plan for the day we were able to create an event that will hopefully be the first of many.
We kicked off Picnic in the Park with dance from the Serious Soul Sisters from Lucas Vale, melting hearts as they delivered their performance whilst their teacher whispered ‘be confidents girls’. This was followed by an exemplary performance from the Deptford Community Choir, culminating in a set by The Franimals, led by Frances McKevitt, local resident, singer, songsmith, Troubadour.
A series of kids’ art workshops were held by Alma Tischler Wood, an acclaimed artist and curator of Lewisham Art House, which included painting murals on the Thames Water hoardings (with permission, of course!). We delivered plant stalls, raffles, food, and a programme of games to keep the kids entertained whilst the parents enjoyed their picnics. The London Fire Brigade also turned up to show off their appliance and let children (and some enthusiastic adults) pretend to be fire fighters, climb into the cab and spray the hose.
A special mention must be made to ChaiStix who served food at the picnic on the day. WE were treated to crispy samosas with a spiced potato filling topped with homemade tamarind and coriander sauce, garnished with red onion and pomegranate. The mango Lassi was perfect for the hot day, delicious, cool and refreshing.
We also ran a consultation regarding what residents would like to see in the park and would still like to hear your views. Please fill out this form if you’d like to share your thoughts for the future of the park.
The Feedback that we have received at the St Johns Society has been extremely positive and we can definitely say that there is enthusiasm for a repeat next year. Friendly Gardens is a play park and we would like our local children to be able to continue to interact with nature and learn through play. We can build on this event and start planning for next year. If you have any ideas and would like to get involved, please contact The St. John’s Society (Litsa) at email@example.com or The Friends of Friendly Gardens at firstname.lastname@example.org.