January and February – the Park gets off to the worst possible start – an arson attack totally destroying the shelter facility by the tennis courts (subsequently rebuilt at the end of the year), followed by serious vandalism to the shelter on the path between Herne Hill gate and Norwood Lodge.
March saw Lambeth Council’s public consultation on the future of cultural services, including parks and libraries.
Many park users expressed concern about the implications of the 50% cut to Lambeth Parks budget by 2016.
April saw the unveiling of a plaque to 2nd Lieutenant Benjamin Geary, a Lambeth resident that fought in the First World War in a ceremony attended by family members and the Worshipful Mayor of Lambeth.
May saw a surge in crime at Brockwell Park – a serious sexual assault near the Lido gate and serious criminal damage to the Community Greenhouses, Rosendale shelter facility, several Park noticeboards and both toilets by Brockwell Hall. Local groups St Matthew’s Project and Green Rock River Band brought some much needed cheer to the Park and the Hall with a respective free sports photography exhibition and free rock concert supported through the MADD for Brockwell Park Programme.
June brought a large commercial dance music event to the Park – Found Festival – which caused disturbance to local residents. Earlier that month, BPCP and the Herne Hill Society put together the first Thomas Lynn Bristowe memorial event – The Making of South London by historian Len Reilly, a fascinating and well attended lecture.
July witnessed arguably Brockwell’s best ever dog show, rescued at the eleventh hour by spirited and talented local volunteers following Lambeth Officer withdrawal. Actor Mark Rylance chaired a panel of celebrities, including Trudie Goodwin, to judge the well received ‘Woof Hall’ event. Either side of the dog show was a free Wuntanara African drumming and dance concert, and the 41st Lambeth Country Show. A huge ‘I heart Lambeth’ sign was installed in the park – which also retained its Green Flag status.
August brought a change to Lambeth Parks staffing structure. Out went the dedicated Brockwell Park Manager and Park Education Officer posts. In came an Area Parks Manager post serving Brockwell and ten other parks in Herne Hill and Tulse Hill. The Park also welcomed back ‘Funky Breakers’ for a free afternoon of breakdancing workshops and hip hop showcase.
September’s spontaneous ‘Soul Train’, courtesy of local residents band ‘Soul Intent’ provided superb free entertainment for park users on a beautiful day in Park. This was followed by Third Thought’s ‘Invisible People’ – providing non intrusive free theatre performances to park users in the Walled Garden.
October’s Herne Hill Music Festival brought the curtain down on MADD for Brockwell Park with a wonderful free performance by the All Saints Concert Band.
November and December (now without the annual fireworks display) saw more vandalism to the shelters near Norwood Lodge, while demolition work progressed on the redundant Changing Block following a decision passed by BPCP stakeholders in 2014 The hardstanding will be retained for park uses.
So that was 2015. A largely difficult and a destructive year for the Park, brightened by some magical moments of community creativity for which we are very grateful to local volunteers and performers without whom this would not be possible. To volunteer in Brockwell Park please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org