BPCP review of 2015

Arson destroys public shelter 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.

VolunteerMarch 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.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAApril 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.

 

downloadMay 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.

thamesJune 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.

Dog ShowJuly 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.

lambethAugust 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.

IMG_2010September’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.

HHMFOctober’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.

 

IMG_2144November 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: brockwellparkcommunitypartners@gmail.com

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Brockwell Park Community Partners votes for changing room block demolition

Changing Room Block
Photo courtesy of Georgina Rodgers

A public meeting of the BPCP today agreed to demolish the redundant changing room block building to its concrete base; and to use the base as a flexible space for community led sports facilities, including modular units for sports/class/training rooms at an approximate cost of £0.5M – £0.6M.

This is on the condition that the redevelopment of the Park’s Bowling Pavilion will be kept ‘on the table’ and discussed again in the light of emerging needs.

The decision was passed by a clear majority of BPCP’s voting members present at the public meeting. There was 14 votes for the proposal, and 2 votes against, with no abstentions.

This course of action had been recommended to the BPCP last month by a working group of interested park stakeholders; and has the full support of LB Lambeth’s Communities Team. The group considered that a redevelopment of the changing room block did not represent value for money. The approximate cost of redeveloping the redundant building was £1M and this was before refurbishment costs, and operating costs, for which there was no identified budget. To rebuild the changing room block elsewhere in the park would have cost approximately £1.5M.

The separate Bowling Pavilion is shared by the Bowlers, St Matthew’s Project (football) and the Tennis Players and there is a proposal to re-provide changing and classroom facilities in the Pavilion with an approximate cost of £150,000. LB Lambeth is currently reviewing its existing sports needs analysis alongside the new sports strategy for the Borough.

For further information, please contact BPCP by email: brockwellparkcommunitypartners@gmail.com