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2013 Annual Report

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

In 2013, there were 8 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 19 posts.

Happy New Year!

via Your2013yearinblogging.

Where’s the politico who’ll wave the flag for Vauxhall Park? | The Vauxhall Society

Friends of Vauxhall Park
Friends of Vauxhall Park

Councillor Sally Prentice will raise a Green Flag in Vauxhall Park at 11am on Saturday 7 December. Might a more appropriate pennant be white, denoting Lambeth councillors’ surrender of this public park to private privilege and wealth? Cllr Prentice is Lambeth’s ‘Cabinet’ member for Culture and Leisure, and the Green Flag is the latest award from Keep Britain Tidy for helping make the Vauxhall Park one of the best green spaces in the country.Lambeth councillors have given way time and time again on planning applications for silos in which to store students or for skyscraper apartment blocks in which to stack the rich.These buildings will shade Vauxhall Park , while their gardenless inhabitants will overcrowd it and stamp flat the park’s green spaces. Now, to add insult to injury, councillors are diverting to other uses the community benefit payments from these developments that The Friends of Vauxhall Park were expecting.

via Where’s the politico who’ll wave the flag for Vauxhall Park? | The Vauxhall Society.

Make Vauxhall safer for pedestrians and cyclists: Change the gyratory! – PetitionBuzz

London Local Assembly Member, Val Shawcross and your local Labour Councillors are calling for Transport for London and Boris Johnson to join Lambeth Council into committing to changing the Vauxhall Gyratory so it is safer for pedestrians and cyclists to use.

We the undersigned join in the call for the Vauxhall gyratory to be changed so it’s safer for local residents and fit for purpose in an increasingly residential area.

via Make Vauxhall safer for pedestrians and cyclists: Change the gyratory! – PetitionBuzz.

Lambeth Council Project Officer vacancy

We are looking for two self-motivated project officers to deliver a series of environmental schemes within Lambeth’s Cultural Development Team, with projects range from new parks and green links at the New Vauxhall on the South Bank developments to semi-rural and heritage works at some of our key heritage sites and commons. This will include both new sports and play equipment at certain sites.

These posts work closely with the Cultural Development Management and local friends groups to achieve high quality development and landscape impacts to meet the needs of our diverse community.

The post holders will have responsibility for managing and delivering all aspects of the project from inception to practical completion. Applicants will require a degree in Landscape Architecture or have a further education qualification in an environmental, regeneration with a sound background of planning design and landscape management.

Good project management and negotiation skills are essential, plus a working understanding of Local Authority procurement. Excellent communication skills are required as a considerable amount of community engagement will be involved.

For further information please contact – Jeff Raggett – [email protected]

via Current vacancies | Lambeth Council.

Seek out relief in Bonnington Square Garden, a ragtag oasis

It’s easy to miss such gardens amid London’s sensory overload, even for locals living in their easy reach. London’s Vauxhall neighborhood, for instance, is full of rollicking after-hours clubs and traffic-choked streets and bridges. Seek out relief in Bonnington Square Garden, a ragtag oasis of trees, vines, and flowering shrubs in a closed-off square of Victorian townhouses. This is a true diamond in the rough. Known in the 1970s as a warren for hippies and squatters, Bonnington Square reflects its eccentric past, planted as it is with a tangle of mimosa, beech, and mulberry trees as well as lavender, giant ferns, low-growing palms—and the appropriately vegan Bonnington Café.

via London’s Secret Gardens | Travel | Smithsonian Magazine.

Bee Ridgway: The Blog: Bonnington Square — An American Time Traveler in London

vauxhall fete

My semester was magical because of the accident of where I lived during those months.  Ten other Oberlin students and I were crammed into an old Georgian row home in Bonnington Square, in Vauxhall — a London neighborhood on the south bank of the Thames.  We were all English majors, and we were spending a semester taking a class on the history of the “masque” and going to as many plays as we could fit in.

It was an incredible semester, and Bonnington Square was at the heart of it.  The old 18th century Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens — so notorious, so perfectly naughty, and now dwindled to nothing but a bare, dock-infested expanse of lawn — were 100 meters away.  We used to walk across that scrubby green and wonder if the sex, the thrills, the theater of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens had soaked into the earth, or whether they were gone –dissipated into the sky.

A new garden – Bonnington Square Garden – was being crafted on our doorstep.  It had been a bomb-site, and then a wasteland of stinging nettles — now neighbors were coming together to make it into something rich and wondrous.   Our neighbors to the left were squatters with the most amazing sense of style — we watched as they transformed their house from a Georgian ruin into a grungy, post-industrial palace.  An array of caravans painted with mysterious symbols turned up each month at the full moon, disgorging druids and witches – apparently a “ley line,” an ancient path that some said was a source of magical power, ran through Bonnington Square.  Down the road the Bonnington Square Café, which had started as a squat café and which served up rib-sticking vegan treats by candlelight, drew us in at lunchtimes, and we would stay all day, wondering if there were anywhere like this, anywhere at all, in America.

We adored Bonnington Square.  My friends and I, rolling out of bed late after a long night at the theater and then in the clubs, where we dressed like fallen angels and danced until we saw god, used to sit on the steps drinking our coffee and watching the square.  There the squatters would come, heaving some talismanic metal object they had found in the defunct marble factory around the corner, or discarded on the street.  There was the community coalition, digging in their patch of bomb-scarred earth.  A druid leaned against his caravan, sucking on a cigarette and watching us through narrowed eyes.  His girlfriend stuck an arm out a tiny open hatch, and he passed the cigarette through to her.

via Bee Ridgway: The Blog: Bonnington Square — An American Time Traveler in London.

Chinese poem by Ping-Hsin

benches

The garden feels like a true work of love, and rather magical, so I’ve chosen this beautiful Chinese poem by Ping-Hsin for it.

Love

To escape from thoughts of love,

I put on my fur cloak,

And ran out from the lamp lit silent house.

On a tiny footpath

The bright moon peeps;

And the withered twigs on the snow-clad earth

Across and across, everywhere scrawl “Love”.

And I invite you to write about love in the garden today… with a glass of champagne in your hand if you feel like it!

via Writer In The Garden | An idiosyncratic literary tour round English parks and gardens.

What do you get if you design a garden by committee?

Writer In The Garden

This is one of London’s hidden gems – except it is rightly becoming rather famous. The garden sits in the site of WW2 bomb damage and although at one time it had a children’s playground half-heartedly placed there, it was only in the 1990s – when a builder put in an application to use it as storage – that a residents’ committee was formed to create today’s beautiful sanctuary.

via Writer In The Garden | An idiosyncratic literary tour round English parks and gardens.

Choral Music in The Pleasure Garden 19th July at 7.30pm

Under the direction of choirleader Sophia,
The Larks of Lambeth will be giving their
inaugural performance of a cappella harmony songs.

Repertoire to include music from Africa, France, Eastern Europe and also gospel.

Bring a bottle and some victuals for sharing.

Please make a donation.

Proceeds to go to The Wheatsheaf Hall for allowing us to rehearse there.

(If it rains we’ll move to the top room at The Bonnington Centre)

The Pleasure Garden, Bonnington Square, SW8