It’s strange when your different worlds collide. And so there I was on Sunday afternoon, chatting away with the lovely man from the Friends of Vauxhall Park at the annual SE11 Summer Fair, and it dawned on me that I was speaking with a lido early morning acquaintance. I didn’t recognise him with his clothes on.
This was the seventh Summer Fair to be staged at the delightful Vauxhall Park. It’s a small piece of land that is rightfully valued by the local community. The Friends group campaigns and celebrates the beauty of the park, raising both awareness and money on the summer solstice each year.
Elsewhere around Vauxhall Park and the bonkers brass band stole the show. A lustful rendition of Tainted Loved was given added value by the comedic dances of a well-known local character. Tired and emotional I think is the phrase I’m supposed to use.
The moving wheelie bin raised a smile, but then I’m used to wheelie bins on the move around these parts.
The Fair had political representation from my three local Councillors. The Oval ward is quite a rarity in Lambeth, returning three LibDems against the backdrop of a Labour run administration. I tried to keep my apolitical hat on, and the lovely LibDems very kindly agreed to a brief video catch up.
Off the record and they were just as engaging. We spoke all about… well, it was an off the record moment, and so I couldn’t possibly divulge. Winning Around Here, and out and about around here as well. Any politician who walks it like they talk it deserves some credit.
The park itself was blooming for the summer solstice. It really is quite a charming part of my little patch in South London. It can’t boast the natural beauty of Brockwell Park, but the upkeep of and dedication of the Friends’ group certainly makes up for this.
The Lavender Garden is the (part) inspiration behind my own contemporary urban courtyard, and the recent conversion of the junkie toilets to a quite thriving local cafe shows you just how far a lot of local love can go.
Many thanks to Ivan from the Friends’ of Vauxhall Park, and Councillor Andrew Sawden for agreeing to be filmed. I didn’t seek consent from the bonkers bloke dancing to the brass band version of Tainted Love, but he seemed happy enough anyway with my flip in his face.
Full flick set over here.