I didn’t spend too long at the Brockwell Urban Green Fair this year. Truth be told, and I chanced upon the now annual event. A lost afternoon at the lido, and then I ventured out into the park with a spare hour or so ahead of the working evening ahead.
I’m pleased that I made the effort. Going green may not be for everyone; I can’t think of a better way of rounding off the weekend than a wonderful workshop from the ever-lovely Barney of Brixton Bicycles, and then half an hour spent with the always-engaging Mark Thomas.
The Urban Green Fair is unique within Lambeth, being booze and music free. It may sound like the perfect combination too induce chin stroking tepee bores, but it actually makes for the ideal setting for families to come together and share and learn.
The afternoon has an educational feel to it, with an emphasis on the practical rather than the theory. Barney taught me how re-wire my gear shifters and fiddle around with spokes; Mark Thomas reminded me why I should take more of an interest in global affairs as I seek to make sense of my little patch of South London.
Thomas is an infectious speaker, utilising the years of experience he has racked up on the comedy circuit to great effect, putting down political hecklers as he delivers across his message.
His current quest is to bring down the downfall of the Coca Cola Corporation. Given his previous track record of changing inerheritance tax laws, and being invited to give evidence to a House of Commons select committee investigating the arms trade, you wouldn’t put it past the protagonist to take the fizz out of the Coke empire.
Much of the afternoon was spent reading extracts from his latest book. Thomas was keen to emphasise that this wasn’t part of the promo circuit, with no books actually being on sale. His agent must love him.
And then with the global economy awaiting my arrival back in Sunny Stockwell to keep the wheels of the capitalist economy turning, I departed Brockwell full of ideas and plenty of optimism.
Independent, green festivals (um, the Cannabis Festival) have experienced problems in the past obtaining a licence from @lambeth_council. Which all seems rather strange; you couldn’t imagine a more environmentally friendly collective of people, anxious to leave the beauty of Brockwell Park in the same way in which they found it.
Something to do with the very real threat of the first Green seat soon to be won within the borough?