By Dani Porter
Brixton revealed its trademark community spirit at Brixton Windmill’s May Day parade yesterday, despite the inclement Bank Holiday weather.
The fancy dress procession, with recycling floats, drum bands, and entertainer Simon on Stilts, made its way from Windrush Square up Brixton Hill and ended under the sails of the historic mill in Windmill Gardens.
Music was provided by local bands B4B and Spare Part. There were plenty of stalls and free children’s activities in the gardens, including a bouncy castle, arts and crafts tent, ‘plant your own wheelbarrow’ stall.
Brixton’s very first city farm also saw goats, sheep, rabbits and chicken visiting the festival. Those manning the stall were registering potential interest in using the site for a permanent Brixton farm, and it seemed residents could not have been more enthused.
Local photographer and mum-of-two, Fiona Freund, told us of her excitement, “It sounds fantastic. There is so much space here by the windmill that is underused and a farm is a lovely idea. It would bring a slice of the countryside to our urban area and provide genuine entertainment for local children.”
Another supportive festival-goer was our very own MP, Chuka Umunna. When we spoke to him his enthusiasm for the event and for the windmill itself was clear. He said: “I urge the local residents of Brixton to join the Friends of Windmill, whose great work has resulted in restoring the windmill and providing this annual event over recent years. I’ve been to every one and am pleased to offer my support”. He also urged people to vote for the windmill as one of the top 10 exhibits in Great Britain.
People fuelled-up for the weather on burgers and hotdogs or lovely veggie pastries from The Old Post Office Bakery. Sweet treats were also available in the shape of popcorn and ice-creams.
Tours were available for people to go inside the Windmill itself; seeing the restoration work up close as well as receiving a detailed description of its history.
Visit www.brixtonwindmill.org to join and to vote.
UPDATE: More photos of the day by Jenny Higgins: