Mixed reviews for the new country show

Written by on 22 July, 2018 in Community, Council, News, What's On - Comments Off on Mixed reviews for the new country show
South London Samba drew crowds

South London Samba drew crowds

The new-look Lambeth Country Show opened uneventfully in Brockwell Park yesterday, but there were concerns about the way security is being implemented.

An old favourites like the Lambeth Horticultural Society’s carved vegetable competition attracted its usual long queue, but there was unhappiness at other aspects.

The small “village green” music stage is no longer at the centre of things, but sited almost as far as it possible to get from the Herne Hill entrance.

The Raw Sounds project from Brixton's Raw Material charity opened the musical proceedings on the relocated Village Green stage

The Raw Sounds project from Brixton’s Raw Material charity opened the musical proceedings on the relocated Village Green stage

Local traders whose stalls once benefitted from people who came to listen and stayed to shop were unimpressed by their reduced footfall.

There were reports of young people being turned away –unaccompanied under-16s are barred from the show – and the Blog was told by security that its camera was not allowed in – until we could point to the printed list of instructions for the guard stating specifically that cameras are allowed in. The longest queues to get in appeared to build up when the gates were opened 14 minutes later than the advertised time of noon.

There was particular concern about the rule that no more than four under-16s can enter with one adult.

Security check

Threatened massive queues did not materialise

Threatened massive queues did not materialise on entrance, but it took a long time to get to the front of the Chucklehead cider queue

One local resident told the Blog: “My parents used to take me to the country show every year, and I have continued this tradition with my children.

“I feel as though I have been excluded from the entire event this year due to the new entry restrictions.

“I have six children all aged 13 and under. I am also a carer for my partner who would not have been able to visit the country show.

“It would have been a well-deserved treat for my children to visit the country show, but written restrictions state that the ratio must be four children to each adult.

“This means that I will not be allowed entry with my children and this is unfair. Brockwell Park is my local and I believe that events should benefit and consider the needs of the local community at the minimum.”

She appealed to the organisers to change this rule next year.

A pupper entertains children at the stand of Brixton's Ruach City Church

A pupper entertains children at the stand of Brixton’s Ruach City Church

While the security fence round the event, that will cost Lambeth council and its council tax payers more than £300,000, did nothing for the rest of the park, but it did not impinge a great deal on the show itself.

The change in the Lambeth Country Show, over more than 40 years, from a rural celebration to an urban festival in a park continues.

The new cookery demonstrations played to a nearly full tent – although it was a place to sit in the shade – and there seemed to more churches and charities than ever.

Robin Gill of The Dairy in Clapham

Robin Gill of The Dairy in Clapham was first up with a cookery demonstration and got a good audience. He was followed by Nicholas Balfe of Brixton Village’s Salon, Nanban’s Tim Anderson and Smoke & Salt from Pop Brixton

Queues for Chucklehead cider – and Pimm’s – were as long as they have ever been. Visitors to the Vita Coco slide promoting the company’s coconut water who strayed into the wrong part of the enclosure were politely asked to leave “the VIP area”.

But the first-visitors from Manchester that the Blog shared a bench with were impressed with the event and said they were having a great time.

The second day of the show opened at noon today.

 

Samba

Uniao de Mocidade samba

Uniao da Mocidade samba

Uniao de Mocidade samba

 

Environment

There was a green emphasis at the show, with Red Line Rooftop Gallery, working with South London schools created giant willow letters spelling out CLEAN OUR AIR! that visitors can bedeck with thousands of recycled flowers. When finished, the giant sign will sit on top of Olley’s Fish Experience – overlooking Brockwell Park in Herne Hill. Local parent campaigning group Mums for Lungs, supported by artist Hannah Littlejones of UpsideArts, joined in to engage the wider community using visual arts.

Fixing recycled flowers to the giant letters

Fixing recycled flowers to the giant letters

Wild flowers at the NFU discovery barn

Wild flowers at the NFU discovery barn

 

Food and drink

Don Luigi from Pop Brixton offered freshly baked pizzas

Don Luigi from Pop Brixton offered freshly baked pizzas

Queue for Chucklehead cider

Would it be the country show wihtout a queue for Chucklehead cider?

 

Something for everyone

Shortbread on offer from the charity ScotsCare

Shortbread on offer from the charity ScotsCare

 

Attention grabbing stand from the Alzheimers Society

Attention grabbing stand from the Alzheimers Society

 

Herne Hill's Illusioneer performed

Herne Hill’s Illusioneer performed

 

Fun for kids

 

Discovery …

Checking a yoga demonstration

Checking a yoga demonstration

Brixton Hill councillor Adrian Garden on the Palestine Solidarity Campaign stall

Brixton Hill councillor Adrian Garden on the Palestine Solidarity Campaign stall

 

About the Author

Alan Slingsby moved to Brixton just as the 1981 uprising began. His nearest pub was the Effra and nearest off licence the Frontline — long gone in an earlier wave of closures of treasured community establishments. Has edited newspapers for the National Union of Students and National Union of Teachers. Now makes a living designing magazines and books and anything else people will pay him for.

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