Southwark Council says that around 20,000 people attended this year’s Southwark Park fireworks display.
The council says that 96 per cent of visitors were Southwark residents who’d claimed their free tickets to the show, and 40 per cent of people came from the neighbourhoods immediately surrounding Southwark Park.
Cllr Rebecca Lury, cabinet member for culture, leisure, equalities and communities, said: “Fireworks night is my favourite night of the year so I am delighted that we were able to, once again, provide a free fireworks event for the people of Southwark.
“The fireworks this year were absolutely stunning and it was lovely to see so many local people and families enjoying the show.”
Councillors will decide next Tuesday whether or not to grant planning permission for the controversial ‘Alice in Winterland‘ commercial event due to take over part of Southwark Park from November to January.
The scheme is on the agenda for planning sub-committee B on Tuesday 30 October.
In his report to the committee, planning officer Alex Cameron concludes: “Overall, given the temporary nature of the proposal, it is not considered that it would affect the long term openness of Southwark Park and would provide facilities for outdoor recreation. While the development is not strictly an appropriate one on [Metropolitan Open Land], it is acceptable considering it would be temporary and the benefits to the local community.”
Nearly 500 people have signed a petition opposing the event, but others – including the Friends of Southwark Park – are supportive.
Full details of the planning application are at 18/AP/2766.
A large-scale commercial event will take over the northern part of Southwark Park between November and early January.
According to the licensing application, “Southwark Park Lantern & Lights Festival is a unique lantern experience themed around Alice in Wonderland. The experience will take place in the Northern section of Southwark Park. Lanterns are being designed around the popular children’s classic, Alice in Wonderland and will include a walk through the story created in lantern format.
“The event has been designed to be interactive using slides and other audio visual effects to explore the lanterns. There will also be food and beverage traders, entertainers on the bandstand and special effects. The event will be ticketed and both pre-sale and on the door tickets will be available.
“The event is created by Things to Do Ltd. Unusual Expo have designed the lanterns and Continental Drifts will manage the event.
“It is likely there will be two bars at the event which will be in two separate areas. There will be on bar at the bandstand area as well as one location on the lights route.”
Two new heraldic stone plaques were unveiled in King George’s Field, Rotherhithe, by the former Mayor for Southwark, Cllr Kath Whittam, earlier this month.
The stone plaques were funded through Bermondsey & Rotherhithe Community Council’s Cleaner Greener Safer (CGS) programme
The Friends of Southwark Park applied for CGS funding to create replicas of the stone plaques, as the originals were destroyed during the Blitz.
The plaques show symbols from the royal coat of arms; a Lion (England) and a Unicorn (Scotland). The plaques were made by London company – Priest Stoneworks – and can now be found at the entrance to King George’s Fields, Lower Road.
Cllr Barrie Hargrove, Cabinet Member for Communities, Leisure and Safety, said: “These heraldic plaques are a fantastic way to bring Southwark’s history back to life and continue to ensure that these green spaces are maintained for the public, now and in the future.”
The Fields in Trust UK’s Best Park Award is now open for a public vote to select the nation’s favourite local park.
A total of 64 of London’s cherished green spaces – including Russia Dock Woodland and Southwark Park – are featured in the 360 UK-wide nominations each a much-loved part its local community. Now it is time to choose the winners via an online public vote at www.fieldsintrust.org/bestpark/london
Princess Astrid, sister of King Harald V of Norway, opened the new St Olav’s Square in Albion Street on Sunday 17 September.
St Olav’s Norwegian church, which stands near the entrance to the Rotherhithe tunnel, formerly a mission to sailors in nearby Surrey Docks, now serves Norwegians living throughout the UK.
The church has worked over several years with Southwark Council to improve the area in front of the church. This involved the removal of the disused public toilets and a car park and opening up the space in front of the landmark church, newly visible to traffic approaching from Jamaica Road.
After a church service led by The Revd Torbjorn Holt, the Princess and invited guests gathered in the new square for the unveiling of a new bust of King Haakon VII, which is based on a full length statue in Oslo. Haakon’s biographer, Tor Bomann Larsen, spoke about the King’s life in wartime London when having refused to abdicate in face of demands from Germany, regularly attended St Olav’s Norwegian church and attended to Norwegian government business in exile.
Leader of the council Peter John, past mayor and local councillor Kath Whittam and cabinet member for regeneration Mark Williams were presented to the Princess in recognition of Southwark’s partnership in the creation of a new public open space as part as the ongoing regeneration of the Albion Street.
Wreaths at a restored war memorial were laid by veterans of the wartime Norwegian shipping fleets, including Donald Hunter who served as radio officer on three Norwegian merchant ships carrying dangerous cargoes to allied forces.
The small fountain in the garden was donated by a Norwegian family in memory of their daughter.
Edible Rotherhithe, a newly created community gardening and arts group, has been selected to received £1,000 after applying for funding from organic skin and haircare brand Green People.
In celebration of its 20th year, Green People launched a national campaign – ‘Change the World in 20 Ways’ – where individuals and groups across the UK were invited to apply for £1,000 to put towards projects to make a difference in their local communities.
Edible Rotherhithe will be transforming a disused piece of land on the Silverlock Estate into a community allotment. The project will enable local residents to grow their own food – promoting healthy eating and outdoor activity – whilst also becoming a welcoming social space to host community dinners with produce grown on the site. In addition, there will also be workshops in arts and crafts to increase the skills and confidence of local residents and an amphitheatre for community film and theatre events.
Christina Wheatley, who nominated Edible Rotherhithe, commented: “We’re so excited to have been selected as the recipients of £1,000 and have great plans to take our project further. We’re helping to bring about positive change in our part of the world by kick-starting a new community garden and teaching space through the purchase of a polytunnel that will provide sufficient room for food growing and educational workshops.”