The popular paddling pool in Ruskin Park is reopening for the summer holidays, the Friends of Ruskin Park have just announced.
The paddling pool should be open again on 24th July until 5th September. The pool is run by volunteers, backed by a community partnership of Urban Village Homes, Lambeth Landscapes, and the Friends of Ruskin Park.
A full refurb for the pool is planned at the end of the year.
If you are able to volunteer with cleaning and other tasks, please see details here or join the Save Ruskin Park Paddling Pool group on Facebook.
The series of fortnightly band concerts at the Ruskin Park Bandstand will, as announced, start next Sunday, 4 July, but with a different band – The South East London Folk Orchestra.
They play and sing tunes from a variety of folk traditions, deploying a variety of instruments including fiddles, accordions, concertinas, whistles, bodhrans, guitars, mandolins and flutes.
All we need is some fine weather.
Urgently looking for financial talent
The Friends of Ruskin Park are an outstanding local charity and play a vital role in keeping the park a vibrant and much treasured asset. In recent months their highly valued Treasurer very sadly died and they are desperately looking for someone to replace him. Obviously with any charity, particularly this one, it’s a vital role. They are struggling now with governance/finance know-how to meet their minimum commitments as an entirely volunteer run charity.
They are looking for a person with some accountancy experience, maybe with charities, and who is a supporter of what they do for Ruskin Park. This is an important and rewarding voluntary contribution to our local community and it will need regular commitment.
On top of that, the committee’s vice-chair has also stepped down recently for health reasons. That’s another post that needs to be filled as soon as possible.
If you are able and willing to help, or know anyone else who might, please contact the Chair, Lucy Hadfield.
It’s the nearly concert season in Ruskin Park
When summer and sunny days return (they will, won’t they?), the bandstand in Ruskin Park fulfils its purpose as a showcase for musical entertainment on Sunday afternoons.
The first concert is on 4th July (3:00 – 5:00 PM), with an appearance by The Sonnet Wind Orchestra – a musically exciting ensemble numbering some 35 players. Mostly retired professional musicians playing an extensive and eclectic repertoire from arrangements of classical favourites, via selections from stage and screen, to the Beatles, Bowie and Queen. Many of these arrangements are by members of the SWO.
More concerts follow, right until the middle of October. The summer programme can be found on the Friends of Ruskin Park website.
A neighbour reports that they have received a letter from Lambeth advising that a revised application has been made for the notorious Twin Towers project at Loughborough Junction, which we reported on back in 2020: see our summary then, which contains a link to the Herne Hill Society’s magisterial objection.
Fully conscious that their original application blatantly breached Lambeth’s own policy regarding tall buildings, the developers are now, it seems, trying to breathe new life into the proposal by persuading the council to override their own policy.
We have no doubt that the Herne Hill Society’s planners are now gearing up to return to the charge. Hopefully the Brixton Society and the Loughborough Junction Action Group will also spring into action.
Meanwhile, what isn’t remotely clear is why Lambeth have advised (as far as we know) just one household on Fawnbrake Avenue. Surely they’re not trying to keep this cheeky new application secret, are they?
We can still comment on Lambeth’s application for a performance/food/drink pop-up on and around the Ruskin Park bandstand this summer. But Wednesday 10 March is the cut-off date.
The performances and other events would happen 5 days a week including evenings and weekends all through spring to autumn (29 April – 12 September 2021), presumably blocking off the long-established summer weekend concerts traditionally organised by the Friends of Ruskin Park (FoRP).
The Friends’ explanation and comments can be read on their website here. Others might think, on the contrary, that this is all a wonderful idea.
We can give feedback to Events Lambeth by Wednesday 10 March 2021.
There’s a natural tendency in Lambeth Council (as in others, probably) to assume that “no comment”/silence = either approval or indifference.
So if we feel something is wrong (or right!) it could make sense to take five minutes to feed back our comments. Lord knows, it doesn’t always make a difference but if we stay silent when things we don’t approve of look like happening, we can’t really complain afterwards if they do. End of homily.
Friends of Ruskin Park (FofRP) have released information about a series of events – The Open Arms – that Lambeth are proposing to host in Ruskin Park across the summer. The events, and supporting installations, would mainly happen around the Bandstand.
Sounds fun, maybe – but as the FofRP comment, “This is too much time for one organisation to be effectively taking over the popular bandstand area. It is more like a concession, not an event.”
The proposal – ‘pop-up’ or concession?
Lambeth’s proposal explains that “The Open Arms is a performance-led pop-up occupying Ruskin Park Bandstand (ideally) for summer 2021. As a recipient of the Arts Council England’s ‘Culture Recovery Grant’, they will be looking to bring to life an activation that celebrates and supports the rich pool of talent living within the borough. They will provide a stage for local performance in the midst of rapid venue closures. Alongside a Food and beverage offer.”
Full details of the proposal are in a PDF accessed via the FoRP website
FofRP initial comments
The Friends of Ruskin Park committee has already raised some initial points with Event Lambeth.
They are not opposed in principle to appropriate new ventures for entertainment and refreshments that benefit Ruskin Park and local people.
However, they have several concerns:
- that this is too much time for one organisation to be effectively taking over the popular bandstand area. It is more like a concession, not an event.
- about the installation of two semi-permanent pavilions and toilet structures in the area surrounding the bandstand and their impact on the landscape.
- about the size of the event levy and what would actually be spent on Ruskin Park.
- about risks of noise and size of audience.
- about the overall balance of these facilities, as proposed, with the calm and natural character of the park.
- that this is an untested format so there should be monitoring and revision stages during the 5 month contract.
- that the business model of the organiser should be transparent and the assets of the public park are properly valued in any such transaction.
Feedback and deadline
Anyone – and particularly, perhaps, those of us who live nearby and use Ruskin Park – may lodge comments with Lambeth.
Please visit The Friend’s excellent web page for further information and advice on opportunities for public comments to Lambeth by the consultation deadline of 10th March.