We are delighted to welcome Charles Vyvyan as our Chair. He was elected at our AGM on 23 January. Charles is a local resident and a passionate believer in the Park. He brings an enormous wealth of experience to this role as the Park moves into an interesting phase in its history and we are very pleased to have him on board. Charles Vyvyan spent 35 years in the Army in a variety of operational command and staff appointments throughout the world. Since he retired in 2000 he has worked as a strategic adviser to a number of government and commercial organisations. He has most recently been involved with Orbis the charity that takes planes converted into operating theatres specifically to deal with sight related problems in countries without access specialist eye doctors. We look forward to working with Charles and benefiting from his experience.
We are delighted to welcome Theresa Hoare as our new parks officer responsible for Vauxhall Park. Theresa has a wealth of experience working in open spaces such as Vauxhall Park so we are delighted that she has been appointed to be our champion. Welcome Theresa and thank you to Mickey Penney (who you might see in Kennington Park now) for all his work on our behalf
After a very successful lavender harvest, 51 kg of lavender were taken to Carshalton Lavender Fields who, once again, distilled the oil out of the flowers. We would like to thank everybody who turned out to help. Once it has matured, the oil is sold through Italo on Bonnington Square and at our Summer Fair. The oil and room spray from ast year’s crop is currently on sale. We are grateful to Ruth Morgan Vauxhall’s very own Lavender Lady proceeds go towards improving the Park. We would like to thank Laurie Rudham at Carshalton for all his support and advice
Under Lambeth’s Culture 2020 proposals, the budget for the maintenance of the Borough’s open spaces will be cut of 50%. These proposals were consulted on earlier in the year and the council is still considering the responses they received. The standard of maintenance of Vauxhall Park and the amount of time allocated to the Veolia team visiting the park has been a cause of great concern for many years. The prospect of even the current standard of maintenance not being sustained is a very dark one. Lambeth have been encouraging local groups to take over the managment of their open spaces but the FOVP felt that this was beyond their capacity. Vauxhall One (the local Business Improvement District body) and Vauxhall City Farm have approached the FOVP to propose that Vauxhall Park is included in their plans to take over the maintenance of five open spaces. In the face of the alternative of a very, very basic maintenance regime by council operatives, we have expressed cautious interest in this proposal. Giles Semper, Executive Officer of Vauxhall One, will be addressing our next meeting in the upstairs room of the Wheatsheaf Hall (please let us know if you require access assistance). Please do come along to hear his presentation and to ask any questions that you might have
By our reckoning, the current playground is over 30 years old and although it has been added to over the years, it does not provide the stimulating play that is needed and does not cater for those over 8 years old. We are delighted to Lambeth Council have committed to investing in a new playground for our park. Members of the Steering committee comprising Friends of Vauxhall Park and Lambeth Council have been drawing up plans for the new playground in association with Kinnear Associates. However WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please follow the link below to look at the plans and let us know, as soon as possible, what you think. The plans will be finalised over the next few weeks and construction will start once the summer holidays have finished. We hope to have a playground for the 21st Century which will respect the park’s environment and history and provide local children with a playground they deserve. We look forward to hearing from you! All comments should be sent to email@example.com
We’re delighted to welcome Byron Green, Henrietta Sitwell and Grainne Sherry on to the FOVP Committee. We look forward to working with them to help the FOVP realise their dreams and plans for the Park as it moves beyond its 125th Anniversary
We were very sorry to hear of the death of Penny Sinclair. Penny was, for many years, the incomparable Madame Mazurka Fortune Teller at our annual Summer Fair. Sitting in great splendour in a beautiful Indian tent, she delighted many people over the years with predictions about the future. She took her job very seriously but always fulfilled her role with gentle humour and wit. Penny had her arm twisted to do the job at our first Summer Fair in 2000 and last appeared a couple of years ago. We will miss seeing her elegant figure lending the Fair a certain rariified character. Thank you Penny
We were heartened by the response of so many people who came to see Kinnear Associates’ proposals for our new Masterplan to direct the development of the Park over the next ten years. The consultation is open until 20 December. If you didn’t get along to see the exhibition boards, they will be displayed in the Tate South Lambeth Library from 10-13 December and Kinnear Associates will be in attendance on 10/12 from 10am-12pm, 11/12 12-2pm and 12/12 3.30-4.30pm.
We are delighted that Community Payback are once again working in Vauxhall Park to support the never ending list of maintenance jobs in the Park. The team is working every Thursday for the foreseeable future and, so far, have removed some large bushes which were being used to conceal anti social behaviour and are starting work painting the remaining silver railings in the Park. The Friends of Vauxhall Park have paid for the materials needed to make the rest of our railings look as smart as the dog area railings – a job that Community Payback did for us last year. This week they have been planting spring flowering bulbs adjacent to the Tennis Courts and we are very much looking forward to seeing the results of all their work next year!
We are delighted to announce that Vauxhall Park has once again been awarded a Green Flag and the 2014/2015 Flag is flying over the Park. The Green Flag award scheme is administered by Keep Britain Tidy and recognises and rewards the best green spaces in the country. This means that Vauxhall Park is amongst the 1452 best open spaces in Great Britain. This year has been very difficult with maintenance budgets cut to an absolute minimum. We are very grateful to our Parks Officer, Mickey Penney and the maintenance team working under Donald Campbell. This year’s judging was done by a ‘mysery shopper’ who came unannounced to the park to inspect it. No chance then for a last minute spruce up, so this year’s flag is especially hard won! We are also grateful to the Corporate Volunteer Groups who have visited the park including those from the Langham Hotel, who created our chess table tops for the picnic benches, a team from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who spent a day in the Park and Worldwide Hotels who recently helped with the lavender. Local residents have also played a large part in the upkeep of the park and we are very grateful to them for their time and enthusiasm. Anyone is very welcome to work in the Park. Please contact us as firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.