Madame Mazurka Vauxhall Park’s Fortune Teller

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

Come and have your say on the new masterplan!

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.

Community Payback giving back to Vauxhall Park

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 did001 (2) 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!

Another Green Flag for Vauxhall Park!

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 PenneyIMG-20130430-00065 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 friends@vauxhallpark.org if you are interested.

Alfresco chess!

chess playersA team from the Langham Hotel in Portland Place, led by Art4Space, spent a day in the Park recently transforming three of our picnic benches into chess/draughts boards with mosaics.

The benches can be found in the lavender garden area although they tend to wander around. The surrounds of the table tops were inspired by the FOVP’s logo and HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

We hope to leave a set of chess and draughts pieces in the Cafe for players to use – if you have an old set you could donate please let us know!

Summer Fair a huge success

punch and judy (750x1000)The Summer Fair 2014 was a great success and even the sun stayed with us all day.

A huge crowd from the community and beyond turned out to enjoy a bustling day of events including the extraordinary children’s games very generously organised by and sponsored by the Oval Montessori Nursery School.

Elsewhere in the Park you could have played crazy golf, been coached by members of Chelsea FC’s training staff, slide down a giant inflatable slide, sung to Popstarz Karaoke or just listened to the inspiring young musicians of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Donkeys delighted many young jockeys and many went for a spin in the giant tea cups.

An amazing display of plants propagated by the talented team of Tessa and Anne, who maintain the bed by the Fentiman Road/Stanley Close entrance, were supplemented by plants donated by New Covent Garden Market on the FOVP’s Plant Stall and gave an enticing welcome to the avenue of stalls of local businesses and community groups.

Delicious food from Mumbai Delight and jerk chicken from Camlo’s Place tempted taste buds and Paolo had a never ending queue for ice cream from his vintage ice cream van.

Our four legged friends competed for the cutest puppy, handsomest boy, prettiest girl amongst other classes and the Seth Taylor cup was presented in memory of our founding Summer Fair organised Seth Taylor who sadly died earlier this year.

We are very grateful to Winkworth in particular who are the main sponsor of the fair and did copious amounts of copying of posters and flyers. We were delighted that the Kennington Oval Vauxhall Forum were at the fair and very generously sponsored some of the rides. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the enthusiastic team of helpers who put up and took down gazebos and moved tables and chairs and who manned the rides in the afternoon. A great deal of legwork went into putting up posters around the neighbourhood. The Fair literally could not have happened without the tables and chairs kindly lent by St Anne and All Saints and of course their cups of tea for the volunteers during the fair

Fawcett plaque unveiled and Green Flag hoisted

plaque Just before Christmas, Kate Hoey MP unveiled the new plaque to Henry and Millicent Fawcett, who were such generous benefactors of the Park when it was established.

It is situated by the mulberry tree on the central grassy area near to the tennis courts and Café.

Lucy Haugh, a talented young stone engraver, working in Burgess Park, made the plaque and we are very grateful to the South London Fawcett Group for sponsoring this plaque with the Friends.

At the same occasion, we were delighted to welcome Cllr Sally Prentice, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, to the Park to officially raise Vauxhall Park’s sixth Green Flag.

flagpole