Archive for the ‘Local events’ Category

Save Vauxhall Bus Station campaign at Oval Farmers’ Market

02 Mar

The community stall at the Oval Farmers’ Market has always been a good place to canvas views of the local population on a variety of issues.  Yesterday, it was being used by the Save Vauxhall Bus Station campaign. Activity at the stall appeared brisk.

I wasn’t directly involved (too busy doing follow up consultation on the Oval Triangle and attending a Friends of St Marks Churchyard meeting) but understand the  majority canvassed were not aware of the proposal to demolish the bus station and were against it once they had heard.  A minority had no opinion on the matter and only a small minority were content for it to be demolished.

There can be little doubt that the Vauxhall gyratory area needs to be improved.  However, Lambeth and TfL appear to have polarised local opinion by ‘promoting’ what they think the solution is before they had asked the local community.  Now there seems to be some back tracking going on but the damage has already been done.  My preference would be to get behind a positive vision for  Vauxhall gyratory and I haven’t seen one yet.

Let’s not forget that the TfL/Lambeth legacy to the area has been three of the top 10 most dangerous junctions in London for cyclists (Vauxhall gyratory, Oval junction, Elephant and Castle).   Vauxhall Bus Station opened in 2004 and ten years later it is threatened with demolition by those responsible for putting it there in the first place.  Their past record does not instil me with confidence that a sensible vision for Vauxhall will emerge from this process.  Perhaps it is time to let the local community try.


Oval Triangle cycling event

27 Feb

With all the Clapham Road flooding going on this evening it seems more pressing matters will be on people’s minds but I did want to mention an event that took place this morning on the Oval Triangle.  It may not be the safest or quietest venue but the Oval Triangle was chosen to launch the Transport Committees cycling report.  Those who visited were offered a little breakfast, a free bike service from Dr Bike and security marking from the police.  Val Shawcross and others from the London Assembly were there.

I was really pleased to be seeing this space used in this way and hopefully it will be used again.  TfL are expected to make some money available to improve this strategic green space in the middle of the Oval Junction. Some preliminary consultation has already taken place with the next round being held at the Oval Farmers’ Market on Saturday

Here are some pictures from this morning.






Clapham Road flood and road collapse

27 Feb

Our sympathies to all those residents and businesses affected by the Clapham Road floods this evening.  It looks like Palfrey Place has been badly affected.  If anyone needs any help please make contact.  Apparently a water main burst and after a bus passed, the road collapsed.  Nicky from Abi’s Deli was interviewed and maybe appearing on TV tomorrow morning

Here are some pictures of the Clapham Road flood from earlier  and I’ve posted a few short video clips here.

As the road has collapsed I suspect it will take some time to fix so if you are thinking about driving tomorrow think again.


Battle to save Kennington Park Crown Post Office hots up

25 Jan

I first wrote about the plans to ‘close’ Kennington Park Crown Post Office last year. The Post Office would have us believe that it is a ‘merger with Walworth Road Post Office’. The only thing that needs merging is the Post office PR machine with an extensive course on plain English. I say to the Post Office “Call it what it is. You are planning to CLOSE Kennington Park Crown Post Office. If you think there is no social cost to this think again. The elderly and vulnerable will suffer if this goes ahead.”

Anyway…The local Labour group had a stall outside the Post Office today getting signatures to help save the Post Office. Local councillors (existing and prospective candidates) from Oval and Princes Wards were there and trade at the stall was brisk. The battle to save Kennington Park Crown Post Office is now hotting up. Let’s see what proves to be more important, shareholders’ dividends or local people and businesses as they they are the ones who will lose the most.


Local shop Abi’s Deli part of ‘suspended coffee’ world record attempt

25 Jan

Abis Deli suspended coffeeFor those (like me) who have never heard of ‘suspended coffee’ before,  it is when you make a donation to participating shops and they use that donation to provide a cup of coffee or some food for that matter, to those in need.  It is a simple act of generosity “Caffè Sospeso” that started in Naples about a hundred years ago.  Now it is starting to glow global.

In the case of Abi’s Deli on the Oval Parade, they will also be donating any profits to charity.  There will be a world record attempt to see how many suspended coffees can be bought in one day  Please do pop in to Abi’s Deli and find out more about the scheme and how you too can help them be part of this world record attempt.


Oval Farmers’ Christmas Event

17 Dec

The Friends of St Marks Churchyard started in October 2013 and they were organising their first Christmas event last Saturday.  Lots of new members were signed up and the mulled wine was definitely worth having.  I was very impressed by the effort put into contacting local businesses who made donations towards the event.  Carols were courtesy of Kennington Choir. Here are some pictures from the day.



Kennington Oval [the name has got to change] clear up

30 Nov

Many thanks to all those who turned up to clear ‘Kennington Oval’.  It was a confusing start though as people didn’t know where ‘Kennington Oval’ was so volunteers started in the churchyard!  Still, the team finally found it by 10:30 and managed to make a good start on clearing up.     Let’s hope Lambeth street care,  who are responsible for cleaning the area, get the hint.

The name of the space has certainly got to change. I’m not sure who in Lambeth started calling this triangular space  Kennington Oval but it is plain wrong.  I think it best that we leave ‘Kennington Oval’ for the cricket ground and the road that goes around it.  As the space has been triangular since about 1820 – getting on for 200  years – I think we might as well start calling it Kennington Triangle .  This seems particularly apt as the volunteers ‘disappeared’ for a while this morning and contractors seems to avoid the area as if it were the Bermuda Triangle 🙂

Starting to get a few ideas about how best to use the space but it is early days yet.  A leak was pointed out near the bus stop – water is flowing up through the ground near a tree and flowing out onto the pavement.  Apparently it has been like this for years.  Surely not.   Here are a few pictures of the day.


Kennington Oval Cleanup – Saturday 30 November 10:00 to 12:00

26 Nov

VOLUNTEERS WANTED to clean up the Kennington Oval this Saturday.  Please come if you can.

The Kennington Oval is the triangular piece of land opposite the Oval Station and St Marks Church, Kennington.  I can’t  remember the last time the community got together and did anything in this space.  Certainly not in recent years.   This Saturday we are getting together to clean it up – mostly sweeping up the leaves and anything else that needs doing.  We want to transform this space so that it is better used. Too long has this been an  island cut off by busy roads.  If you have some ideas on how it might be used come and join us.



St Marks Churchyard tidy up October 2013

12 Oct

A lot of effort goes into organising volunteer events but the weather can easily scupper the best plans. Earlier in the week the weather prospects didn’t look too good and on Friday it was pumping down with rain. Fortunately, the rain held off and some 30 volunteers including children turned out to help tidy up the churchyard. Compared with previous events, volunteers were taking on much more difficult tasks. Here is what we achieved:

* The largest pot holes were repaired;
* Repair of play ground railings underway (being paid for Lambeth Parks);
* Grass repairs continuing;
* Stonework cleaning commenced (this is a massive job);
* Area behind gravestones cleared

When ever you put on events like this there are always a few things that go wrong. This time it was the skip being put in the wrong place. As it was already partially filled, it proved very difficult to move. We waited for a few people to arrive and then made a concerted effort to move the skip. it is surprising what you can do with enough people. Here are a few pictures from the day


St Marks Churchyard tidy up 2013: Things to do

08 Oct

On Saturday 12th October, we are looking for volunteers to help tidy up St Marks churchyard between 9:00 and 12:30. We are hoping to:

* Repair ground damage (ground needs aerating and grass seeds sowed in various places)
* Put down compost in sunken areas
* Clear behind gravestones (there are lots of rubbish and saplings growing there)
* Clean stonework – entrance to St Marks Chambers and other side entrance/crypt
* Repair pot holes in drive way
* Tidy up rose bed
* Tidy up around the boundary wall/fence – remove any saplings/rubbish etc.

It’s not all about work though. We just want to get together as a community, hopefully make some new friends and generally enjoy ourselves. At 12:30 we will be launching a new friends group so if you want to call yourself a founder member of that group, do try and come along. Below are a few pictures of the things we are trying to tackle. The broken playground railings, are due to be fixed this week.