It’s the official re-opening of Wandle Park today, with six hours of activities from noon. All free, according to the organisers, which considering it is being staged in a public park is no more than ought to be expected.
The full schedule of events can be found here. With Croydon Council’s parks department so denuded of staff, the organisation of today’s activities have been outsourced to our council’s favourite PR agency, Grey Label, with another nice little earner.
According to “Councillor” Clare Hilley, a woman who applies for lobbying jobs using official council emails, the day’s programme in the park includes “sports games” and there is also “the animal children’s farm”. A what? A farm for animal children, perhaps?
The park has a 123-year history, some of it having been cherished in the £3.8 million refurb, other aspects less so. A key area has been the “re-discovery” of the River Wandle, London’s first industrialised Thames tributary, brought back to the surface from its culvert through the park. Not everyone believes that this has been done wholly successfully.
However, this is a key part of creating a green trail, for cyclists and walkers, all the way from the river’s source in South Croydon to the Thames at Wandsworth.
Local-based artist Lis Watkins took her water colours and skills along to Wandle Park earlier this week and created the wonderful image at the top of this page. You can enjoy more of Watkins’s outstanding work, with new pictures posted online almost daily at http://www.lineandwash.blogspot.co.uk/
- Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source that is actually based in the heart of the borough – averaging 44,000 page views per month, Jan-Jun 2013
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- The River Wandle – flowing through Merton and its history (mertonnews.wordpress.com)
- ‘They’re flogging our cultural gems’ (standard.co.uk)