Report from Cllr Diana Morris
With all this talk of woolly jumpers, heating bills and autumn storms, it seems a good time to look back wistfully on our wonderfully warm summer. Thornton’s summer events started at St Bernadette’s school on Atkins Road and ended with Pentney Road street party.
The sun hadn’t quite shown its full colours for the St Bede’s/St Bernadette’s summer event at the end of June. But bouncy castles and barbecues easily made up for a bit of drizzle and the children never even noticed. The Mayor saw the fun along with Lib Peck and myself. And from then on it as sunshine all the way.
The Mayor turned up again in Thornton a few days later to meet me at Glenbrook’s summer fair where the children were enjoying themselves greatly and organizing the grown ups. I distributed the prizes under strict pupil oversight. It was so hot that the Mayor and I had to take refuge under a tree.
By the following Saturday, both the Mayor and I had learnt our lesson. We were furnished with shady hats when we met up with Lib Peck, Thornton councillor and Leader of the Council, to enjoy the fun at the Telferscot school fair with Chuka Umunna, our local MP, showing up to give out the prizes.
It was one of the last times that we all saw the ‘temporary’ and rather dilapidated huts at the front of the school. Since then some new, temporary but now fit-for-purpose buildings have been erected and the school is busy consulting on designs for a new permanent school extension on the adjoining site. All three of us ward councillors, Ed, Lib and myself are proud that we managed to persuade the council to buy that site to provide more school places for our growing numbers of local children.
Another weekend, another school fair, this time at Henry Cavendish Primary School. This is always a special one for Lib and me because we are both parents of children who attend or have attended the school. This year’s summer fete as the most blistering I can remember even though as a parent I spent many a hot afternoon there helping out on the badge-making stall.
It was a huge success with lots of people attending and a host of new activities as well as some of the old favourites – but no badges!
I failed to break my record of never winning a raffle prize but was happy as long as I could find a tree to provide some shade while I sipped a delicious lemon drink prepared by the students.
Chuka had obviously decided by this time that suits and hot school fairs didn’t mix and looked far more summery for this occasion…
On 31st July, Clapham Park Homes celebrated the opening of their Pop-Up Shop on King’s Avenue – next to Sainsbury’s. This is a space where there will be a variety of community events over the next few months.
African drums were there to provide music – with the help of the Mayor.
Ed and I were there too with a number of local residents Katie, Doris, Elspeth and Sue. We visited the Pop-Up Shop again over the summer to see various exhibitions about the Clapham Park regeneration programme and I dropped in one afternoon to the wonderful sewing club.
Last year I got involved in the organising of a Fun Day for the Clapham Park Estate. In the days when there was New Deal for Communities funding, the Clapham Park fun days were grand events which took place in Agnes Riley Gardens. Nowadays the fun days are more community based, organized with volunteers and with some funding from a variety of organisations, the Clapham Park Tenants and Residents Association, the Neighbourhood Forum, Clapham Park Homes, Clapham Park Project as well as various contractors working in the area – Wates, Pinnacle and Rydons – and they take place on the estate.
It went well last year, taking place on one of the few hot days that summer, so we decided to do it again this year. We were able to choose a day that coincided with Eid so that it was a double celebration.
We had lots of volunteers, tasty food, good music, bouncy castles, cuddly animals (from Vauxhall City Farm), a tombola, a cake stall, a treasure hunt, free bike repairs, children’s crafts, henna-ing, face painting, free health checks and last but not least a football tournament. Something for everyone!
It was an exhausting but satisfying day for all us volunteers, ably organized by Ching Wah Wong from Clapham Park Project. And we were even still smiling for the photo taken at the end.