What happened at Maryon Park’s Big Picnic 2019?

A group of neighbours who live near Maryon Park held a big picnic there last Saturday. HELEN JAKEWAYS, one of the organisers, explains what happened…

This was our fourth Picnic and once more we were extremely lucky with the weather. We were able to put on many more games and activities this year thanks to funds raised from Greenwich Council’s ward budget, Tesco Bags of Growth and sponsorship from Lovell.We were also kindly supported by the council’s Park Rangers team.

We hosted about 500 people over the course of the afternoon, including all the performers, group leaders, stall holders and our 30+ strong volunteer team and the main field in Maryon Park was bustling with activity surrounded by people enjoying their picnics in the shade provided by the trees round the edge of the park.

We enjoyed a couple of lovely dance performances and workshops run by Greenwich Dance, football sessions run by Charlton Athletic coaches which were enormously popular, non-contact boxing taster sessions with St Peter’s Amateur Boxing Club and late-arriving roaming hula hoops and basic circus skills sessions from Aircraft Circus.

There was a busy programme on and around the small stage including a set from Charlton based DJ Ed Simmons and performances from the Brass Band, the Woolwich Singers, The Tuesday Morning Recorder Group and Creative Generation Dance and Gymnastics, all kept in order by MCs Christopher Seaden and Justine Bennett from Charlton Parkside Community Hub.

We were delighted to have our stage powered entirely by the sun and can highly recommend the Solar Roller, run by the Minesweeper Collective (enquiries to minesweepercollective[at]gmail.com) – this comes complete with a sound system and lovely technician Camden, who has attended our event for three years now.

We had a broad range of games for smaller children to play with and on including our stable of pink space hoppers and a very busy creative making tent hosted by Liz Buck from St Luke’s Church. A more sedate guided tree walk was hosted by the Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Parks. Community stalls included the 38th Woolwich Scout Group, the Brownies, Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Park, Charlton Athletic Community Trust Youth Services, Riverwood (a Mencap-funded carpentry project), Friends of Windrush School, Neighbourhood Watch, Greenwich Dance, the St Thomas Church Tuesday Group and the local Neighbourhood Forum. Woodhill Brewing Collective (Simon, Dan and Owen) were on site selling their very popular homebrew, the profits from which they generously donate to the St Thomas Church Night Shelter project every year and there were soft and not-so soft drinks on sale organised by Andrew Donkin from Valley Hill Community Hub.

The Community Garden was open for the afternoon so the whole park really was busy. The event was rounded off by some very competitive sack, egg and spoon, three-legged and space hopper races, the tug-of-war and raffle, proceeds from which will be used to support the St Thomas Church Night Shelter project. This free local event aimed at families is growing in confidence every year, but we aim to keep it small and manageable so there is plenty of space and opportunity for everyone to enjoy the afternoon.

Huge thanks are due to all those who pitched in this year – volunteers, performers, groups running the activity sessions, stall holders and of course the audience who turned up to help make it all such a special afternoon. We are always looking for local volunteers to help especially with fundraising, planning and stewarding on the day – if you’d like to be involved next year please contact Charlton Parkside Community Hub Admin on cpchadm[at]gmail.com.

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Maryon Park to host Picnic in the Park this Sunday

Maryon Park
Photo by Maureen Barlin (via Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Charlton Parkside Community Hub and Valley Hill Community Hub have been in touch about Picnic in the Park in Maryon Park this Sunday, 18 June from 2-6pm.

We have been very busy co-ordinating all the lovely people and groups who are taking part in this event and here is your reminder to get your picnic baskets out and ready!

We are delighted to announce that our recently re-elected MP Matthew Pennycook has agreed to open the event for us. Following that, there will be:

– Plenty of space for picnics

– Ice-cream van, a stall selling soft drinks, locally brewed beer and wine and Feast will be selling small hot snacks. There will also be elderflower cordial and jam for sale and there might even be cakes somewhere

– Games and races for all – large and small

– Live music from our very own Jim Kinsella, the local Recorder Ensemble and a special guest appearance from some members of the East London Brass Band with DJ slots in between courtesy of Ed Simmons

– Dance performances from the Mulvihill Academy of Irish Dance and the Marjorie Hawkins Dance Academy

– Boxing (non-contact and child centred) demonstrations and ‘have a go’ fitness workshops run by the local St Paul’s Boxing Club

– Judo demonstrations from the club who practice in New Charlton Community Centre

– Local group stalls including Riverwood, who make wonderful things out of reclaimed wood, Riding for the Disabled, Friends of Charlton Lido, the WI, Bexley and Greenwich Hospice, Friends of Maryon Parks, St Thomas Church & The Tuesday Group, Thorntree PTA… and possibly more.

– Information and energy-saving advice provided by South East London Community Energy who have very kindly donated a solar powered generator to us for the day

– Opportunities to visit the Growing Garden and see all the great work being done there helping local people grow their own food

Make sure you bring some cash with you as there will also be:

– A qualified massage therapist offering massage to help raise funds for Friends of Maryon Parks
Plants for sale (and from 10am in the Growing Garden)

– Bric-a-brac, raffle and tombola

Entry is free, but we will be doing a bucket rattle to help with the costs of the publicity, incidentals, insurances and licenses over and above any funding we might receive. Anything left once we have covered costs will be donated to the St Thomas Church Nightshelter project.