Opened by The Mayor of Greenwich, Cllr. David Grant, the Plumstead Make Merry Festival which was held on Saturday 2nd June on Plumstead Common was a resounding success. Roughly 6,000 people attended throughout the day from all different cultural backgrounds and ages. The first Plumstead Make Merry took place on Saturday 21st June 1975 and was made up from various local people and organisations that volunteered their time. Today it is still run on a voluntary basis by members of the local community. This year, the Plumstead Make Merry benefitted from a Transformers Grant, funded by the National Lottery, through the Olympic Lottery Distributor and managed by ELBA. This meant that the festival was bigger and better than ever.
From Charlton Athletic’s ever popular ‘Beat the Goalkeeper’, alongside the Children’s Treasure Hunt, activities were wide and varied. Dressing up in zany costumes, great fun was had by individuals and teams and children taking part in the Alternative Games in events such as Teletubby racing with prizes and certificates handed out.
Musical entertainment was varied with several children’s acts and dancing as well as folk music and rock acts. Adam Tunji (a popular regular at the festival) appeared on both the main stage and the acoustic tea tent. Eastroad who appeared two years ago also went down a storm with the crowd, whilst The Acapella Punk did a great job interacting with the audience.
Other acts included The Outbursts, Plumstead Harmonies, Ronnie Ripple and the Ripchords, Pink Freud, Diddi Dance, The Meds Collective, Savannah Dumetz, Delve Dance Company, Tan ‘Gun Taekwondo Academy, Dance Fever also entertained the crowds at the main stage, as well as members of the Blackheath Folk Club and poets who entertained people in the Tea Tent.
Sarah Harper, Festival Chair said
“It is such hard work but it is well worth it when I see thousands of people enjoying themselves at this free festival. It is largely thanks to the Transformers Grant Programme and other donations from other small organisations that we were able to put on a festival this year. No one gets paid and everyone donates his or her time. We’re already planning for next year, so if anyone is interested in joining up please get in touch”
Catering to everyone’s needs there was also a diverse representation of over 60 stalls, ranging from community groups, local individuals and businesses. This year the trophy for the Best Dressed Stall was awarded to St. Christopher’s Hospice who will also receive a free stall space for 2013.
The organisers would love to see your photos and videos from the festival on Saturday, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Does anyone have photos or memories of the early days of Plumstead Make Merry from when it was a when it was a two-day festival? If so, please get in contact with Rhiannon at Plumstead Make Merry (see main website or Facebook for contact details) who is documenting the early years. At present she has tracked down some early photos from Barbara, an Ascension Playgroup leader who put her in touch with Tony who had archive footage of the 1978 Plumstead Make Merry.
More information about the Plumstead Make Merry and news can be found on our website, www.plumsteadmakemerry.co.uk and on our Facebook, Twitter and MySpace pages.
About the Plumstead Make Merry
The Plumstead Make Merry is the longest running festival in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
From the very first recorded festival in 1975 on Plumstead Common, the festival has grown in size,
amenities and diversity. This volunteer led festival has continued annually, with one exception, in 2011, when due to a lack of funding from the London Borough of Greenwich, the festival was replaced with a scaled-down event called the ‘Not the Plumstead Make Merry’.
The Plumstead Make Merry Association is a voluntary community initiative that provides an annual festival of music, arts and activities for all of the local community. The festival provides a celebration of the history of Plumstead and a celebration of our diverse community. We are committed to celebrating our community.
1. The 2010 Plumstead Make Merry was attended by approx. 7,000 members of the community throughout the day.
2. Further information about us can be found on the following internet sites:
Main website: www.plumsteadmakemerry.co.uk
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/PlumsteadMakeMerry
3. The Transformers grant programme is directing over £1.5 million of funding to communities in five of the Olympic Host Boroughs over two years.
4. East London Business Alliance (ELBA) is a social regeneration charity that facilitates corporate investment from City and CanaryWharf companies into community programmes across east London. ELBA manages the Legacy 2020 programme, including a £1.5 million Transformers Community Small Grants Scheme, funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor. The Legacy 2020 programme seeks to secure a positive legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games for east London communities through projects covering skills, sports and culture.
ELBA has over 120 corporate members and hundreds of contacts on the ground in Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham, Greenwich and WalthamForest. A registered charity, ELBA has over 20 years of experience in facilitating successful partnerships between business and the community. Its work includes running flagship, award-winning employee volunteering schemes that meet real community needs ranging from mentoring and board membership to traditional team challenges as well as delivering successful employment programmes in partnership with its corporate members. In the last year ELBA helped place over 700 people into work through its employment team, supported over 12,000 business volunteers, and worked with over 500 local organisations in east London.
5. The Olympic Lottery Distributor (OLD) is investing National Lottery money to fund the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It will be providing up to £1.8 billion for the infrastructure of the Olympic Park and Olympic facilities across the UK. It is also providing £16.6 million to support the Cultural Olympiad and 3.42 million to fund the network of Big Screens across the UK.
In addition, the Olympic Lottery Distributor is funding three community projects managed by the East London Business Alliance: In the Parks is a three year project aimed at increasing long term participation in sport; Represent London is a three year employability and volunteering programme for young people; and Transformers is a small grants programme supporting innovative projects which celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in five of the Olympic Host Boroughs.
More information about the Olympic Lottery Distributor can be found at www.olympiclotterydistributor.org.uk.