Walworth CAN 12/06/2017 Meeting Notes

The latest Walworth CAN meeting had one focus and one focus only… The upcoming revival of the Walworth Festival! 


  • John Whelan – Walworth Society
  • Robert Jamieson – Community Southwark
  • Roberta Titley – Elephant Park 
  • Beatrice Reita – Local Resident 
  • Marcela Vielman – Pembroke House
  • Patrick Clifford – Local Residnet/Draper TRA
  • Gisele Jouanolle – Local Resident/Draper TRA 
  • F.S. O’Loughnane – Local Resident 
  • Nicola Smyth – Walworth Garden Farm
  • Jeremy Leach – Walworth Society 
  • Carol Wheatley – Local Resident/Newington TRA 
  • Elizabeth Morrow – CoolTan Arts 
  • Richard Galpin – Local Resident/Alberta TRA 
  • Rachelle  

Your History. Your Community. Get Involved! 

The Walworth Society has recently announced that they will bringing back to life the old Festival as a major event in Walworth for 2017. Not seen since the early 1980s, they will be creating four street and Park based festivals across four Saturdays this Summer along with a package of local events to promote the heritage, creativity and diversity of the Walworth area. 

Four different streets/ park locations off the Walworth Road will be closed for the day and animated with local performers, music, history, local business and artisans. It will be an opportunity for people to come together and find out what is happening in the Walworth area and for traders/artisans to promote their talents and sell their produce/products. 

(We were treated to a little film at the start of the meeting…)

But how can residents get involved? 

John Whelan, curator of the festival, gave a rundown of what we could expect this summer but we also wanted to support his recruitment drive for volunteers to help over the four days this summer. 

Festival dates: 

Saturday 1st July, 11-5pm on Liverpool Grove 

Saturday 22nd July, 11-5pm on Fielding Street 

Saturday 19th August, 11-5pm on Westmoreland Road 

Saturday 30th September, 11-5 at The New Elephant Park

Volunteer Roles 

There is plenty of ways in which local residents can help in making the festival a success. We had a group discussion exploring some of those ways, and we may have even recruited a few willing volunteers!  

Ways in which you can help: 

  • Traffic Marshals 
  • Manning Information Points 
  • Stewards 
  • Marketing/Comms 
  • Stage Manager 
  • Runners 
  • MC 
  • First Aid 
  • Street Dressing 
  • Events Management 
  • Assisting John (I think the title ‘lieutenant’ was suggested…). 
  • Flyering 

If any of these sound good to you then please get in touch with John and offer your help. It will be gratefully received!whelanjohnwalworth@gmail.com or call 07535413884  

John is also looking for anyone who has a business or someone who would like to try out selling crafts on a stall. Space will be provided for free. This also applies to any local charity or community group who wishes to promote what they do or any upcoming events. 

You can download a stallholders application form here. 


Nothing if not democratic

John also wanted to impress upon those of us at the meeting that the festival is about what Walworth residents want to see. We opened up the discussion to any ideas and suggestions that could make current plans even better.  

Here are a few of them: 

  • Local History/Actors (John confirmed that this would, indeed, be a big feature of the festivals). 
  • Singing competition 
  • Street Dancing 
  • ‘Walworth’s Got Talent’ (minus Simon Cowell) 
  • Rope Walker 
  • Petting Zoo 
  • Music 
  • Gin… (this was my suggestion). 

So What’s Going On? 

After the main discussion we heard about several projects from across the Walworth area. Below are a few details of each. 

Walworth Garden Farm 

Walworth Garden is a unique charity dedicated to changing lives through horticulture.  

They run a horticultural training centre which provides support for people to get back into employment. This focuses on a wide range of skills including creating, designing and constructing gardens and is free for Southwark residents.  

They are open 7 days a week and have a garden centre which is open until 9pm in the summer.  

They are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year and are marking this with two jam-packed days of activities and adventure. You can find out more details by clicking here.  


Elephant Park 

Tucked behind the Artworks at the Elephant, and part of the Heygate regeneration, Elephant Park is a green space that is set to open this summer. Details are relatively sketchy at this point but work is going on behind the scenes to ensure that the local community benefit from the space as much as possible. Get in touch if you want to find out more. engage@communitysouthwark.org 

CoolTan Arts 

CoolTan is a charity run for adults with experience of mental distress. Their activities include workshops, self advocacy, volunteering, exhibitions and public art projects. A personal highlight of mine is the guided walks they run throughout the borough. 

They are now raising money to help CoolWalks become self-sustaining Social Enterprise this year. This will allow them to support existing, as well as 40 new volunteers, deliver another year of training, and create six brand new walks for the local community, celebrating South London’s diverse cultural heritage! More details here.


(Their David Bowie themed walk was excellent…)

Pembroke House 

Pembroke House is a multi-use community space and has served the communities of Walworth since 1885. They run the Pembroke Academy of Music, where local children learn to play an instrument and sing in our community choir. They also have own Community Garden which supports their Wellbeing Project. What’s more they weekly lunch club for fabulous older people. You can find out more about Pembroke House by clicking here. They are always looking for volunteers! 


If anyone would like more support in getting connected or developing ideas and initiatives please contact a member of our team: engage@communitysouthwark.org

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