CROFTFEST 2016 - A celebration of 'Our London Village' - Crofton Park
The date for Croftfest is Saturday 24th September which is now only 5 days away! This will be the 4th year that the area of Crofton Park, SE4 has celebrated with a festival along the High Street and the Ewhurst Road parade, involving local businesses, the library, the community garden and St. Hilda’s church. The lead organiser has always been Stacie from Pat-a-cakes but with the closure of the cafe last November the future of the event was in doubt. Luckily Bianca, from Benedict’s coffee shop and Sodia who runs her own cake business, Sucre le Crème, kindly stepped in and took on the mantle of helping organise another Croftfest-big thanks to them.
With lots of new businesses emerging on the High Street & Ewhurst road over the past year there was certainly an enthusiasm for it to happen again and the new kids on the block were keen to get involved, along with the ‘old hands’.
This blog will be largely factual giving information on what will be happening on the day/what time and where. Some of the details have yet to be finalised and when I get them I will endeavour to update the information. I will start with St. Hilda’s where a lot is taking place and is the southern end of activities and continue along the High Street on the west side, coming back on the east side and finishing with the wonderful Ewhurst road parade.
ST HILDA’S This will be one of the highlights of Croftfest. Courtrai road is closed to traffic for the day so this will enlarge the space which is currently restricted with the scaffolding surrounding the church for the roof replacement works. There will be a stage at one end with live music taking place throughout the day. The line-up is very illustrious with local band ‘The Grey Cats’, the Rock choir and the ever popular Brockley Ukulele Group plus more. The local fire engine will be there for families to explore and always proves a great hit.
In the way of activities there will of course be a bouncy castle, in fact two. The fab Kim and staff from Tippee Toes will be providing a soft play area and babies bouncy castle for under 2 year olds. Also there is a Teddy and Dolly zip wire so children need to bring their favourite toy for them to experience this thrilling ride! There is a free children's entertainment show at 2.30pm and lots more fete games. The London Cyclists will have a 'Dr Bike' stall from 12-3pm where they will be carrying out free bike checks and basic repairs. There are other stalls.
Once again our fab local bar, the London Beer Dispensary, will be providing a beer tent. I think there will also be lots of food stalls with Longhorn's providing burgers and the Blue Room providing Mexican street food and some cake samples.
Certainly there is lots happening in this area and the entertainment around St. Hilda’s should occupy both adults and children alike.
I should also add here that the fabulous ‘Lewisham Usherettes’ will be spotted around Crofton Park during the day handing out and giving/gathering information in their very unique and lively way. These theatrical characters are part of the very innovative Teatro Vivo’s ‘Lewisham Project’ Look out for them and certainly engage if you are lucky enough to meet them
BUDGEN’S Jay/Patrick and family will be having their Indian food stall positioned in the driveway between the Brockley Jack pub and Budgen’s, selling the usual delicious fayre during the day. If you haven’t yet tasted their samosas you are in for a treat!
LONGHORN’S Rudi, Otello and family will be offering a 15% discount off children’s and adult meals from 12-5pm and then from 5-10pm there will be a 10% reduction. They will also be giving away a Longhorn party bag free to every child.
BRYAN & KEEGAN There will be the usual FREE face painting inside the estate agents from 11.30-3.30pm – always very popular so get there early!
FRED’S This new cafe will be doing a Croftfest special afternoon tea and a glass of free prosecco with every purchase. It is also hoped a bear costume will feature with one of the staff dressing up-sounds fun-watch this space!
CHAPLIN’S The owner, Mem, of this new popular barbers says that one of his staff will be doing free men’s styling/product testing/advice from 12-3pm.
JONE’S OF BROCKLEY Our fab new grocers had just opened at last year’s Croftfest and this year Michael will be offering selected free samples on his seasonal fruit and delicious cheeses.
PUCCINI’S KITCHENS One of our newest businesses on the block have booked a balloon modeller from 1-4pm so pop along and say hello-perhaps discuss a kitchen whilst your children are having an animal created!
RIVOLI BALLROOM I have always tried to get our amazing ballroom involved in Croftfest and spent a lot of time trying to persuade Bill to have a guided tour of his beautiful building-I may have managed it this year but I’m still awaiting confirmation! Anyway in the evening they are hosting their regular 1970s/80s disco night so why not finish off the day strutting your stuff on the dance floor!
ARLO & MOE Jamie and Jules always like to do something a little different and so this year are holding a ‘Vegetable Monster’ competition with prizes for the winners. Get creating! Plus there is live music outside the cafe at 3pm with Olivia Lamb and 3.30pm 'Flatfoot Johnny & the Wandering Rhythm'
MALAYSIAN DELI Our local deli will be open from 12-5pm during Croftfest and will be doing a special ‘Nasi Lemak’ buffet for £8.99 plus some light snacks will be sold outside the shop. If you haven’t tasted their food yet this is the time to do so as it is very tasty!
FIRST GLANCE Roan will have a DJ playing live music outside the hairdressers all afternoon-always adds a great buzz to that end of town.
JAM CIRCUS There will be live music during Croftfest and hopefully ‘meet the brewer’ details yet to be confirmed
BEECROFT GARDEN SCHOOL It’s always hard to involve our wonderful local school due to the timing and the summer holidays happening during the main lead in but this year the PTA are having a fabric sale in the playground from 12-4pm. I understand they have great quality upholstery, curtain and dressmaking fabric for sale, large pieces and remnants at bargain prices-sounds well worth checking out! Also there is possibly a dance performance by the children. Details to be confirmed.
BENEDICT’S COFFEE As mentioned at the start of the blog Bianca was very keen to be involved with Croftfest and teamed up with her cake supplier, Sodia of Sucre le Crème to lead on the festival. She will be having deals and samples in the cafe during the day with Sucre le Crème selling cupcakes outside the cafe. Together they have organised the raffle with lots of great prizes and I will post a list up with all the generous donators from the local businesses once it has been finalized. All the money will go towards improvements in the local area.
PARAPHERNALIA Mandi and her staff always throw themselves into Croftfest and this year is no exception. Celebrating 19 years on the block they will be offering a 19% discount on all shop items. Local models will be dressed up and be seen on the High street whilst in-store they will be giving away birthday goody bags and from 4pm there will be a free glass of bubbly.
CROFTON PARK LIBRARY There is lots happening at our local library for Croftfest. They will be having their own raffle with a chance to win a refurbished laptop.
Historians Carol and Mike Harris have set up a local history group and they are doing really interesting things for Croftfest. The walk is not to be missed as I went on one of theirs during Brockley Max and it fwas so informative. They have wrote “See the streets of Crofton Park and Brockley, as they looked 100 years ago. The Crofton Park History Group will be presenting a new display of postcards of the early years of Crofton Park, at Croftfest on Saturday 24th September, 11-4pm. The group will be in the library all day, with maps and mementos about the history, homes and people of the area. Find out when your street was built, where local people shopped, and how the area grew from a hamlet on the road to Croydon to a rather lovely suburb for Victorian hipsters.The group will also be repeating the popular history walk, ‘Crofton Park: the view from the streets’. Leaving from the library at 2pm, we’ll find evidence of the last 1,000 years, the oldest footpath and hear about some famous residents" There will also be a competition with a suitably historical prize so sign up on facebook for more info https://www.facebook.com/CroftonParkhistory/
Meanwhile, outside in the main forecourt, there will be stalls with Crofton Books (vintage/classics/contemporary books) leading the way and offering a 20% festival discount on all merchandise. Rivyl Vinyl will be selling vintage vinyl records, Colourful Creations, who sell gorgeous contemporary homeware, will also be there along with Jitesh Patel, artist and author who will be selling a new tote bag range. Men's T shirts, veggie wraps, handmade cushions and ceramics and organic shrubs will also be on offer on the main forecourt so there is lots to check out in this area and it is hoped this will be the launch of a monthly market outside the library on every 4th Saturday with the next one being on the 29th October (Halloween themed) - all very exciting for Crofton Park! Also in this area there will be a reading of local author Claire Stanhope’s children’s book ‘Brenda’s Bottom’ at 2.30pm from actress Rea Mole.
The library sounds like the place to be!
COMMUNITY GARDEN Have you been and seen the tremendous progress by Kay, Tony and the team at the community garden on Marnock Road? If not then it will be open for your viewing at Croftfest from 10-3pm and more importantly if you could spare an hour of your time to help volunteer that would be great. I understand there will also be a plant sale. Pop down and share in this community space.
LONDON BEER DISPENSARY Once again they are staffing and providing the alcohol refreshment for the beer tent down at St. Hilda’s.
EWHURST ROAD Besides the main High street this is the only other shopping parade in Crofton Park but there is a real community feel to these few businesses and they are always looking at ways to improve the area and have ordered 3 trees to be planted in the Spring. One of the trees has been funded by the Crofton Park street party and the others have been initially funded by The Workshop and Proud Sow but any profits made by the activities at Croftfest will go towards these trees.
THE WORKSHOP Lucy and Donna will be running a hat and headdress workshop outside their shop in Ewhurst Road from 12-3pm. They did something similar for the Crofton Park street party and it was brilliant! Will appeal to crafty children but also adults!
CATFOOD CAKES Besides Cat selling her delicious cakes during the day she will be doing a ‘guess the weight of the cake’ competition with a £1 entry and the winner will receive the cake (worth £60) All the money will go towards the trees.
PROUD SOW Our local fab butchers are celebrating their 2nd birthday and Oli, Ben and Josh will be running a BBQ outside the shop for Croftfest. All money will go towards the trees.
LA LA PIANO BAR Why not end the day singing your heart out at La La Piano bar over at the Brockley Social Club, only 10 minutes walk away. This is a real fun night out, hosted by David Roper from ‘4 Poofs and a Piano’ He has many talented musical/theatrical friends who perform on the night and you yourself can sign up to sing. However the big draw of the night is the sing-a-longs where we all join in (song sheets are provided with the words) It really is a great entertaining evening and I guarantee you will enjoy it. Tickets are only £10 and £8 concessions (plus small booking fee). For more details and tickets sign up here. See you there! http://bit.ly/2bs34yA
FAMILY QUIZ During the week I will be preparing a family quiz/scavenger hunt sheet that you will be able to use and go into all of the businesses and discover the answers. I will post it here with a link so you could print off or else you can collect some sheets from Jones of Brockley or The Workshop.
Okay that is it for now. I think you will agree there is lots happening during the day and certainly there is always a buzz in the area during the previous Croftfests. I hope there is something for everyone so please come down and support. Let’s hope the sun shines but even if it doesn’t the show will still go on and it will be a wonderful celebration of our great community.
Remember to put the date in your diary – SATURDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER 12-5PM. If you are on social media then follow @CroftFest for updates/details and there is also a facebook page
If you see me around please say hello as it’s always great to put meet new people and put a face to a name!
Bye for now
Please follow me on twitter @JaneCanDoSE4 for everything local