After days of wind and drizzle the sun finally came out for our Street Party and Olympics on Sunday 22 June 2008 and kept us warm enough for a brilliant open-air concert in the evening (See below). We were delighted to welcome Upper St James’s Lane, Beattock Rise and Hillfield Park Mews as subscribing hosts for a bigger and better event than ever before.
We started with a strenuous Mini-Marathon in the baking sun which Patrick completed in great style to take the first gold of the day for St James’s Lane (in white). After that the lead went backwards and forwards with the Flatliners (Reds) doing well in the field events and the Broadway Babes (Blues) coming through at the end to win the tug of war and victory.
Lynne Featherstone MP congratulated all who had taken part, presented the medals and unveiled the plaque to our most famous resident, the late great Viv Stanshall (of the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band). You can read her comments on the day at www.lynnefeatherstone.org/blog.htm.
As if the Olympics were not entertainment enough we ran various popular stalls throughout the afternoon, including Hunt the Dots, Lucky Dip, bottle tombola, duck-dipping and bric-a-brac. Hande Kiamil and Bernadette (her mother) managed a brilliant Treasure Hunt (solved by 20 sharp-eyed detectives) and the making of beautiful coloured lanterns. The face-painting by Archie Archer was amazing and deserved its own show.
We had two sustainability events to encourage better use of our natural resources and the recycling of waste. The first was the Grow Your Own Challenge 2008 in which potatoes, rhubarb, tomatoes, figs, edible plants and herbs came through strongly to win Garden Centre vouchers and Highly Commended certificates. The Adjudicator, Fred Fitzke, even found kind words for Bill Hogg’s miniature holly tree! The young girls followed this event with a thrilling Fashion Show (Margaret Pokuah’s bright idea), displaying some amazingly inventive summer outfits made from waste material and other throw-away items. Nicky compered the show with an impeccable fashion commentary.
We consumed a bountiful banquet al fresco. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the feast, including the young people at the Muswell Hill Centre who put in some irresistible spicy chicken. The prizes from the Bottle Tombola were recycled at this point to prepare us for the concert! And what a concert it was. Janie Mack gave us a 90 minute programme of superb quality. It started with James’s Boy Band (the Fretts) whose GTX oilcan-guitar sounded surprisingly good. They were followed by a mother and daughter duet on the recorder (well done Anthea and Carina), two songs from OLIVER by Sam and other songs by Nicki from the Mews and a world premiere piece by two young saxophonists. To round off we had a performance by Janie’s choral group (“Heavenly singing” –Angelica Landry) and some feisty duets by her and her friend Rachel. This was an open air concert to make Kenwood very envious.
Dieter Perry, who attended on behalf of the Muswell Hill Journal, owns the copyright in the pictures of the medals, the penalty shootout , the dog agility trials, the three-legged race, the fashion show and the guitarist. Archie Archer did the face-painting and took the face paint pictures. Rashid Khan, and Sarah Frame took all the other pictures.
We came in well under budget again this year [unlike some other Olympic endeavours we could mention] and had generous contributions from businesses in the neighbourhood. Martyns provided us with free coffee and tea all afternoon. M&S made a contribution to our Bottle Tombola which we are sure had nothing to do with their Profits Warning to shareholders, issued 8 days later; and LA Fitness (Dragons) donated very suitable prizes for the fastest three in the uphill cycle race. The Muswell Hill Centre lent us tables and chairs and the Youth club put in sports equipment and a really good microphone. Many thanks to all of you for helping to give us such a lovely day.
We are still counting up the surplus but there should be enough to distribute among local charities including the Hornsey Trust for Children with Cerebral Palsy which is organising the Muswell Hill Festival on 14 September. We usually support them by sponsoring a donkey in the Hacks Race with Justin or Barrie in the chariot. Any volunteers to ride in this heart-stopping event this year?