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Friends of Battersea Park

VIEWS: 116 PAGES: 20

									 Friends of Battersea Park


Issue 74
Summer 2007
£1.00 Free to members
THE REVIEW                                                                        SUMMER 2007

Jimmy Burns - Editor
Mike Bates - Production
The Friends of Battersea Park
Registered Charity Number 802905
From the Editor:                                                                    Events
 Next year the Friends of Battersea Park will be celebrating their 20th an-
                                                                                 Music at the Cafe
niversary. It will be a good point at which to celebrate our achievements,
and build on them for the future.                                                  La Gondola al Parco cafe

 I was among a handful of Battersea residents that back in 1988 came               13th July 7pm-9:30pm
together with the collective aim of doing what we could to protect and en-         10th August 7pm-9:30pm
hance the Park as an oasis of tranquillity, natural beauty and recreation.         24th August 7pm-9:30pm
 Over the years many things may have changed in London, but the Friends          Music in the Park
as an organisation has remained true to its founding aims of providing a
“responsible group of people whom Wandsworth Council can consult as                at the Bandstand
representatives of Park users”.                                                     Various bands, with bar and re-
 It has not been, as it surely was never intended to be, a compliant talk-
ing shop. It has offered constructive criticism where necessary. It has gal-       20th July from 6:30pm
vanised interest in the Park on both sides of the river, and beyond these          21st/22nd from noon
shores. It has raised funds in order to make positive contributions to the
                                                                                 Affordable Art Fair
Park’s amenities.
                                                                                   Battersea Evolution
 It is almost twenty years since I planned and edited the first of a series
of issues of this Review as a quarterly magazine of news and comment on            18th-20th October
the Park, a forum for members’ ideas and opinions. It is hugely exciting to      Decorative Antiques Fair
be back as editor when the membership of Friends is growing daily, in a            Battersea Evolution
context of growing awareness around the world of the importance of eco-
logical and environmental protection and care.                                     2nd-7th October

 If our planet is to be saved, we all have to do our bit, and action begins        (see back page for details)
on our own doorstep, nurturing the unique and generous green space in our        3rd London Tree-athlon
midst. Valerie Selby’s nature notes brings into sharp focus how fragile is         15th September
the wildlife that we all too often take for granted; Sophie Campbells’ col-
umn identifies with feeling and insight just what it is that draws her deep         see
into the Park’s soul.
  The best things in life may indeed be free, and the article we reproduce
by the late and hugely respected author and journalist Tom Pocock is a re-      General Enquiries
minder of how the Park over the decades has fuelled simple pleasures in all     The Hon. Secretary
ages and all classes. Tony Tuck takes us down an enlightening avenue of         Friends of Battersea Park
                                                                                7 Park Mansions
the Park’s rich and varied history, and there are surely lessons to be learnt
                                                                                London, SW11 4HG
from the lido that could have been but wasn’t. There is also food, exercise,
art, and humour in these pages-the kind of mix you find in the Park on a         Letters/Contributions, see page 9
good day.
                                                                                Park Office         Parks Police
 Cover image: Enjoying the Park, by Julia Burns                                 020 8871 7530      020 8871 7532

THE POWER STATION                                                                                  even further local views.
 Have we been here before?                                                                           For the record, the Jersey-
                                                                                                    domiciled REO is controlled by
  Real Estate Opportunities
                                                                                                    Treasury Holdings, owned by
(REO), the new owners of the Battersea
                                                                                           two Irish property developers Johnny
Power Station have publicly committed
                                                                                           Ronan and Richard Barrett. During the
themselves to either repairing the iconic     So what does that mean? “Shops, of-          1990’s the two’s then company Legacy
chimneys or to provide replacement ones      fices, housing, and leisure of some sort,”     bid unsuccessfully for the Millenium
before deciding what else to do with a       said Ms Banham, before adding “but we         Dome after the government declared
site that changed hands-again- last De-      are at a very early stage.” She could have    their claims to be “undeliverable”.
cember in a deal worth £400m.                added, as several of the attendees did,
                                             “and we have been there before.”                Property analysts suggest that the deal
  English Heritage, which lists the condi-
                                                                                           under which the site was secured by
tion of the power station on their at risk     No matter that the previous master plan     REO offers the prospect of healthy prof-
register as “very bad”, say they have re-    for the site took three years to create and   its for Ronan and Barrett, regardless of
ceived assurances from REO about the         was followed by a decade of inaction.         whether the site is developed or left der-
need for essential repair works.             We were assured by Ms Banham that             elict, as it has been for so many years.
  The commitment was confirmed by Sa-         a new planning application would be
rah Banham, REO’s Development man-           ready to submit to Wands-
ager during a meeting on June 12 with        worth Council “probably” by
Battersea residents and local commu-         June next year.
nity representatives which otherwise left     “This is an incredibly politi-
most of those attending no wiser about       cal and sensitive site,” said
where the project is going in the future.    Ms Banham.
  Ms Banham told those gathered that           She told the meeting that
Rafael Vinoly, the architects chosen to      REO was developing a con-
map out the latest ‘masterplan’ for the      structive relationship with
site, were hoping to draw on the advice      English Heritage and planned
of an evolving team of consultants.          to take in the views of other
  Some of these advisers had also worked     boroughs across the capital.
as consultants to the previous owners the    While REO insists that it
Hong Kong developer Parkview. How-           wants to make of the Power
ever Vinoly, the architect behind the        Station a “truly London site”,
controversial “walkie talkie” tower is       their strategy looks likely to
working to a brief that includes design-     confuse still further what has
ing a completely new ‘masterplan’ for        already turned into a frag-
the site that better responds to “today’s    mented process of consulta-
market conditions.”                          tion over the site, possibly sidelining       Above: An enduring view of the
                                                                                           Power Station?
Below: Having fun during May Day!

                                                                                             THE rain dried up and the sun decided
                                                                                           to shine in Battersea Park, London for the
                                                                                           Art of Protest May Day Festival at Pump
                                                                                           House Gallery. Folk artists danced and
                                                                                           played May Day jigs while young and
                                                                                           old made costumes and danced round
                                                                                           the Maypole, or if they were feeling po-
                                                                                           litical, made banners protesting about
                                                                                           things they felt strongly about or ranted
                                                                                           at the speakers corner. The day finished
                                                                                           with a huge procession around the park
                                                                                           led by a Jack-in-the-green decorated
                                                                                           with leaves and flowers, with lots of
                                                                                           dancing, singing and, of course, protest-
                                                                                           ing (even if it was for more cakes and
                                                                                           less school).

BBQ at the Zoo                                                                                   proportion of which come from
                                                                                                 South America, particularly en-
Committee member Vicki Barker
                                                                                                 joyed the music!
                                             the tombola table. (See box for more de-              “I cannot thank the Heap fam-
  THE Heap family could make a for-
                                             tailed thanks.)                             ily enough,” says Ruth Forrest, the chief
tune renting out Battersea Park Zoo as a
                                                                                         organiser. “And all of the Zoo staff, led
venue for weddings or corporate events.        Of all the items donated for the occa-    by Jason Palmer, were extremely help-
But, for the second year running, they       sion, the highlight had to be a pair of     ful... they couldn’t have been more
have thrown it open to the Friends for       lethally high, lusciously yellow, stupen-   cheerful and kind.”
free, to help us realize our dream of cre-   dous regency-style Vivienne Westwood
ating London’s first Winter Garden here       shoes – donated by the great lady, her-       The final tally is still being prepared,
in the park.                                                                             but it’s believed this year’s event raised
                                                                                         in excess of £3,500 for the Winter Gar-
                                                                                         den – well above last year’s total.
                                                                                         Below: Greg Lawson (in tie)

                                                                                           Oh!, and your correspondent was the
                                                                                         successful bidder for The Shoes. They fit
                                                                                         beautifully: walking in them is another
Above: Adrian Koppens, Marie Louise Lomba and Friends committee                          matter. La Westwood and her clientele
member Mary Spillane
                                                                                         manage to sashay across the landscape at
  Good news like this travels fast – this    self, after a chance meeting with Com-      those Olympian heights without a stum-
year, the event was sold out well in ad-     mittee Member Ruth Forrest a few days       ble. Head held high, ankles wobbling, I
vance, and disappointed punters had to       earlier. Miss Westwood adores Battersea     teetered precariously on my tip-toes. I
be turned away at the front gate. The        Park – and when Ruth asked her if she       kept wondering what this reminded me
two hundred lucky ticket-holders whiled      might have something for the silent auc-    of, and then it hit me:
away the warm evening strolling among        tion, she seems to have dug into her own
the animal enclosures, to the sound of       wardrobe. She also donated a signed         I looked like one of the meerkats.
the Latin band, Los Soneros, and oc-         book.
casional wolf whistles from the Mynah
                                               The evening’s activities were
bird aviary.
                                             monitored by the meerkats, whose
  For charm of venue, delight in enter-      initial agitation turned to curios-
tainment, range and tastiness of food and    ity at all these humans wandering
for all-round sheer enjoyment, tickets       around their home at what would
for the Barbecue at the Zoo have to rep-     normally be, one surmises, their
resent the best value in London.             bedtime. They stood on tip-toes
                                             in little clusters, eyeing the pass-
  Greg Lawson, manager of the ‘Evolu-
                                             ing human menagerie.
tion, was there, rolling up his sleeves
and helping cook and serve the food            In fact, the Zoo’s Jason Palmer
he’d donated. Various Committee mem-         was heard to say he thought many
bers manned the bar, the front gate and      of the birds and animals, a large Above: Vivienne Westwoods’ Shoes

Opera delight
  A charming mid summer re-                                              Below: The Garden Opera
hearsal in the Park of Puccini’s                                         Company rehearsing.
La Bohème by the Garden Opera
Company enchanted a small crowd of
park users of all ages. On a tiny stage
and with no amplification, this travel-
ling troupe of singers, struck the perfect
balance, providing free, quality enter-
tainment with minimum environmental
disruption. Peter Bridges, the GOC’s di-
rector says his vision of an opera compa-
ny was inspired by the Spanish poet and
dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca who put
so much energy into his own travelling
theatre group La Barraca before he was
tragically murdered by Franco’s troops
during the Spanish Civil War.
  “Although we perform mostly in gar-
dens, my aim is to create productions
that are adaptable enough to fit into a
wide area of social and physical envi-
ronments,” says Bridges. He and his
company, which have offices in Batter-
sea, should become Friends of Battersea

                                                                 BUSES RAMPAGE

  The Friends of Battersea Park would like to thank all those      RHS Chelsea Flower Show (22-26
  who supported the BBQ and especially the following for their   May) and its sponsors, Marshalls plc,
                                                                 were promoting environmental respon-
  kindness and generosity to the event:
                                                                 sibility and awareness this year. How-
  For Wines, Beers and juices                                    ever, the excellent courtesy shuttle bus
  Fullers, Chiswick Brewery; Goedhuis & Co.                      service, which runs across the river
  Waitrose, Wandsworth Southside branch                          from Battersea Park, contradicted this
                                                                 message due to a few inconsiderate bus
  For Flowers
                                                                 and coach drivers. Although in a mi-
  Detta Phillips                                                 nority, some left their engines running
  For Desserts                                                   while stationary in the Park discharg-
  Capitan Corelli; Deliverance; Popina,                          ing unpleasant noxious fumes at people
                                                                 walking past. Also, considerable efforts
  Ransome’s Dock Restaurant                                      had been made by Jerry Birtles, Park
  For Draw and Tombola prizes                                    Manager, to ensure adequate headroom
  Percol Food Brands; La Gondola al Parco;                       for double decker buses under the trees
  San Genaro Pizzeria; Carluccio’s PLC;                          along the carriage ways. Despite this an
                                                                 act of arbicultural vandalism was perpe-
  Santa Maria del Sur, Argentine Bar and Grill;
                                                                 trated by the driver of the bus.
  Tigi Bed Head;
  The Butcher and Grill, Parkgate Road                             By wedging his bus every day under
                                                                 the small chestnut tree at the South Gate,
  And, ...                                                       he broke off years of growth on one side
  Greg Lawson, Quantum Leap Events                               of this lovely tree in just a few seconds.
  The Heap family, for use of the Zoo                            The thoughtless actions of a handful of
                                                                 drivers this year did much to negate the
  Victor Garcia and Friends,
                                                                 image of an environmentally friendly
  Vivienne Westwood                                              flower show as far as the Park was con-
  Battersea Park Newsagents                                      cerned.
  Wandsworth Events Team

Cross Rail Link                                                                                    1988-2008:
                                                                                                   20 Years in existance and
  A tunnel under the Park, ven-                                                                    growing
tilation shafts, tunnelling work
sites near the Peace Pagoda….                                                                         THE REVIEW is the Friends
Park Manager Jerry Birtles takes a                                                         of Battersea Park’s flagship quarterly
closer look at the latest potential plan-                                                  magazine. It is written and edited by vol-
ning nightmare looming over the not so        Even more worrying though is a               unteers linked by a common respect and
distant horizon…                             proposal to safeguard a further part          love for Battersea Park. The Editor’s aim
                                             of the park extending between North           is to strive for a quality, informative read
  THE “Cross Rail link” is the proposed      Carriage Drive and the river and from         with a sense of humour, history, and a
Chelsea-Hackney line which would be          Chelsea car park towards the Peace            soul. It is a co-operative effort. Have you
an underground railway linking the Ep-       Pagoda so that the park could be used         an article, a letter, or piece of news you
ping branch of the Central Line to the       as a tunnelling work site for up to 8         would like to contribute? Have you an
Wimbledon branch of the District line.       years – so that spoil from the tunnel         interesting photograph? Can you draw a
It is a long term plan unlikely to be com-   could be removed by river.                    decent cartoon? Can you help with dis-
pleted before 2025 . Put it another way,                                                   tribution? Do you want to advertise? We
and it is a plan that, unless strongly op-     In itself, the safeguarding only adds
                                                                                           are already preparing the next issue, so
posed from an early stage, could be well     extra layers of administration and con-
                                                                                           get in touch now :
advanced before enough people have           sultation to any planning applications
woken up to it.                              for development in the park – and such        By email:
                                             large scale development is in any case        By post:
  Obviously, such large scale projects       rather unlikely. However the worrying
take a considerable time to complete and                                                   The Editor,
                                             aspect is what these areas of the park are    Friends of Battersea Park Review,
so the Secretary of State for Transporta-    possibly being “saved” for.
tion can issue Directions under planning                                                   51 Brynmaer Road,
legislation to protect the route against       The Council has been consulted by TfL       London SW114EN
conflicting development. This is called       on the revisions to the safeguarding
“safeguarding”. In the case of the Cross     Direction and is very much opposed
Rail link there is a safeguarding Direc-     to any “above ground” use of the
tion, first issued in 1991, that requires     park for the project. It has strenuous-
planning authorities consult Transport       ly objected to safeguarding any area
for London (TfL) when considering            of the park for the purposes stated.
planning applications which may affect       However, subject to certain assur-
the route.                                   ances, the Council is not opposed to
                                             the tunnel itself. In due course, TfL
  There have been numerous changes in        will submit their safeguarding pro-
London’s rail network since the Direc-       posals to the Secretary of State who
tion was first issued, some development       then may, or may not, confirm them.
has affected the route, and indeed there
have been changes to the proposed route        Even if the revised safeguarding            Above: Contemporary Hide,
itself. The original safeguarding Direc-     Direction is imposed, the actual propos-      see below.
tion is now 15 years old, out of date, and   als are a long way from coming to frui-
TfL now wish to update it.                   tion – and perhaps may never do so. Al-       Hides or Hidden
                                             though the park is not under immediate
So how does this affect Battersea Park?                                                      ARCHITECTURE WEEK from the
                                             threat, the current revision of the safe-
Although the main route heads west                                                         15th-24 June was on the theme ‘How
                                             guarding Direction does give a worrying
via Victoria and Parsons Green, there                                                      Green is our Space’, focusing on the crit-
                                             insight into some of the things the plan-
is a proposal to build a branch tunnel                                                     ical issue of sustainability and the envi-
                                             ners of the Cross Rail project are con-
under the park in which trains can be                                                      ronment. It was marked in the Park with
                                             sidering. It is never too early to mobilise
reversed and stabled. Consequently                                                         some temporary Bird Hides around the
                                             opinion before things get too advanced.
there is a proposal to safeguard a strip                                                   Lakeside designed and built by by six
                                             The Friends of Battersea Park should nip
of land in the park, 50m wide, run-                                                        architects and a team of students. Made
                                             this project in its bud.
ning approximately under Chelsea car                                                       from sustainable materials in order to
park, the lake and ending at Prince of         For more details, you can check the         highlight the need to preserve nature and
Wales Drive by Alexandra Gate. In            Cross Rail report (Paper No.07-523) in        the environment, not all the Hides beau-
itself, the tunnel alone is unlikely to      the Council and Government/Committee          tified the Park. One was mistaken for a
affect the park but what would be of         Reports pages of Wandsorth Council’s          men’s toilet. Another for a portakabin.
concern is that there is likely to be a      website (               But on a weekend marking Father’s Day,
need for a ventilation shaft to be built                                                   Dads could be seen with children on tow,
somewhere in this strip.                                                                   taking a closer look at the park’s wild-
                                                                                           life, courtesy of RIBA and the RSPB.

Unholy action                                                                                     On the subject of La Gondola
                                                                                                café, the Review extends a warm
  LARGE chunks of grass have
                                                                                                welcome to the new owners and
been mysteriously hacked out
                                                                                                we wish them all the best in their
and replaced with pieces of
                                                                                         aim of improving the quality of the site
wood in the sign of a swastika at the        also served with an anti-social behaviour
                                                                                         and what it offers.
foot of the Park’s millennium Cross. A       order banning him from entering Batter-
similar but older piece of sculpture, the    sea Park for the next two years.            Below: The Cross, vandalised
newly restored war memorial in Putney
                                              Queenstown Safer Neighbour-
Vale, has been covered in graffiti. At the
                                             hood Team’s energetic police
Peace Pagoda, the resident monk has
                                             seargent David Cook told the
been periodically taunted by anonymous
                                             Review that McQueen’s arrest
thugs. That the three acts of apparent
                                             was a cooperative effort between
vandalism occurred within days of each
                                             police inside and outside the
other may be coincidental but they sug-
gest anti-social behaviour of a disturbing
anti-spiritual kind.                           The next issue of the Review
                                             will highlight some of the hugely
  Hopefully the police-Parks and Met
                                             constructive work Cook and lo-
will combine their operations and iden-
                                             cal community leaders are doing
tify the culprits as successfully as they
                                             to stop local youth from getting
managed to deal with the Gondola Café
                                             into a never ending spiral of re-
tormentor. In April an undercover sting
                                             offending. A scheme running
operation by police led to the conviction
                                             through the summer includes
of a 19-year-old man for breaking into
                                             football in the Park –sponsored
the café three times.
                                             by Chelsea Football Club-
  The man, Jack McQueen of Greyshott         and other youth activities and
Road, Battersea, was sentenced to 12         projects. For further information
months probation plus a six-month cur-       contact Henrietta Crooker Pool,
few preventing him from leaving his          organiser of the Battersea Sum-
home between 10pm and 6am. He was            mer School on 020 70785865

Running for Life                                                                               bal tourist attraction and a much
the Ups and Downs                                                                              needed refuge for New Yorkers.
                                                                                               It was not worth it for the few
  OVER 5,000 women of all
                                                                                               bucks the city was making.”
shapes, sizes, ages, and back-
                                             tersea Park chairman Philip Wright. The     Wandsworth Council please take note.
round converged on the Park on May 3
to raise more than £850,000 for Cancer       runners ran their race against the aural
Research UK’s Race for Life. While           backdrop of a medley of popular classi-
such events now take place around the        cal hits which were amplified around the
UK, it is in the Park that the first ‘race’   park. A large sound stage, TV pantech-
was held back in 1994, when some             nicon and screen, three generators and
600 women came together and raised           four mobile catering outlets were driven
£36,000 in sponsorship.                      on to and parked on the grassed area ad-
                                             jacent to West Carriage Drive. A metal
  Less than four weeks later, the men and
                                             fencing enclosure and a lunch marquee
the boys joined in for another fun fund-
                                             were erected.
raising physical, for the palliative and
neurological care provider, Sue Ryder          Due to the downpour that weekend and
Care. The weather, on this very British      sheer weight of the vehicles the grass
bank holiday weekend, was awful but          was compacted with deep muddy tracks
the runners-some 800 odd-ran the Beat        across it. In 2005 an assurance was given
the Baton dressed in bright yellow pon-      in Wandsworth Council’s Battersea Park
chos and with generous spirits. Billed as    Events Strategy paper that “Most events
the UK’s first 5km race set to live music     are confined to the British Genius Site. A
from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,       few sporting events, fun runs and charity
the event was judged a success by the        bike rides are centred on the genius site
organisers, and was certainly enjoyed by     but participants then leave the Park or
those taking part.                           run round the carriage drives.”
  “We witnessed true Dunkirk spirit,”          We hope that the justifiable desire to
enthused Anthony Inglis, Royal Phil-         raise funds for worthy causes in future
harmonic Orchestra conductor, “There         does not permit the sort of large scale
was fabulous atmosphere on stage and         open air concerts on the grass that have
the runners certainly seemed to enjoy        done so much damage to the green space      Above: All is not so peaceful for
themselves.” It was, he told us, the most    in Hyde Park.                               the Monk, see page 7.
unusual even he had ever done –and one        New York City has banned all commer-
of the most worthwhile.                      cial events from Central Park. A member
 But when does a fun run become an           of the Friends of Central Park is quoted
                                                                                         Below: Getting the winning
open air concert? asks Friends of Bat-       as saying: “We love our Park it’s a glo-    ticket at the BBQ draw

    FT in the Park
      Foreign correspondents past
    and present from the Financial
    Times gathered near the Park’s
    War memorial for the newspaper’s an-
    nual picnic on June 17. The FT’s motto
    is “without fear and without favour” so it
    was in that spirit that colleagues braved
    appalling weather conditions, dressed
    down, and shared a huge bowl of pims,
    sandwiches, and gazpacho (see recipe
    on page 18) prepared by the Review’s
    new editor, the FT’s long-serving Jimmy
    Burns (sitting while grappling with a
    friend’s dog). The next day your editor
    was out with the crowds along Horseg-
    uards Parade celebrating the 25th anni-
    versary of the Falklands. Watching the
    march-past by Falklands vets, Jimmy
    remembered the war, as the FT’s man in
    Buenos Aires in 1982-an experience that
    produced his award-winning The Land
    that Lost its Heroes (recently updated
    and reprinted by Bloomsbury). After
    Argentina, Jimmy came back to live in
    his beloved Battersea,to carry on as an
    author, journalist, and co-founder of the       Above: FT foreign correspondents, past and present, gather in Park
    Friends of Battersea Park.

           Servicing Battersea’s printing and
                stationery requirements
                    for over 50 years.

        Digital colour copying
                                                                        Above: Buses and branches and boughs,
                                                                        see page 5.

                 341 Battersea Park Road                                Did you know?
                    London SW11 4LS                                      According to the Association of Football Statisticians, the
                           Telephone 020 7622 4522
                                                                        first game played under the “Football Association” rules
                              Fax 020 7498 0173
                        email                  was on the 9th January 1864 in Battersea Park.

The Friends welcome letters                                                                          her younger years and tell her
and other contributions to the                                                                       about it.
                                                                                                       Please would you pass on my
The Editor                                                                                           sincere appreciation to all who
Friends Review                                                                              work in the park and have done such a
51 Brynmaer Road,                                                                           wonderful job. They should be rightly
London, SW11 4EN                              Rediscovery                                   proud of their achievements. And long
                                                I found your name on the website for        may they continue to look after this spe-
or email
                                              Battersea Park. I wanted to pass on some      cial treasure.
Friends on the Web                            feedback and wondered if you could get        Looking forward to a return visit.
                                              this to the right people as I’m sure many
 To the Editor:                                                                             Yours,
                                              are involved. including. If you could
  It is the on-line social-networking site    pass it on to the senior folk in the coun-    Chris Gummer (by email)
of popular choice, with tens of thousands     cil too please.
of Londoners joining it every day. I                                                        Below: How far back are your
                                                Last Wednesday I was due at a buis-
thought your readers would like to know                                                     memories of the Park?
                                              ness meeting adjacent to Battersea Park.
Facebook is also home to a group of 205
                                              Arriving early I thought I would take
Batterseans who have been using the site
                                              a stroll in the park. To give you some
to share information about restaurants,
                                              background, I moved from the Clap-
hangouts and other attractions on a spe-
                                              ham Junction area at the tender age of
cial Battersea page. I am one of them.
                                              three. I have two lasting memories of the
I hope you will be encouraged by the
                                              park. The first of being locked in with
comment recently posted by a school-
                                              my mother while still in a pushchair -
teacher and fellow Park enthusiast:
                                              obvioulsy a story I’ve been told many
  “An absolutely wonderful place. It          times but don’t actually know.
holds many memories from events of the
                                               The second, and my last visit to the park
years, from memories of the now long
                                              as a young teen, was riding the wooden
gone remains of the Festival of Britain
                                              rollercoaster the year before it closed.
fairground, to the wonderful Easter Pa-
                                              So as you can imagine, some years have        Friends of Battersea Park
rades, to the building of the Peace Pa-
                                              passed since I last visited.
goda and the refurbishment which was                                                        Committee
completed in 2004.                              On entering the park I wasn’t quite sure
                                                                                             Philip Wright OBE
                                              what to expect. Too many places in the
  Having just taken a group of my pupils                                                       (Chairman)
                                              city have become run down and strewn
to visit the park on an educational trip
                                              with litter. What I found was simply a         Vicki Barker
I’ve found out some more of the history
                                              glorious discovery. Beautiful avenues          Mike Bates
and the many things that are in the park.
                                              lined with London Plane trees, fountains,
It would be great to see the Tree Walk                                                       Claire Beasley
                                              birdsong, the garden in the park... its was
return. When I explained to my pupils                                                          (Appeals Comtee)
                                              simply stunning. To have such a superb
where it was they asked why had it been                                                      Brian Botting
                                              open space is outstanding; to have the
taken down and I didn’t have an answer
                                              space in the middle of London is amaz-           FRICS FCI Arb (rtd)
for them. I also found out that Petula
                                              ing and exceptional. On returning home         Jimmy Burns
Clark released a song called ‘Meet Me in
                                              I simply had to phone my mother who
Battersea Park’ in 1954 in my research.”                                                     Mark Cowne
                                              had known the park so well for many of
Yours,                                                                                       Virginia Darbyshire
Jon Boone, SW11                                                                                (Treasurer)
                                                                                             Chris Davies
The Editor replies: I was a one year old
when Petula first sang that song but it                                                       Claire Elliot
has one of my favourite lyrics. “If you’re                                                   Ruth Forrest
a Londoner just like me, meet me in Bat-                                                     Elizabeth Hood
tersea Park, If you are young or you’d                                                         (Secretary)
like to be, meet me in Battersea Park,
                                                                                             John Johnson
We’ll stroll along by the riverside in sun-
shine or after its dark. There’s music and                                                   Tom Maxwell
dancing, place for romancing, so meet                                                        Philip Nixon
me in Battersea Park….”                                                                      Christopher Rice
                                                                                             Mary Spillane

                                    NATURE NOTES
                                                                                                   home for may invertebrates who
                                                                                                   live and breed amongst these
                                                                                                   submerged forests.         Among
                                                                                                   these secret park dwellers we
                                               Valerie Selby                                       have damselfly nymphs that will
                                                                                                   turn into damselflies later in the
                                               In a natural setting they will seek out      year and a variety of water snails that
                                             a variety of nutritious foods such as          help to devour the detritus in the lake
                                             aquatic plants, natural grains, and inver-     such as fallen leaves. In the long term
                                             tebrates. Bread is very low in protein,        these plantings should have the added
                                             contains additives that wildfowl aren’t        benefit of providing an attractive display
                                             built to cope with, and it’s a very poor       of flowers on the waters surface.
                                             substitute for natural foods.                  Crow Patrol
                                               This dietary rule applies to all the birds     This is a very bird themed time of year.
 In the continuing series of Nature col-
                                             on our lakes including “Attila”, the ex-       One of the other common questions we
umns, the Park’s Ecology Officer, Valerie
                                             tremely territorial male swan, and his         are getting at the moment concerns crows
Selby, looks on, under and over the Lake
                                             family. For the long-term survival of          “attacking” people who are going about
of Battersea Park.
                                             the cygnets it is important that they learn    their usual business in parks and com-
Attila’s Diet                                to identify and eat natural foods, as this     mons. This is a short lived phenomenon
                                             will give them a greater chance of find-        and, in much the way that we see Attila
  Four geese have just flown overhead en      ing a safe and secure home.                    being aggressive on the lake to protect
route to the lake here in the park. This                                                    his young, the crows are protecting their
year has seen a family of Greylag geese         Swans are by nature territorial and
                                             therefore need to find a patch of wa-           fledglings as they leave the nest. The
raise young on the lake. These geese dif-                                                   youngsters move out from the nest but
fer from Canada geese in that they are       ter that can support two adults and any
                                             youngsters with enough food and shel-          stay close by and are not fully independ-
grey all over and have an orange beak                                                       ent for 3-5 weeks. During this time the
and legs whereas the Canada geese have       ter. If the swans are unable to learn to
                                             locate natural foods as cygnets, the loca-     adults will do all they can to protect them
black legs, a black beak and a distinctive                                                  including flying at people and sometimes
black and white head.                        tions available for them to establish their
                                             own territory are limited later on in life.    even launching at them with their feet.
   Most domestic geese are descended                                                        The simplest thing to do is to avoid the
                                             Secret Dwellers                                area – the one case we were aware of in
from Greylag geese and they are quite a
bold species, not afraid to walk towards       Elsewhere in the park, we have in-           Battersea Park happened close to the Al-
people and confront them demanding           stalled some more areas of aquatic plant-      bert Bridge pedestrian gate and we were
food. Once again, I would urge you not       ing in the lake. These include plants to       able to put notices up advising people to
to succumb to this “mugging”. Bread is       help pump oxygen into the water and            avoid the area in the short term.
NOT good for the birds digestive sys-        water lilies to help provide shade to limit
tems making their organs become en-          the growth of algae. In wildlife terms         If you have wildlife information to
gorged and fatty, which can cause them       not only is this the natural version of the    report or a query that needs answering,
to suffer from heart disease, liver prob-    aerators you see bubbling at the waters        Valerie Selby can be reached
lems and other health complications.         surface, it also provides an important         Monday-Thursday,
                                                                                            8:30 am-5.00 pm on 8871-7019 or at
Below: It’s not a good idea to feed the Swans.                                    

                                                                                   How about Attila the swan for lunch?
                                                                                       (cartoon by Philip Wright OBE)

                                      IN MEMORIAM
  The journalist and historian                                                                      - there seemed to be, and prob-
Tom Pocock died on May 7th                                                                          ably were, dozens of keepers in
2007, aged 81. Tom started                                                                          brown trilby hats and old men
work as the youngest war cor-                                                                        who sat in the Park all day and
respondent of the Second World
War before his career blossomed
                                                   Tom Pocock                                        fed the birds. I can see across
                                                                                                     more than half a century the
as a naval and foreign correspondent,          a little. Of course, there is nobody now     twinkling eyes and waxed moustaches
joining the Daily Mail, then moving to         who remembers the opening of the Park        of Keeper Knight (late of the Guards)
the Times, and later the Daily Express,        by the Victorians and probably nobody        and the curly beard of Mr.Lawrence, the
before settling at the Evening Standard        who remembers the craze for bicycling        retired carpet-layer, who fed the pigeons
where he spent many years as defence           around it in the 1890s. But some of us       by the bandstand.
correspondent and for a decade as              can remember a very different Park             Of course, the Park was not only for the
travel editor. His literary output includ-     when, at a time of sharp social stratifica-   middle classes. Sometimes in summer an
ed books on Nelson and his naval con-          tion, it was crowded with Londoners of       open horse-drawn carriage would sweep
temporaries, and more modern figures            every kind.                                  around the outer drive and my nanny
such as the Victorian writer of adventure
                                                 I was born in a flat overlooking the Park   would say, “Take your cap off, Tommy.
novels Rider Haggard. Tom lived much
                                               in 1925 and my earliest memories are.        It’s the little Princesses.” And Princess
of his life near Battersea Park, on the
                                               of being pushed around it in my pram.        Elizabeth and the infant Princess Mar-
north bank of the River. He edited the
                                               In those days, middle class families of      garet Rose would whirl past with their
Chelsea Magazine, and together with his
                                               modest means could afford a nanny for        nannies, taking the air.
wife Penny was hugely supportive to the
Friends of Battersea Park from its foun-       the children, a living-in maid and prob-       Battersea Park offered almost the only
dation in 1988. As a tribute, we reprint       ably a daily help as well. On summer         recreation available to those Battersea
below an edited version of an article he       mornings, the nannies sat on the benches     families living in the cramped streets
contributed to one of the first issues of       along the south side of the lake, chat-      of “the slums” to the south of Battersea
this Review nearly twenty years ago.           ting amongst themselves and occasion-        Park Road. They were brave, resilient,
                                               ally wheeling their charges around the       friendly people and I remember my par-
  It looks so lush and drowsy on those         pleasures of the Park. These included        ents being appalled by the conditions in
summer days, that it is difficult to real-      the Old English Garden, which we still       which they had to live and wondering
ise that the tranquillity of Battersea Park    have, and the Sub-tropical Garden. Near      how they managed to survive and bring
cannot be taken for granted. Always, it        the former was the Pheasantry, full of       up children.
seems, somebody seems to know better           bright-plumed birds, and, beside what
                                               was called the Ladies’Lake, sleepy owls        On summer Sundays and Bank Holi-
than those who planned it as a haven of                                                     day they would crowd into the Park and
open air rest and recreation for London-       perched in a cavern - the artificial rocks
                                               are still to be seen - of another aviary.    sit on the grass in their thousands, cover-
ers, or somebody wants to make money                                                        ing the field: where the Festival Gardens
out of it.                                       As the children grew older, there was      were later laid out. They could afford no
  Sometimes it almost seems as if the          boating on the lake in wooden skiffs -       other entertainment but sat and talked
real owners of the Park - the people for       both pairs and sculling boats, some of       and played on the grass in the open air .
whom it was designed and built - have          them built by the Greaves boatyard at        In this above all, Battersea Park justified
been forgotten for the moment. It was          Chelsea - and cruises in motor-boats for     the faith of its founders.
built for Londoners and to remember            a penny, one of them a remarkable craft
                                               with its prow carved like a swan.             It was a beautiful, immaculate park and
just how deeply it is rooted in the past                                                    was said to be the favourite of Queen
life of London, it is worth looking back        There were chats with the park keepers      Mary, who had an eye for gardens. Be-

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fore breakfast, my father would take me      of the war in more ways than one. The       early apprehensions proved groundless.
for a walk and point out the character-      guns went but the allotments remained       Indeed, many aspects have been im-
istics of the shape, bark and leaves of      and, like the rest of London, it seemed     proved and it is now policed more effec-
different trees. In winter, there would      curiously empty. Occasionally, on a         tively than for many years. The Council
be walks before teatime when the sun         winter’s night,I would make my way          have been responsive to public opinion
would be a great red ball setting in the     through the fence by a secret route and     and so would not countenance a plan to
London murk above the lakeside elms to       conduct my courting on a bench by the       build a gigantic theatre there.
an evening chorus from a massed choir        moonlit lake.
                                                                                           But now with the creation of an im-
of starlings.
                                               Many of us remember the Festival of       mense new “leisure complex” at the
  The war changed the Park as it changed     Britain and the Pleasure Gardens in the     defunct Battersea Power Station - “The
everything else but it still reflected the    Park. In 1951, they seemed rather dash-     Battersea,” as it is to be called - there
life of London. It was taken over by air-    ing and I once found myself on a funfair    are again fears that Wandsworth Council
raid shelters and allotment: for growing     ride next to Noel Coward. But the smart     may consider handing over parts of the
vegetables. First barrage balloons were      gloss soon tarnished and the end of that    Park to private management. If this is so,
tethered there and later rows of anti air-   cheerful interlude seemed to be marked      the reasoning is clear. The administra-
craft rocket launchers were set up on the    by the fatal accident of the fanciful Em-   tion and maintenance of the Park is ex-
running-track field and manned by the         mett railway.                               pensive and Wandsworth must foot the
Home Guard. A wooden bridge - remi-                                                      bill for the pleasure it gives to London-
                                               Since then, the Park has had its ups
niscent of the first Battersea Bridge - was                                               ers and their visitors.
                                             and downs. There has been vandal-
built across the Thames at the bottom of
                                             ism and sacrosanct flower-beds and             Surely the solution is simple. Batter-
Royal Hospita Road in Chelsea as an
                                             lawns became playgrounds. Even the          sea Park is, and always has been, for the
emergency crossing.
                                             once¬forbidden heights of the Cascades      benefit of all London and so all London
  When those rockets were fired during        were worn by scrambling feet. The Park      should share the responsibility for its
the “Little Blitz” of 1944, they may not     lost much of its magic.                     upkeep. With the other parks once run
have frightened the Luftwaffe but, by                                                    by the GLC, it should be subsidised by
                                               With the disbanding of the Greater Lon-
God, they frightened me. The bridge was                                                  all the London boroughs and not remain
                                             don Council, which had run the Park for
never used.                                                                              a burden to just one. Then it will again
                                             the whole of London, it was taken over
                                                                                         truly belong to London.
 Peace descended on the Park at the end      by the Borough of Wandsworth. Many

                The winner of this year’s award is Maxine Schaffer from
                the Royal College of Art Sculpture School for her work
                        “Buckhorn Plantain” in painted steel.
  The sculpture will be unveiled and presentation of the award made at the
                  Millennium Arena, East Carriageway,
                      at 7pm on Monday 3 September.
                          Wine and snacks will be served from 6.30pm.
                                             All Friends are welcome.
                        The award is the result of collaboration between
                                the Friends of Battersea Park,
                          the Royal College of Art Sculpture School
                                  and Wandsworth Council.

                                        PARK PEOPLE
Maximilian, ‘Max’ to his friends                                                                    told me what particular ex-
,is a 27 year old criminal bar-                                                                     ercise you’ve been converted
rister, Battersea resident, and                                                                     to…
regular exerciser in the Park.                                                                      For myself the exercise of
The Review’s editor, Jimmy
Burns, finds out more.
                                             Maximilian Hardy                                       choice necessarily entails the
                                                                                                    remorseless degradation of
                                              One of the reasons that precipitated         cartilage in the joints and only running
                                              my departure from the TA, other than         will do the trick.
                                              a craven lack of moral fibre, was the         I’m a walker myself and my joints
                                              realization that one could get fit without    are already degraded….
                                              signing up for extended tours of the         It’s not walking I compare it to. It’s the
                                              Middle East’s worst war zones.               gym. That any sentient human being
                                              Any other reason?                            could swap a lap or two of the park on
                                              I stopped attending BMF when I               a misty spring morning for the subter-
                                              realized that it was possible to get fit      reanean hell of the treadmill simply
                                              without paying someone else for the          offends against reason. Anybody with
                                              privilege.                                   even passing knowledge of the park will
                                              I detect a thesis here…                      have seen the circuit training course
                                                                                           by the athletics track which can give
                                              Well, this is really the point. How many
                                                                                           for free as good a workout as the most
                                              of us have a monthly subscription to
                                                                                           sophisticated machines in any gym. The
                                              belong to some fetid, germ-ridden,
                                                                                           same friendly faces can be found there
                                              soul destroying gym? Yet we have on
                                                                                           every morning before breakfast and the
                                              our doorstep one of the finest parks in
                                                                                           circuit boasts a facility no gym in the
                                              London with river views that at sunset
                                                                                           world can rival.
                                              would set even the worst curmudgeon’s
                                              spirits soaring.                             I’m intrigued…
                                              I never thought of you as a contem-          His name is Joe. He is a 78 year old
                                              plative….                                    former army physical training instruc-
                                                                                           tor. He does one hundred pull ups every
Above: Max, hanging around.                   I observe other activities that take place
                                                                                           single day. And he does them properly
                                              in the park that are of benefit to the
So tell me, Max, what got you into                                                         and I know because I have seen him.
                                              mind, body, and soul.
this exercise thing?                                                                       Unfortunately Joe has also seen me
                                              For example…                                 do pull ups. I can do ten and rarely
A few years ago in a moment of mad-                                                        properly.
                                              Tai Chi enthusiasts can often be seen
ness I joined the Territorial Army. It was
                                              reaping the rather mystifying benefits of
a passing malaise, I’m glad to say.                                                        Below: Joe, pulling up!
                                              moving one’s body around very slowly
Really? Everyone I’ve ever known in           indeed. I have also watched yoga
the TA-and there are one or two on            classes taking place on the stone stage
both sides of the River-loved it.             to the side of the Buddha gazing beatifi-
Well in my case, it happened like this.       cally on the Thames from the Japanese
During one of the regular bouts of            Peace Pagoda.
‘Phys’ that are my principal memory of        Come on Max, I’m sure those aren’t
that sort-lived folly I was introduced to     the only scenes in the Park that you
the Bastard…                                  observe now and again…
Please Max, this is a family mag…             Well, I do reflect occasionally on the
No, no…. A Bastard is a fiendish exer-         numbers of sturdy and rather muscu-
cise that incorporates a press-up with a      lar women indefinitely prolonging the
squat thrust with a star jump. As a civil-    glory of their school hockey careers
ian you can experience this for a small       or Premiership footballers manqué            A final word or two on what makes
fee by joining something called BMF           deluding themselves that the astroturf       the Park special for you…
(British Military Fitness) which meets        pitches are really Stamford Bridge. And      Selling the virtues of exercising in Bat-
at regular intervals in Battersea Park        of course in the Summer there is the         tersea Park seems like selling sweets
during the week….                             cricket to be had, of varying degrees of     to children to me. It’s free, it’s green,
Sounds pretty tough to me…                    skill and application; often to the ac-      it’s beautiful and you never know who
                                              companiment of a steel band!                 you might meet there. Just ask Lord
It is. Except that for civilians the Bas-
tard is rechristened as ‘Oh No’.              I like that, Max, it shows you have          Browne.
                                              a sense of Battersea Park in all its         Thanks, mate…
So, you couldn’t hack it…
                                              human diversity. But you still haven’t

                                      ON THE BENCH
As a travel journalist, Sophie                                                                        a tree. There was an owl, staring
Campbell has journeyed far and                                                                        at us with eyes ‘like twin hostile
wide across the globe, searching                                                                      moons’, in the words of one fine
for the idyll location. Here she                                                                      writer. I still think it was eye-
tells us what it is that draws her
back to her Battersea flat, and
                                              Sophie Campbell                                         ing my bag, though). I’ve seen
                                                                                                      a hawk in there, though I don’t
out into the Park across the road…                                                           know what type, and bats, and cats. We
                                              line skaters and kids on bikes, then the       could have a Battersea Park Night Sa-
                                              runners and walkers, then the river.           fari, with a bush dinner in the café.
                                               We are bounded by the river, by luxury          Increasingly, though, safari-goers will
                                              flats and by daisy chains of expensive          see the lights of hundreds of new luxury
                                              cars, beyond which are the horrors of          flats on Chelsea Bridge Road twinkling
                                              London proper. Traffic. Murders. Chel-          along our eastern borders. By the time
                                              sea. No wonder we have fellow feeling.         you read this, the last block filling the
                                              We are so lucky not to be out there.           gap between the QVC building and the
                                                We are in here and we can argue with         new development may have blanked
                                              each other instead. The pro-duck-feed-         out our last unbroken view of Battersea
                                              ers (mainly under fives, or ducks), for         Power Station. Then you will only be
                                              example, and the anti-duck feeders.            able to see its familiar, lardy billiard-ta-
                                              Pedestrians versus skaters. Skaters ver-       ble legs from north of the river, or from
                                              sus cyclists. Skaters and cyclists versus      the top of a bus passing the Dogs’ Home
                                              pedestrians. Everyone versus cars. The         – or of course, from the balcony of your
                                              people who think the little fences are         east-facing luxury flat in Chelsea Bridge
                                              silly. The people who don’t. The dog           Wharf. Until the developers finally get
                                              walkers. The contra-dog walkers. The           their way and knock it down anyway.
  ON South Carriage Drive, during             swearing birdwatchers (have you met              So, our isolation is complete. We are
last summer’s heatwave, I came across         them?) and the RSPB types. The execu-          now properly marooned, hemmed in
an elderly woman holding a lead. On           tive joggers and the squads of 30-some-        on all sides, and we like it that way. We
the other end was a Peke, three-quar-         things doing British Military Fitness. All     welcome visitors, it is true – especially if
ters submerged in a puddle, a coiffure        life is here, mildly irritated by all other    they bring hard currency – but really it’s
of centrally-parted honey-blonde hair         life. It is the equivalent of the beach in     our turf. We all own a bit of it, at certain
swirling lazily about him. The puddle,        Rio or Barcelona.                              times and in certain ways, from the ten-
in the molten heat of a globally-warmed
                                                I think my favourite time in the park is     nis courts to the Peace Pagoda, from the
SW11, looked like a bonsai oasis. The
                                              at night, though I never go in there. Ooh      rose gardens to the café. But back off the
Peke looked like Jimmy Savile, or pos-
                                              no. Instead I go round the edge, walk-         puddle, though. The puddle is taken.
sibly a new type of synthetic mop. ‘We
                                              ing back across the bridges or from the
come here once a week,’ said the woman
                                              bus stop, staring in. In summer, you can
crisply, ‘His favourite puddle. Keeps
                                              feel the enervated ground releasing the
him cool.’ They had been there for over
                                              heat of the day. In winter, it sweats cold,
20 minutes.
                                              which pours icily through the railings.
  The funny thing was they no longer          There are dim lights in there at night, and
lived in Battersea. They came back for        strange rustlings, and the sort of people
the puddle. I like that sense of ownership    that go into parks at night, and some-
in the park; the conviction that one small    times the engines of joy-riders doing
part of this most public of facilities be-    hand-brake turns on the car park gravel,
longs, for a time, to you and you alone.      though I haven’t heard them for a while.
                                              The south east corner smells as rank as
  North of the Peke, five-a-side football-
                                              zoo. Feral. Almost certainly fox.
ers rampaged up and down the Astroturf
for their allotted hour, spraying sweat         In fact, they should do night tours of the
in the heat. Beyond them, picnickers          park. I’d sign up, if there was an armed
colonised the fields between the cherry        ranger. We might see the owl I mistook
avenues. Then came the cricketers – in-       for a mugger (it had the lousiest hoot you
cluding a pretty Indian girl in a crop-top,   have ever heard, the worst fake owl noise
tracky bottoms and a long plait – then        ever, and I truly thought it was a signal
the dreamers in the library-quiet of the      between people after my handbag until
English Garden, then the cyclists and in-     my companion pointed silently up into

                                     MEMORY LANE
The Battersea Society’s chair-                                                                   it as being “…hard to place sty-
man Tony Tuck revives memories                                                                   listically – being only faintly Art
of the Lido project that slipped                                                                 Deco, yet patently Modernist in
away during the Second World                                                                     character – and certainly never
War…                                                Tony Tuck                                    copied anywhere outside Lon-
                                                        bury developed by a jeweller,      But in July 1937 a major change in
                                                        William Kemp, in 1743. This      LCC policies took place. Rather than try
                                                        was the first formalised pub-     to negotiate with often reluctant local
                                                        lic outdoor swimming pool        authorities to co-finance and build new
                                                        built in Britain since the Ro-   pools (some things remain constant!)
                                                        mans left in the fifth century.   the LCC took over the entire process of
                                                        Thereafter there is charted a    design, construction and management it-
                                                        survey of British lidos, in-     self. Not only that, but the then Leader
                                                        cluding a planned floating        of the LCC, Herbert Morrison, pledged
                                                        lido designed by Alex Lifs-      that in future no Londoner would have
                                                        chutz in 1998,which was to       to walk further that a mile and a half
                                                        be moored off the South Bank     to their nearest Lido. London, he said,
                                                        Though this never left the       would become a “City of Lidos”.
                                                        drawing board, the French do
                                                        have one moored in the river       The Plan in 1937 was to build five Lidos
                                                        Seine opposite the Biblioteth-   at Parliament Hill, Charlton, Ladywell,
                                                        eque Nationale, complete         Clissold Park and Battersea Park. Only
                                                        with a retractable roof.         the first two were ever built. The other
  THE Second World War changed many                                                      three, including Battersea Park, never
things, nowhere more so than in Batter-        But the ‘nearly’ Battersea Lido had       left the drawing board – though the es-
sea Park and its surroundings.The Ge-        its origins in a more prosaic set of cir-   timated capital cost for Battersea Park
man bombing campaign not only cleared        cumstances. The former London County        Lido had jumped from £15,000 in 1935
urban sites for redevelopment, but sadly     Council (LCC) made its first foray into      to £40,000 by 1937.
thwarted the aspiration of more local        a purpose built outdoor swimming pool
planners.                                    in 1906 when Wandsworth Council per-          After the war the immediate priority for
                                             suaded the LCC to release land in Toot-     scarce building material was for homes,
  One ‘nearly’ project was the Battersea                                                 hospitals, and reconstruction. By 1951
Park Lido. Planned for in 1937, deferred     ing for an outdoor pool – and to get the
                                             LCC to pay £200 a year towards running      the Festival of Britain had taken over
in 1939, replaced in 1940 with anti-air-                                                 much of Battersea Park and the ‘nearly
craft gun emplacements and allotments        costs. The pool was then built as part of
                                             a scheme to provide work for local un-      Lido’ slipped from view.
as part of the “Dig for Britain Cam-
paign” , only to be quietly forgotten in     employed men.                                 Janet Smith whose book charts the for-
1945 and abandoned without a single            After the First World War a scatter of    tunes of all the real Lido’s has expressed
sod being turned.                            outdoor pools were constructed around       an interest in joining with me in seeing
                                             London, sometimes built by unem-            if the LCC archives contain any residual
  My appetite has been whetted to track                                                  hints of what might have been in Batter-
down the lost Lido of Battersea by a         ployed men and funded by the then
                                             Ministry of Labour, but more often by       sea Park. We shall see….. – hopefully, to
most delightful and remarkable book                                                      be continued.
published in 2005 and recently re-print-     local agreements, where the LCC shared
ed by a local author, Janet Smith called     running costs, but the local authority        All the material in this piece was drawn
“Liquid Assets – the lidos and open air      paid for construction. At a time when       from “Liquid Assets – The lidos and
swimming pools of Britain”.The book          many homes lacked bathrooms and few         open air swimming pools of Britain” by
is the third in a series by English Her-     workers had ‘leisure time and proper        Janet Smith and published by English
itage called “Played in Britain” which       paid holidays, these open air pools were    Heritage 2007
will focus on the architectural heritage     hugely popular.
of British sport – on the pavilions and                                                   The Friends are always interested to
                                               By 1931 the LCC had embarked on a
clubhouses, the grandstands and swim-                                                    hear from past Park users; if you have
                                             new major programme of architect de-
ming pools that form an integral part of                                                 old photographs, post cards, or just good
                                             signed pools. Two LCC architects, Harry
the British landscape. More titles are in                                                memories of times in the Park please do
                                             Arnold Rowbotham and T L Smithson,
the pipeline (see www.playedinbritain.                                                   contact us.
                                             designed a series of ‘designer pools’ in                                       fully enclosed brick compounds with         The Editor,
  This enchanting book charts the his-       purpose built changing rooms, first aid      Friends Review
tory of the lido from its earliest origins   facilities and integrated water filtration   51 Brynmaer Road,
in the Peerless Pool in Old Street, Fins-    systems. The style of the buildings was     London, SW11 4EN
                                             very distinctive. Janet Smith describes     or email

                                   ART IN THE PARK
The rejuvenated Pump House                                                                           it, or even find it relevant to
Gallery continues to surprise                                                                        their own experiences. But
Park users with its choice of                                                                        some Battersea residents
art and design. David Firn, a                                                                        might be particularly inter-
Battersea resident and Financial
Times journalist takes a look at
                                                     David Firn                                    ested in Words are not Enough,
                                                                                                   another ‘work in progress’ with
the summer exhibition...                       in Reading, takes its title from Hag-       which Cornford & Cross hope to trans-
  Where is the Work brings together pho-       gard’s novel of African exploration and     form an abandoned nuclear bunker in
tographs of mainly temporary site spe-         sorcery. The lion itself is named after     Camberwell, South London into a tem-
cific works by Mathew Cornford & Dav-           a small village in Afghanistan, where       porary peace garden as part of Architec-
id Cross for the first time in London.          the local population suffered war at the    ture Week 2007. If nothing else, it leaves
                                               hands of foreign invaders over decades.     one guessing what they might transform
  The pair, who have worked together as
                                               The flame - of eternal youth in Hag-         Battersea Power Station into, if given a
Cornford & Cross, since they met at St
                                               gard’s tale - fed by fossil fuel hints at   free hand!
Martins School of Art in 1987,say the
large scale photographs are not merely         today’s geopolitical tensions over access   Cornford & Cross, Where is the Work?
records of their work, but are themselves      to gas and oil.                              At the Pump House Gallery until 5 Au-
art.                                             Eclectic and demanding this exhibi-       gust 2007. Open Wednesdays, Thurs-
  Over two decades, they have created a        tion may be, and one wonders how many       days, Sundays 11am-5pm; Fridays and
unique and provocative body of work.           park users will really come to grips with   Saturdays 11am-4pm. Closed Mondays
Much of their work has involved site-                                                      and Tuesdays.
                                               Below: Why Read the Classics?
specific projects for public spaces, which      Film light on reflector behind marble statue For Tra monti, Rome, Italy, 2005
responds not only to physical sites, but
also to social situations and historical
  The summer exhibition at the Pump
House also features some of the art-
ists’ unrealized projects and ‘work in
  Utopia, involved renovating a derelict
pond at Bournville and working with
the chief food scientist to dye the water
‘Cadbury’ purple.10, involved software
engineers in a beauty contest in which
contestants were judged electronically
by facial recognition software that com-
pared their faces to an ‘ideal of symme-
try and proportion.’
  The exhibition consists of one image
from each finished project. Accompany-
ing text sets the context for each project
and gives the viewer an aid to under-
standing the work. Mathew Cornford
says the text gives an “idea rather than
  They are hoping to provoke thought.
Their site specific work is set within a
particular context - social, political and
physical- and the images are accompa-
nied by text as a record of actions taken.
  Each Cornford & Cross project is radi-
cally different, in both form and inten-
tion. The British Empire, its rise, fall and
its echoes are recurring themes in their
work which is often named after classic
  She - a proposal to install an eternal
flame, next to the Maiwand Lion statue,

                                         FOOD CORNER
 THE stretch of Battersea Park                                                                        cho for the first time more than
Road between Battersea Park                                                                           made up for the inconvenience
Station and the Latchmere, is                                                                         of having to sleep the night on a
architecturally not the most se-                                                                      shopkeeper’s wooden chest near
ductive street in the neighbor-
hood. But it has its delights and
                                         Christine Fremantle                                          Algeciras. “This is an excellent
                                                                                                      soup-maigre,” remarked Twiss,
no shortage of variety when it comes to         theatrical experience. The new Mexican        “nothing can be more refreshing during
eating and drinking.                            Margarita Loca is for those with cast iron    the violent heats.” The Frenchman The-
                                                palates and a sense of fun. And Il Molino     ophile Gautier was less impressed, judg-
  I’ve counted 42 restaurants and cafes in
                                                Café for atmosphere and internet. And         ing gazpacho the sign of a lesser race.
the mile between Battersea Park Station
                                                I am not denigrating the 32 remaining         “In our country,” hissed Gautier, “no dog
and the “Little India” tracks. Just a snap-
                                                eateries! Chacun a son gout! Salud! &         with the slightest breeding would deign
shot will confirm that of the Chinese
                                                Buen apetito!                                 to put his muzzle in such a mixture.”
variety, there are two restaurants and 5
take-aways. Then you have one Albani-                                                           These days, there will be no shortage
an, two Thai, one Spanish, one Mexican,                                                       of pretentious and loud mouthed cooks
and three Italian restaurants and one new                                                     who will insist they are licensed to own
Italian deli-restaurant.                                                                      a unique and perfect haute cuisine recipe
                                                                                              for Gazpacho but in so doing they have
  As if that was not enough, there are
                                                                                              turned their back on its very soul. For
three pizza parlours, two sandwich bars,
                                                                                              a true Gazpacho, like all good genu-
five varieties of Indian take-away, four
                                                                                              ine cooking, still requires instinct and
fried food emporia, four cafes with in-
                                                                                              improvisation, according to mood and
ternet access, and two or three good
                                                                                              what is available. What follows should
old EnglishBreakfast/Roast Beef lunch
                                                                                              provide terms of reference rather than
cafés, as well as six pub-restaurants
                                                                                              definition for a party of four.
along the South side of the road.               Above: Cakes at the Friends BBQ
                                                                                                Ingredients (preferably organic and lo-
  There is something for every taste, and
                                                                                              cal)): 4 slices of ageing white bread with
every Park user, and the purveyors are as
                                                                                              crusts removed and soaked in cold tap
varied as the food, coming from all over
                                                The Editors Choice                            water for ten to fifteen minutes; 1 kg of
Europe, the Middle East, and many parts
                                                Seasonal Recipe                               very ripe peeled tomatoes ; 1 green pep-
of Asia. I may not be a huge eater but I
                                                                                              per cut in small pieces (you can throw in
like this sense of diversity reaching out       by Editor Jimmy Burns
                                                                                              a red pepper too if you feel like it); half
across green spaces and concrete.
                                                  I owe it to my Spanish mother that I’ve     a cucumber peeled and cut in thin slices;
  So here are some tentative cheap but          been brought up believing that Mediter-       4 cloves of peeled and crushed garlic; 10
cheerful recommendations Not far from           ranean food is not only easy to engage        tbsp olive-oil (preferably extra-virgin); 3
the station, there is the Chinese NewC-         with, but also delicious and healthy.         tbsp white wine vinegar; a few drops of
ity restaurant: friendly and delicious.         Gazpacho is a supercharged smoothie,          tabasco; a pinch of cumin; salt and pep-
Across the road it’s the Italian named          easily transportable in a flask or similar     per.
after the patron saint of Naples San            container (make sure you keep it cool),
                                                                                                Put the bread with its water and all the
Gennaro: young crowd, excellent food,           and guaranteed to provide both nourish-
                                                                                              other ingredients in a large bowl and
genuine pizza, cheery atmosphere. The           ment and refreshment on a hot sultry
                                                                                              squeeze and stir them together with your
one-time Turkish Adalar, on the corner          summer’s day in the park.
                                                                                              hands, then pour into a blender and mix,
of Cupar Road, is in the midst of trans-
                                                  In the days before electricity, the name    adding water until you’ve reached the
formation into an Albanian restaurant.
                                                Gazpacho was used to refer to any in-         consistency that best suits you. My pref-
That should be interesting.
                                                gredients that could be put together          erence is for a thickish soup to which
  Next on my walk from east to west,            easily and cheaply in a mortar. At its        I then add some cubes of ice. But you
there is, do I dare mention it, Battersea’s     most elemental it became a popular            can of course go for a smoother and/or
least best kept secret: Corelli’s . For Ital-   dish with starving peasants and labour-       more refreshing option, pushing the
ian home-style cooking and best lunch-          ers transforming a stale piece of white       soup through a sieve and chilling further
time neighborhood experience, there is          bread into something worthwhile after         in the fridge or freezer. For the perfect
still nothing that comes near it!               pounding and mixing it with water, oil,       summer tapas in the park, try throwing in
                                                salt, vinegar, and garlic. Long before        some croutons and cut up bits of boiled
 Also in my good books is the excellent
                                                the tourist boom, early foreign travel-       egg, then follow it with some Spanish
Indian take-away Holy Cow and the two
                                                lers to Spain left records of their experi-   Serrano ham, chorizo, and manchego
Thais: the posh Chada and more intimate
                                                ence of this rustic improvised cooking.       cheese, and a glass or two of Rioja.
and less expensive Dee. Nearby are The
                                                Richard Twiss, a wealthy Englishmen
Lighthouse (ex-Clock Tower) pub for                                                           Jimmy Burns’s A Literary Companion to
                                                who visited Spain in the 1770’s found
garden, wine list and atmosphere and                                                          Spain is published by Santana Books
                                                that the experience of tasting gazpa-
The Latchmere for a traditional pub cum

Below, a summary of the Friends accounts for our last financial year.
 Incoming resources                             Unrestricted        Restricted     Total       Total
                                                funds               income funds   this year   last year
                                                £                   £              £           £
 Voluntary income
   subscriptions                                4,117                              4,157       4,235
   miscellaneous donations                      773                                773         392
   Winter Garden donations                                          13,385         13,385      13,702
   Maple Avenue donations                                           7,400          7,400
   Grant for signs                                                  9,845          9,845
   Gift Aid tax refund
    subscriptions/Winter Garden                 648                 2,058          2,706       423
 Activities for generating funds
   events                                       302                 2,254          2,556       207
   advertising                                  1,040                              1,040       690
   sales                                        996                                996         541
 Investment income
   bank interest                                906                                906         697
 Total incoming resources                       8,782               34,942         43,724      20,887
 Resources expended
 Costs of generating funds
  Costs of generating voluntary income
   Subscriptions paid                           90                                 90          65
   Review costs                                 5,555                              5,555       3,327
   Bad debt                                     220                                220         400
   Event expenditure                            153                                153         50
  Fundraising trading costs
   Christmas cards expenses                     237                                237         254
  Charitable activities
   Winter garden                                                    1,069          1,069       21,803
   Maple Avenue                                                     7,400          7,400       0
  Goverance costs
   postage                                      52                                 52          55
   stationery                                   93                                 93          85
   bank charges                                 0                                  0           1
 Total resources expended                       6,400               8,469          14,869      26,040
   Net incoming/(outgoing) resources            2,382               26,473         28,855      (5,153)
 Total funds brought foward                     7,898               0              7,898       13,051
   Total funds carried forward                  10,280              26,473         36,753      7,898

                                                Unrestricted        Restricted     Total       Total
                                                 funds              income funds   this year   last year
                                                £                   £              £           £
 Current assets
 Debtors                                        150                 0              150         0
 Cash at bank and in hand                       10,130              26,473         36,603      7,898
 Total current assets                           10,280              26,473         36,753      7,898
 Creditors                                      0                   0              0           0
 Total net assets                               10,280              26,473         36,753      7,898
 Capital and Reserves
 Net incoming/(outgoing) resources              2,382               26,473         28,855       (5,153)
 Total funds brought forward                    7,898               0              7,898       13,051
 Total funds carried forward                    10,280              26,473         36,753      7,898

Autumn Fair
October 2-7 2007
Battersea Park
London SW11

Opening times
Tuesday 2nd     12 noon-8pm
Wednesday 3rd   11am-8pm
Thursday 4th    11am-8pm
Friday 5th      11am-7pm
Saturday 6th    11am-7pm
Sunday 7th      11am-6pm

                              The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair
                              Harvey (Management Services) Ltd.
                                     PO Box 149, London W9 1QN


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