24 June 2009

greenfest West London

I went to greenfest in West London in 2008 just to see Instant Flight play but liked the rest of the festival so much that I decided to go back this year.

The weather was good and a lot of the territory between my home and Furnival Gardens is green space (Richmond Park, Barnes Common, etc.) so I decided to cycle there.

This did not start too well with a boy riding in to me in Richmond Park but no serious damage was done to either person or bike.

The next problem was overconfidence in knowing the route which led me to cross at Putney Bridge rather than the much more convenient Barnes Bridge. The plus side of this was that I could cycle along the North bank of the river back from Putney to Hammersmith, which I had never been to before.

There was music at greenfest again this year and while I had never heard of any of the artists that did not detract from the entertainment.

This is Rocket Number 9 doing their bit to get some of the crowd dancing and some of the crowd to listen appreciatively.

Furnival Gardens follows the river and so is a relatively long and a relatively thin park. This works well for a festival like this because there is good space for a stage and sitting area at one end, plenty of space in the middle for stalls and you can explore everything simply by walking the length of the park.

A path runs through the centre of the park and this was the occasional home to all sort of bicycle related contraptions, such as this one!

The stalls were clustered around the park so it was easy to visit a few together but there was also plenty of space between them to sit and relax.

Being a greenfest the stalls naturally had an ecological slant, which meant that they were all interesting!

I managed to collect an obligatory canvass shopping bag, securing tagging for my bike and information on a host of subjects from domestic solar heating through to car sharing schemes.

Bikes featured quite prominently and I liked some of the more unusual "people carriers" such as a fairly standard upright bike with two child seats, front and back. That would have been useful about sixteen years ago!

It was also good to see plenty of things for children to do and many were occupied making and drawing things throughout the park.

The ecological stuff is good and worthy but the proof of the fun pudding is in the eating and it was clear that, wherever you looked in the park, that it was busy with happy people.

The organisers are to be seriously congratulated for delivering another successful festival which, sadly, makes the comparison with Kingston's abandoned Green Fair all the sadder.

I met two of the organisers last year and I was delighted to bump in to both of them again this year, though I had to put a bit of hard work in to manage the bump with John Griffiths, the co-ordinator of organising group.

We are Facebook friends so the next bump should be easier to arrange. As should the ride there next year.

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