Monday, 21 June 2010

Greenfest report, Furnival Gardens, Hammersmith

Several thousand people flocked to Furnival Gardens yesterday for Greenfest 2010 which, despite some worrying behaviour by the morning's clouds, enjoyed a reasonably sunny day.

Among the opportunities for people to try out were a multitude of global foods, stalls about Thames River archeology and the opportunity to "become a crash test dummy" - strapped into a metal chair to experience the impacts of various car crash speeds. Being with children, I was sadly unable to sample that last delight.

The venue really came into its own and most people were simply sat on the grass admiring the stunning view of the river, Hammersmith bridge and the park while listening to the ethno-music that was coming from the band stand. It was some kind of didgeridoo playing bearded combo but it seemed right at the time.

A large corporate stand, complete with its own TV crew, was also in attendance .. our old friends Thames Water had come to demostrate the plans they have for a Tideway Tunnel sewer. Which is apt on a number of levels since Furnival Gardens is sat upon a great big sewage outflow pipe which far too regularly belches raw effluent into the river and also because our Council has accused them of wishing to tear up Furnival Gardens, turning it into "super sewer craters" with their "Super Sewer" as they insist on calling it. As we now know, those claims are, well, a load of old craters and the Tideway Tunnel, designed to stop those outflows, poses no such threat.

Local MP Andy Slaughter was spotted wandering through the stalls, and here he is being lobbied by those folks at Thames Water.

There were also plenty of cycle stuff at the event, even with a makeshift cycle "try-out" ring, which looked the same as those horse rings you see sometimes with people practising on the animals. The whole event was of course largely organised by H&FCyclists and was aimed squarely at getting people on two wheels and to be more green.

The Police were there with quite a low profile, including some giving advice about cycle crime, and all in all it was a good way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon. Huge credit to the organisers and to the Council for funding it - an excellent local event in the W12 calendar.

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