The Bridge

Bridge gets a facelift

The Bridge is in the middle of a program to install brand new play equipment and resurfacing. The old equipment was removed on 7th September and so far with the weather on our side the progress is good….

The old playground equipment was over 20 years old and now we look forward to a new era with lots of new outdoor play opportunities for fun at The Bridge for a wide range of children and their families.

A grant from the Greenwich Neighbourhood Growth Fund has made all this all possible, plus of course the time spent getting this grant which is all down to Ruth and Lucy who do an amazing job of running it and the forest school.

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Award money for the Eco Garden

There was great excitement at the Bridge last week when they were told that they had won a grant from Awards For All for nearly £8,000 for their Eco Garden.

This will mean that the Forest School will really get going in a big way. A new bee and bug hotel, new plants, a watering systems, composts heap and wormary,  pre-primary suits and clothing, tools for the children and most important of all help in training two forest school leaders. This make a huge difference to the two forest school volunteers who work at the Bridge and also to local school children who will use the new facility.

Well done to all the people who have worked so hard to get this grant, another great success for the Bridge!

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That’s a lot o’ grotto at the Christmas Party

The Pleasaunce Christmas Party was another success last month – with more than 250 children seeing Father Christmas during a two and half hour period! There was no charge, so families could come along and be entertained to a free afternoon of Christmas Cheer.

Meanwhile, their parents took a look around the Christmas Market and enjoyed refreshments at the Friends of the Pleasaunce bar. Mulled wine, mince pies or hot chocolate all on offer.

There were other things to amuse the children such a making decorations or finding a present among the nearly new toys.

Santa also kept up his tradition of surprising us by leaving the sleigh at home and arriving in alternative forms of transport – this year in a police van with a mounted police escort. The children loved the horses who waited patiently while photographs were taken and stayed all afternoon.

As always it was a great combined effort by the Friends of the Pleasaunce and The Bridge volunteers. This year  we were  able to make use of the Bridge for Santa’s Grotto for the first time, so Father Christmas didn’t need his long johns and the children kept warm and cosy.

Halstow  Community Choir lead the Carol Singing and a local Jazz band entertained us.

Police horses & Santa santa


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Sunshine and smiles at our 2013 summer picnic

by Stephen Brain

You said it.

You said it.

In stunning sunshine, Sunday  morning saw a small army (well, at least a  fair sized platoon) of helpers in the Pleasaunce organising the FEGP / Parksfest 2013 summer picnic, erecting gazebos, moving tables  and setting up  power supplies  for the all important tea urn  and the bands (thank you to both Chevening households that hosted the cables).

Professional riggers arrived and put up staging and the two large marquees.  Prizes for the tombola were mysteriously obtained and shed-loads of cakes for the cake stall were deposited (thank you Christine).  In the midst of the general melee the professional musicians and technicians for the four bands arrived. Everyone appeared to know what they were doing  and soon  the Pleasaunce resounded to that well known refrain of “Testing – testing – one – two – three”.

At 1200 hours people started to accumulate and continued to do so throughout the afternoon, despite stiff competition from televised sports and two minor musical events elsewhere in London and Somerset! The Bridge opened its doors for face painting and family story telling was led by Giles Abbott; hogs were roasted and chicken made jerky; African drums drummed, Arts workshops did arty things and the bar did a roaring trade as the afternoon got  hotter.

Crowds enjoyed music ranging from the swinging and summery to rockin and (whisper it) a bit risque

Crowds enjoyed music ranging from the swinging and summery to the rockin’ and (whisper it) a wee bit risque

Great music was provided by, two local(ish) bands, The Lost Chords and Ffog, Rachel and  Niall supplied laid-back jazz and the afternoon rounded off by Ronnie Scott’s Rejects. All with barely a technical hitch and little fuss as the bands shared equipment to make life easy for all concerned.

And at the end the miracle happened… lots of people helped to put everything away and no hernias or back strains have been reported! They say “many hands make light work” and that was really true this year. Many, many, thanks to all the volunteers and Friends Committee members, it really made a difference.

People  rounded-up their children and began to drift away but some lingered quite late into the gloaming…

A great day organised in a harmonious manner by local people that welcomed everyone .

For me the event was summed up perfectly by Gavin  McGregor: “What a great day. Everyone should be really proud – it seemed to go like a dream, and the atmosphere was terrific, smiles everywhere you looked and a great variety of activities and entertainments to choose from. It made me doubly proud to live here.

“We were also really pleased to see people signing up for more information about Pip! – our orchard, food and wildlife group – so we hope to see more willing hands joining our band of volunteers.”

Can't decide whether to be Superman or Spiderman? No problem for this partygoer

Can’t decide whether to be Superman or Spiderman? No problem for this partygoer

Sue Gay paid tribute to all of the unsung helpers who materialised on the day, saying: “The event wouldn’t have been possible without the help of ALL the Friends of the Park.

“People I’ve never met just turned up and said ‘What can I do?’ Maybe the sunshine made all the difference, but it wouldn’t have worked so well without people. We also had a record number of cakes just handed in. So many we even sent a trayful to Lizzie in the cafe at the end.

“And while we were all enjoying the music and the refreshment in the dog free zone, there were almost as many up at the Bridge and Café with the Naval College and storyteller.

“Glastonbury, the British Grand Prix or Andy Murray playing at Wimbledon didn’t seem to stop people coming to the Summer Picnic at the Pleasaunce.”

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Full line-up for our Summer Picnic

There will be something for everyone at the Friends of East Greenwich Pleasaunce annual Summer Picnic on Sunday 30 June. Here’s the full schedule – we look forward to seeing you there. Have fun!

12.00-12.45   Rachel and Niall
13.00-14.00 Lost Chords
14.15- 15.00 Ffog
15.15-16.00 Lost Chords
16.10- 17.10  Ronnie Scott’s Rejects
For kids of all ages
13.30 14.30   & 15.30 16.30 Storyteller Giles Abbott, at The Bridge
13.30 onwards: African drumming workshop
Royal Naval College family art and craft workshops, at the Bridge
Children’s play area, at the Bridge
Bar 12.00 till close
Cake stall 12.00 til it’s all gone
Hog Roast from the Giggly Pig 12.00 til it’s gone
Pistachios Cafe open all day
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Munchkin sports begin at the Bridge

munchkinMunchkin Sports, who specialise in introducing children aged 2 to 7 to sport, will be starting athletics sessions at the Bridge on Tuesdays, starting today, 11 June.

Sessions for 2-4 year-olds will run from 10.30am and for 4-7 year-olds at 4pm.

Visit for more details.

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