Grove Adventure Playground in Loughborough Junction opened its doors for a Gala Benefit last weekend (end October) and put on a night to remember for locals on the last warm evening of the year, writes Nick Lewis.
The sell out audience of guests, donors, volunteers and community who had assisted with the re-opening of this iconic adventure playground were rewarded with a fabulous variety of great food, drink, friends and entertainment.
The capacity crowd packed into the building to watch the first screening of an historic and socially important American documentary from 1971, showing the life of a young black kid growing up in 70s Lambeth. At the end of the film, the two main characters from the film, Neville Carnegie, the kid and Francis McLennan, the original Warden of Angell Town Adventure Playground, were introduced to an astonished audience and talked about their experiences from 48 years ago.
Next up Potent Whisper, the playground’s excellent new friend, local activist, rapper and poet delivered an electrifying performance of “Estate at War” and “Importance of Art in Education” to a spellbound audience.
To complete the live entertainment, the fabulous Youthsayers packed 17 band members into the adventure playground’s new covered stage and performance area to warm the air and wow the audience with brilliant mix of afrobeat, jazz, reggae and ska including a fitting tribute to Brixton legend Jimmy Rogers at the end of the set.
The evening ended in celebration and frenzy as curious locals and happy guests danced the night to a close outdoors with the playground brilliantly lit against the dark October sky, a raging bonfire nearby and the DJ spinning club classics. Perfect!