All the fun of the Fair

Some pics from yesterday's Hilly Fields Summer Fair. Full report to follow!











141 comments:

Anonymous said...

How cool was the falconry guy? More of that sort of thing please!

The Cat Man said...

Yes, it was a nice day.

Having spoken to the Falconry team I understand it was a private company. It would be nice to know how much his services cost?

Overall, I'm glad it didn't rain!

However, I would of preferred it to be more traditional; i.e.

1. Where was the strawberries and cream food outlet?
2. Where was the morris dancers?
3. The 'neon' moderm elements, such as some of the funfair items made the event look abit shabby, especially as the litter seemed to pile up.
4. The speaker system was needlessly very loud, again, making it seem abit taccy as the noise seem to trascend the otherwise pleasant location (I hate to imagine what it did to childrens ears).
5. I didn't think the steel band was appropriate for a summer fayre (my parents commented that it made them feel like they wanted to go on a cruise to the carribean!).

Well done for Broc Soc to organise it though, must of taken alot of effort.

Brockley Kate said...

Oh don't be so negative Andy, it was a wonderful day and as ever BrocSoc did a fab job in organising it.

If you want a strawberries & cream stall or morris dancers, why don't you darn well organise them then?!

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean! Honestly it's only 60 YEARS since the Windrush landed and thousands of Afro Caribbean people came over to clean our hostpitals and drive our busses.

They'll be wanting the vote next.

Did you, like me, get all queasy at the sight of WHITE PEOPLE!! seemingly ENJOYING the oil drum bashing.....

If I were you I'd pack your cats up and head to Alabama. No steel bands there.

Monkeyboy said...

Quiet, we need more of this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:IMAG00041.JPG

Or perhaps ‘jelly wrestling’ (Google it on the BBC) if it’s good enough for Oxford Uni, It’s good enough for us.

Anonymous said...

Cat man - I was personally disappointed with the Fayre because I'm sure I saw some homosexuals there and I feel that gays are unnatural and represent the decline in true British Values, ie. white, straight Families.

I also noted that on occasion that some of the homos were walking within a few feet of children which I also found to be offensive because everyone knows that gays are a threat and a danger to children.

Andy - I take it that you kept your own sexuality in check and resisted any unnatural urges you may have had.

Nick- I hope that the moderator will see fit to leave this post up and see it for what it really is.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice the man selling painted cat pictures with 'Brockley' on them.

For what its worth, when I saw the queue for the burger stall grow I walked away and decided to be adventurous and try my first ever Jerk Chicken

It was lovely!

Monkeyboy said...

Communist....

The Cat Man said...

Yes, I noticed the Brockley Cat t-shirts and paintings! Was going to buy one, but my parents decided to spend all my hard earned dosh on a charity tombola. Have to admit though, I was impressed to see the charities represented. And the vegatable modelling and cake decorating, very good indeed.

Anon@15.48 - Homophobic comments, like you have made should be deleted.

Anonymous said...

Do your parents control your money? You're painting a very 'Mrs Merton and Malcolm' picture...

The Cat Man said...

I love that picture Monkeyboy. I remember going to Norwich on a business trip once and seeing someone just like that 'acting up' in the town centre - made my day!

Anonymous said...

which is strange because i'm not homophobic just trying to hang on to traditional values.

Anonymous said...

...the values wot made this country great.

*Stands and salutes Her Maj*

Monkeyboy said...

Have to say given the choice between a display of vegetable modelling, an old bearded chap sucking on a dummy or a steel band, I know what I'd choose.

Hmmm...I wonder what it is about a steel band that Andy doesn't like? The sound? possibly. Was it of poor quality? maybe. Is it because it is associated with black music, well obviously not because Andy has TWO degrees and is not racist or xenophobic in anyway, is it that a band playing instruments associated with black culture have no place in this part of London? well no, can't be that because Lewisham is one of the most diverse areas in the country.

I'm awfully confused.

Do dah said...

Any pics of the cakes, and who won. I was going to submit a cake, but things went a bit wrong /'Pete Tong', with the icing bag, as the kids would say?

max said...

Of course Andy is not a racist, he loves his mum and dad and doesn't want them to leave for a cruise in the Caribbean.

Anonymous said...

You're confused? What about poor Andy? he's homosexual, takes his parents to the fair, but joins them in their tutting over the steel band, and general caribbean flavor which is destroying traditional values.

I bet they're just waiting for him to find a nice girl so he can settle down.

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming that Andy does not understand complex ideas like 'irony' so to spell it out to him, I doubt many people on here are homophobic. (bet he's REALLY confused now)

Anonymous said...

That's a fair bet. He doesn't understand simple ideas let alone complex ones.

Anonymous said...

part of my activities, as a beekeeper, take me to a number of fairs (fayres) in the SE of England. they almost inevitably have a falconry display, and I don't think I've seen the same person twice, so, falconers (people who keep falcons) are a bit thick on the ground, as are dog obedience people, ferret handlers etc.

The brockley fayre was nice however.

Not sure if this innocuous comment will get past the 'moderators' eagle (sic) eye though. (damn, thats done it, I've taken them lightly)

Anonymous said...

I picture him in his room self flagellating with a cat o nine tails, weeping "sorry", as he looks alternatively at a picture of his mother and a signed picture of Boyzone.

Monkeyboy said...

Anyway.... I'm as guilty as the next man (or woman, lets be inclusive) of being drawn into Andy's weird paranoid world view. Shall we move on?

Didn't go this year as I had a sore head from a drink or ten on Friday. Shame, it was good last year and I was looking for a vegetable model too.

Bobblekin said...

As I understand it this was the "Brockley Fair", not the Brockley reanactment of some "Olde English Renaissance Fayre". I don't think Brockley as community goes back that far, so the idea of Brockley ever having a tradtional "Fayre" with a maypole and morris dancers is a bit unlikely.

In fact I think Brockleys roots are more Temperance Society - so no fun at all then.

Therefore any one and anything that makes the effort to turn up and show off what they do in Brockley is welcome.

Personally I think that as the years go by this will develop more and will look a lot like the Lambeth County Show that takes place down at Brockwell park each summer.

JPM said...

I really liked the Falconer, but I'm afraid I though the rest was disappointing. (Fifty pence for one slide!)

There were not many Brockley people at the stalls, so when it's described as the (Brockley) or Hilly Fields Fayre I imagine that this refers to its location only.

"I don't think Brockley as community goes back that far," bobblekin says. Hopefully to be directed towards its history. (See Wikipedia, which will no doubt inform you better.)

The history of Brockley though is quite ancient - and is worthy of several champions. It would be great if this could be worked into the next fair, a series of playlets down the years from the 12th Century until present day, jousting, old music, battles. (I'll get writing now.)

I acknowledge though (with gratitude) the effort that BrocSoc and others have put into this and other days. But there must be more to Brockley than a steel band, however good it was, and Carribean food. (And so another Brockley 'racist' enters the debate.)

JPM said...

boblekin, forget the Brockley entry in Wikipedia. The research on it is not complete, and so much of Brockley's history is not fully known (online at least).

I did provide an article a while back, the beginning of which reads...

[The Kentish Mercury, May 12, 1961.]

Monks at Brockley

"The ruins of the thirtienth-century Bayham Abbey, near Lambhurst, Kent, have an 800-year-old association with Lewisham and Deptford, for it was here that the Premonstratensian Order of Monks moved from Brockley in the year 1200.

Towards the end of the reign of Henry II (1154-1189) the manor of Brockley, or Brockle, as it was then called, was granted by Wakelin Maminot to his heir Michael de Turnham as an annual rental of 12d."

Michael afterwards sold the land to Wakelin's wife, the Countess Juliana de Vere, that she might found a religious order and she duly gave the land to the Premonstatensian monks who had come from the Premonstre in France and settled at Ottham in Sussex in the year 1146.

Right of Might

On the death of Wakelin Maminot in 1191 Alice his sister and coinheritor of the estate, bestowed the land on the Knights Templar."

"In those days, when might was so often right, it was 23 years before the rights to the land at Brockley were regained by the monks, which land they then held until the dissolution of the monasteries in 1526."

"That part of the monastic land at Brockley which is in the borough of Lewisham passed to the Crown at the Dissolution, but in 1548 it was held by John Gaynesford, who conveyed it to Thomas keys for £200."

A long and interesting history that should never be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

The Carribean food was actually quite nice to be fair. But the selection of food vans available felt more Notting Hill Carnival than Brockley!

The Cat Man said...

I quite like Jerk Chicken but I came away knowing/appreciating no more of brockley than when
I first arrived.

How did the fayre celebrate Brockley? Isn't a Brockley fayre supposed to celebrate Brockley? I mean, isn't that what a fayre is supposed to be for?

Anonymous said...

Brockley now? or Brockley 600 years ago?

Anonymous said...

I would have though that a bit of a laugh, music, birds of prey - you know entertainment - is a good enogh reason. Could have had a slide show on Monks but the kids may not have been impressed.

JPM and The Cat ought to sit down and think up something for next year THAT would be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Ratbag said....
The Falconry man was from the same company as last year. If I remember correctly, last year the Vulture could barely fly as it had just been rescued by the ?RSPCA and placed with Xtreme Falconry. All it could do was bounce between the two stands as its wings were feeble. Looked far fiercer yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Looked like it could've taken your head off yesterday - quite a beast.

drakefell debaser said...

I thought 'ginge' and his falconry display was great and very educational, the birds were in great condition and to get to see a hunting display with a rarity like a Peregrine is quite something. The stalls were good as well - managed to get a postcard of the cat in Brockley amongst other things. Couldn't find the VW car display though - were they there?

Anonymous said...

xtreme falconry - Damien!

Tressillian James said...

@ Catman "How did the fayre celebrate Brockley? Isn't a Brockley fayre supposed to celebrate Brockley? I mean, isn't that what a fayre is supposed to be for?"

When was the Summer Fair/Fayre meant to be a celebration of Brockley's history, past or present? Once again we have people sitting back on the sidelines and and criticising.

The Summer Fayre is like a school or village fayre - primarily a fund raiser and full of those things we associate with a fete: a cake competition, some stalls, a few simple rides and a display or two.

The idea is gentle entertainment, raising funds for a good cause - once again it doesn't have to deliver to any standards apart from its own.

Are you going to turn up at St Peter's fete next week and criticise them for not fulfilling an agenda of your making?

Sometimes I think you get a hard time on here Catman - but c'mon it was a fete! It is what it is.

The Cat Man said...

Don't get me wrong, it was a good day and i'm pleased that we are able to have one. I even invited my parents up espically to come along and provide their support.

I just think it lacked something special and a missed opportuntiy to celebrate the local history, present and future of Brockley.

I went last year and though that it was abit better. But then we had the old cars and I dont remember seeing a commercialised 'neon' funfair.

There wasn't anything unique about our fete this year - i want to cherish the diversity of areas, not make it homogenised into a standard fayre with standard events and standard catering.

I'm actually more than happy to contribute to something next year.

Anonymous said...

If you did something constructive I think we'd all take our proverbial hats to you.

I think the strawberries and cream stall is a brilliant idea, but that's the point, I'm sure there were lots of great ideas happening but we need to turn them into reality.

The Cat Man said...

Ok, thats it. Next year I will arrange for some Morris Men and do some research and hopefully get a Straw and Cream van to come along!

Im confident about the Morris Men, not sure about the Stawberry and Cream van, but lets see.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity what else would people like to see at the fayre. What would compel you to be there?

I rarely venture out of town, so what typically happens at these village fayres. I don't think Brockley should copy lock stock but there may be a few pointers, to make our Fayre is even more enjoyable.

... said...

The entertainement business is a hard industry, live with it. Which leads me to Tressilian James who asked:

"When was the Summer Fair/Fayre meant to be a celebration of Brockley's history, past or present? Once again we have people sitting back on the sidelines and and criticising."

Well, I guess that's me... I live in Brockley, don't see any reason why a fair can't be a celebration, of its history, and don't see what the problem is of a paying public 'sitting back on the sidelines' and commenting on that failing.

I have no problem with getting involved with ideas for the future. Any critiscm aimed the way of the 'fayre' is to build on it, not to bathe in its glory. That... is entertainement.

... said...

That post was from JPM, who said...

Anonymous said...

Andy - are you writing posts to yourself again?
"we'd all take our proverbial hats off to you."?
I bloody well wouldn't. You're a small prick and racist. You don't represent me or my views about what Brockley should be.

Do dah said...

The comments in this thread are getting way too nasty. Andy has expressed a view, typically it wasn't to the liking of many, so what, move on.

I asked about cakes, completely ignored but an opportunity to be rude to Andy and everyone piles in.

Tressillian James said...

Don't think I was rude at all - I just find it jaw-dropping when people start mentioning that they are the paying public and commenting on the fair failing. How on earth did it fail - I think it achieved what it wanted to - and there are enough people who come every year to it to prove that it is a very successful yearly event - that doesn't need a social, cultural or educational agenda

Tressilliana said...

What the fair lacked yesterday was good weather. I didn't go but I've been to most of the fairs over the last fifteen years or so and it's always a bit of a struggle to enjoy walking about Hilly Fields when it's wet, windy and cold. Well, it is for me anyway.

I'm a bit taken aback at the idea that the local children should be dragooned into staging a Brockley history pageant. Wouldn't it end up being much the same every year? Where would people sit? Who would pay for the costumes, write the script, organise the rehearsals, you name it? What an odd idea all round.

The Cat Man said...

The falconry appears to be every year, and that still goes ahead

max said...

Agree, some people can enjoy themselves, some other even volunteer so that the rest can enjoy themselves and frankly Andy deserves all the flak he got. He just asked for it.

max said...

I was agreeing with Tressilian James' comment. We all wrote at the same moment.

The Cat Man said...

Max, I dont think homophobic comments is acceptable on here and should be deleted.

Anonymous said...

The falconry is there every year...SO NERR TO YOU!!

great argument

brockley mutha said...

The fair was charming. I took a couple of my son's friends along - and they loved it - the farm zoo, dog show, the coconut shy, the stalls selling tat. It was a perfect and typical example of a small-scale local summer fayre.

And to all the Maggie and Judy's complaining about the caribbean food - as bobblekin and tressillian james say - the fair is open to everyone - you just need to approach the organisers if you want to set up a stall. There is no hidden agenda.

So andy and anyone else with an idea - go ahead next year and set up a strawberries and cream stall. Call the organisers. It's as simple as that.

brockley mutha said...

oh and i'm absolutely at one with tressilliana about the historical re-enactments.

please, please spare us the jousting knights in tights, and dodgy monks.

Anonymous said...

The Lambeth County Show has an interesting mix of old English country crafts and cultural displays from the diverse communities in South London. You get both sheep shearing, steam organs, rappers and steel bands. It is a huge affair, a grand day out.

Brockleys little summer fayre is a minnow in comparison, but it could grow. Seems mainly for parents and kids doing the family thing.

Lewisham, of course, has its 'Peoples day'. The title kind of sets the tone. It always seems to be dominated by the public services trying to tell everyone what a good job they are doing. That and a not very well managed concert.

Not a patch on Lambeth which is also in a much nicer park.

Anonymous said...

I would prefer Andy to never post on this blog again. His comments are usually infused with some form of racial intolerance and people seem to have short memories about this or just pass it off as Andy being a bit misguided. Well I see as more than that. It is totally unacceptable and if I were to meet him at the Brockley drinks for example I certainly wouldn't be talking to him. People like that are not the kind of people I want to have as neighbours.

Anonymous said...

One idea for the next fayre is dog and owner hurdle racing. This is where bales of straws act as hurdles on a circular track. Owners then run the course but with their dogs on a lead, jumping the hurdles as they go round. Much mayhem and confusion follows.

The bales of straw could be replaced by sleeping policeman?

The Cat Man said...

That sounds a great idea. There was certainly alot of dogs there, I'd certainly would love to watch it.

Anonymous said...

it does seem bizarre to me that homophobic comments are obviously deemed acceptable here, with the comments being allowed to stand, compared to the important and vital discussions about the Lewisham Gateway, which will affect us all, where I couldn't imagine that the moderated comments were as unpleasant as the homophobia displayed here.

Anonymous said...

Idiot anon. (or is it you again Cat man? )I suggest you re read the 'homophobic' post. You clearly have no understanding of irony.

Anonymous said...

Next time I think the Fayre should include the English tradition of the stocks. We could put Andy in there and all throw caribbean food at him (and a couple cricket balls if I had my way too) while someone plays the steel drum right next to his head and speaks in a thick Jamaican accent.

Who can I call to arrange this?

Headhunter said...

All good fun and well attended. I helped out for an hour and a half on the Broc Soc stand selling the ticks for the bronco thing and the train, they were selling like hot cakes!

Went for a wander round and bought some Catford Honey from the SOTH stand. I recently read that locally produced honey can help prevent hayfever (I haven't actually got hayfever but perhaps the honey'll prevent me ever getting it). It needs to be raw, unprocessed honey. Something about it being full of local pollen which desensitises the body to it.

Has anyone else eaten local honey and found it helped with hayfever?

Other than the guy on Birkhall Rd in Catford, I notice that there is another local honey producer on Blackheath Hill. Might have to get some from there sometime to compare

The Cat Man said...

well I also thought it was homophobic, if you have ever experienced homophobic bullying (like I have) maybe you will understand this. I also think allowing comments advocating violence (throwing cricket balls at a person with intent) should also not be tolerated and should be deleted.

Anonymous said...

I think if an 'ironic comment' stoops to homophobia then thats setting the bar extremely low and doesn't mask the homophobia that the poster, whether trying to be 'ironic' or not, still very evidently has.

Anonymous said...

I produce honey from my backgarden (well, the bees produce the honey, I merely remove it from the hive) right next to Hilly Fields but regrettably I don't have enough to share around.

Why not try keeping bees yourself?

It's not especially complicated but does require dedication. Try the website below for information.

http://www.kentbee.com/bromley/

Anonymous said...

to the homophobia expert.( Andy posting as anon).i again refer you to your dictionary, under I.

Bea said...

Had a pleasant afternoon at the fair and by the time we arrived the rain had stopped. We caught the tail end of the falconry display, joined in with the salsa dancing and watched the dog show from the side lines. Also petted farm animals and took a ride on the train.

As to what is traditional – in the deepest countryside village fairs that I have been to recently – they too have had bouncy castles and a neon corner with rides for kids. They also had ferrite racing which was a laugh! However, not a Morris Dancer or cream tea in sight – just some dodgy looking ginger cake cooked by the WI.

As to a stage show with the history of Brockley – I know those kinds of things are very popular in France - known and “sont la Lumière (sp?)” – but require masses of organising and are an event in themselves and not a side show to a summer fair.

Headhunter said...

Yeah my late grandpa used to produce honey during WW2 (along with veggies, duck eggs, chicken eggs etc etc) and he always said it was easy to do, however as soon as rationing ended he stopped all that and went to shops like everyone else! Not sure I've got the time or dedication at the moment so in the meantime I'll buy my local honey. Also nopt sure what the other peeps in the other flats in my buidling would make of bees incessantly buzzing around the garden all day long

Tressilliana said...

It works like this. A makes a comment which B finds offensive to a particular group (let's call this group X). B re-words what A said, substituting group Y for X. This is not because B holds Yist views. The hope is that if A can see that B's comment looks Yist, s/he may look again at her/his own comment and grasp why that was perceived as Xist.

This is called irony. Unfortunately people who do not understand irony are usually completely incapable of understanding B's tactics, and matters descend into a long bout of 'But you said that all Ys are degenerate, that proves you are a Yist, I have no time for Yists and I won't waste my time talking to you again....' probably lasting until the end of time.

Tressillian James said...

I can see it now.. some kids in potato sacks as monks, followed by some horses and hunters, some farmers and then Victorian venture capitalists building houses. It's not a stunning history is it.

Glad you enjoyed it Bea - now we are all waiting for next weekend and the Open Studios event - and I'm waiting for those to start griping that the art isn't representative of the Neo-Anglo tradition, the refreshments weren't as expected; and really there should be a shuttle bus taking one from house to house with a curator on hand to explain the meaning of the works...otherwise what's the point of it all?...

The Cat Man said...

I don't post as anon, never have done.

The Cat Man said...

the suffagettes used to meet on hillyfields, I thought we would all be interested in womens fight for the vote and how they were treated as a result.

Brockley Kate said...

One of the highlights for me is always the tea tent, especially the home-made cakes. There was an orange-y one this year which was totally yum. Well done whoever was staffing it, the tea was nice and strong too, just as I like it, and poured from a proper teapot!

(Can we all draw a line under Andy's diversionary tactics and get back to talking about the fair, please?)

brockley mutha said...

The 28th June is also St Peter's fayre.

Unfortunately St Peter's has missed a golden opportunity to stage a re-entactment of the birth, life and death of christ.

But - all you 'fayre' traditionalists take note - THERE WILL BE CREAM TEAS.

brockley mutha said...

I bought a couple of small abstract paintings from a local artist - Carol Edgar. Absolutely beautiful. I don't see her on the open studios list, which is a pity.

Anonymous said...

Irony is used as a bit of a blanket term these days, mainly to assist people in saying what they damn well like to mask their own bigotry and then say 'yeah, its irony man...'

Headhunter said...

Yeah I'm looking forward to Open Studios. Bought a painting from the guy on Wickham Gardens, forgotten his name, the interior of his house is pretty amazing - apart from a few modern appliances like a TV, the interior has been restored to full Victorian glory. Anyway, he painted some "fake" impressionist paintings for a BBC documentary which he was selling off cheap. I bought a fake "Poppy Fields Near Giverny" by Monet

Tressillian James said...

I'll have to stop by his place HH, I never get quite around all those I want to. Last year I purchased a beautiful print of a thrush in a tree, from Ruth de Monchaux on Manor Avenue. Well recommended.

brockley mutha said...

@ HH - I'm looking forward to it too. Although slightly puzzled and definitely intrigued by the artist who is exhibiting wooden dogs!

For a few weeks at the beginning of this month/end of last month - there was a skip outside a house on breakspears road. One week - it was full of water, with a bloke on a lilo. A couple of weeks later a perfect little lawn had been laid in the skip. skip is still there, but no recent updates.

Anonymous said...

how ironic.

Headhunter said...

TJ - Ah yes, the Monchaux house is not far from where I live. I remember last year they had just had a studio built at the end of the garden. Apparently her husband (I think?) is a fairly well known archtect and is involved in several London schemes.

The guy who does the Brockley Cat stuff also lives on Manor Avenue. Last year a guy in a van had pulled up along Manor Avenue and was flogging art out of the back of it! Brockley Open Studios is obviously attracting artists from outside the area.

BM - Haven't seen this skip you mention. Sounds bizarre, will have to track it down...

Tressillian James said...

There's mention of the skip on the Guerilla Gardeners page. It's not from them, but they provided some plants for it (since removed). It seems it's a Goldsmith's student who is using it for their art project.

It mentions it on the front page of the website - just scroll down

http://www.guerrillagardening.org/

Paddyom said...

Well done to BrocSoc on being proactive enough to organize this. It was great to have something like this locally and thanks to the residents on Hilly Fields Cresent for putting up with the noise and disruption!

My only suggestion for next year if anyone is interested would be to vary the food stalls as it was virtually all Caribbean food which made it hard if you wanted something apart from that or burgers.

I do think someone in London should organize an 'English Festival' with all the traditional English stuff like Morris dancers, maypoles, English music, Bitter and Cider tents, Pie and mash food, tributes to the Monarchs etc... you know, like Paddys Day in Ireland, Bastille Day in France or the 4th of July in the US. All things great and tacky. I always find it odd that England doesn't celebrate its history/tradition with a big party given its got so much to celebrate.

(If anyone calls me racist for suggesting this by the way, I will hunt them down and pour Catford honey all over them - as purchased at the Fayre, its very nice!)

The Cat Man said...

Kate,

All my posts relate to the fayre apart from in response to someone who made homophobic comments.

How exactly did I employ 'diversion' tactics? And why exactly do you think I would want this? That comment is just bizarre.

And just out of interest, why do you allow them to stay un-deleted?

The Cat Man said...

There seems to be a quite a few people on here who want to celebrate 'englishness'.

Just because we want to celebrate it doesn't make us all racists.

Just goes to show how intolerant some people are of the english culture.

Pitty as we are in England.

Anonymous said...

Nobody has made any homophobic comments as far as I can tell.

The Cat Man said...

Paddom,

As a side note (and maybe this is what Kate mean't by diversion tactics - so sorry for this) but there is a traditional english festival held in the grounds of Kew gardens. I went there about 6 weeks ago and stumbled on it by accident. But it was set in the forest area of kew in front of the queens cottage (a royal outhouse for one of the princesses). The events had the following activities:

1. Morris Men
2. Medevial Music (Men dressed in costumes playing some sort of violin and dancing around)
3. A Druid priest - telling traditional stories to around 40 children who all sat down quietly in front of him (he was quite impressive - dressed up, wooden stick etc..)
4. Traditional arts and crafts - about 6-8 different 'tents' where people showed you how to craft traditioanl english tools and methods, such as making cloth, string, wooden instruments etc..
5. Stalls selling traditionl lemonade, ginger beer etc..
6. Forest sports, wood carving etc..

All was based in old style huts and tents (with canvas fabric and wooden poles).

It was a really nice day, if somewhat kind of trippy. I would recommend it to anyone.

Anonymous said...

Cat Man - Stop going on about wanting everything to be English when you can't even write it. Every post you make contains grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. My ten year old nephew is brighter than you are.

Pitty?

It's pity you moron.

max said...

Andy, to be second generation racist doesn't make you an English tradition to celebrate.

Brockley Kate said...

Catford honey sounds good, shame I didn't see the stall selling it. Wonder if it's available in any of the local posh shops?

Did anyone else see the stall selling home-made cleaning products?
And the make-your-own-pot stall?
And the Human Fruit Machine?
There was some real imagination put into people's efforts, I thought.

Locallife Sian said...

I agree, Kate, and the hoopla stall was lots of fun. The home-made cleaning products are fantastic - they are going to be stocked in The Shop on the Hill. All in all, I had a great day running my stall - lots of laughs, lots of really interesting people to talk to, and some great chicken!

Anonymous said...

"playing some sort of violin and dancing around"

Honestly, give a man a spade and he'll dig his own hole.

Headhunter said...

Catford honey is available from SOTH apparently or direct from the producer. Here's the website:

http://www.wholesomehoney.co.uk/

or this place is even closer, but never had honey from there...

http://www.parkbeekeeping.com/index.php?s=3

Aunty Kate said...

...or get Brockley raised honey at the butcher's in Crofton Park

Paddyom said...

Kate - as above. I was chatting to the lady selling the honey and its her husband who keeps the bees and farms the honey as a hobby. She told me there are in fact 4 bee keepers in Catford which i was well impressed with. Apparently people who suffer from allergies in Summer should eat local honey (must be local) to build up a resistance to pollen etc...

Cat Man - that Kew festival sounds interesting, ill have to check it out. I think that its just plain weird that in London things like that are the exception and not the rule, it should be the other way around. Helloooo we are in England are we not? In the US (our closest ally apparently) they are anything but shy about celebrating all things American. Especially when at 'war'.

I reckon some people in England are so ridiculously obsessed with trying to appear 'not racist', they frown on any suggestion of celebrating English heritage and view it as some sort of attempt to exclude non-nationals. Maybe non-nationals (like me!) would integrate better and feel more of a sense of belonging if we had an opportunity to experience the history of England etc... i.e a big party where the young and the old wear traditional clothes, eat traditional food and sing old songs etc... like the Germans do with their beer sausages and lederhosen...

Again if anyone calls me racist for suggesting the above I will unlease the Catford bees! The 'R' word is used too often these days.

max said...

Paddyom, if you read Andy's original post with attention you'll realize that his final consideration is that he didn't think that Caribbean music was appropriate, it's not a comment about a lack of Englishness, it's a complaint about the presence of other cultures.
This is a comment that only a sad and twisted bigot can make and I am glad that almost everybody can see that.

The Cat Man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Swift Colbert said...

The comments by anon 22 June 2008 15:48, are offensive. Quite rightly so, because they are a parody of the type of comments, Andy/The Cat Man has been making on this blog for months now, regarding race.

Andy if you find those comments unacceptable then they have served a useful purpose in illustrating to you how many on this blog feel upon reading your remarks.

The post by anon 15.48 was a satire of your attitude using the rhetorical techniques of parody -mimicking your language and irony -saying one thing but meaning something else.

So whilst to the uneducated those comments are raging homophobia. To the more alert it's a clever and sadly for you a necessary piece of wordplay.

The Cat Man said...

swift colbert, you are missing the point. By allowing homophobic comments to stay you are acting illegally. Any deemed racist remarks (I disagree that they are) made by myself in the past were deleted. Why are homophobic comments like these allowed to stay?

I am seriously considering reporting this to the police.

On a side not, none of my posts in this thread have mentioned race, that was someone else.

Anonymous said...

It's you who've missed the point Cat man. Any idiot with half a brain can see that the comments are not homophobic all all but as Swift as already stated are a play on your own racist remarks. That you cannot see that speaks volumes to me.

In all seriousness I am surprised that a gay man is so willing to hark back to an England with traditional values. Many of those values that we held true at the time were just plain racist or homophobic. Remember Cat man being gay used to be illegal in this country.

Good luck with your Police investigation. While you're at it you may as well google the thousands of homophobic, racist, misogynist, anti-semitic hate fuelled sites that operate without worry because even though those opinions are repugnant they are not illegal - and see what the police can do about those too.

Anonymous said...

Catman is certainly winning in his campaign to become the most hated man in Brockley. Good job nobody knows what you look like. Although walking a couple of rare cats is a bit of a giveaway.

Paddyom said...

I hadnt read the above comments re homophobia, I was merely gaving my opinion on the Hilly Fields Fayre and how i thought the Fayre would have more of an emphasis on all things English. Either way it was a great day and three cheers for BrocSoc and the poor residents who had that tannoy to contend with all day Saturday.

Please dont let this thread go off on a tangent about homphobic remarks as I am sure some people on this website just say silly things like that in order to generate a response and have a bit of banter. Best to laugh at them for what they are and get back to the main crux of the thread.

Oh dear, its only Tuesday!

Headhunter said...

Aunty Kate - which butchers in Crofton Park sells Brockley honey?

Anonymous said...

All things English? I would argue that in 2008, in London a steel band is as much a part of our culture - in fact more so - than Morris men? I'm not being provocative it's a fact surley? This is, and has been for decades, a very diverse city. Get over it cat walking dude.

The Cat Man said...

yeah, let's get back to summer fetes. I get abit sick of the people hanging on my every word. I will post an article on my blog about what I see as traditional English values, maybe that will clear this up abit.

I'm looking forward to the st peters fête. (ESP the cream teas!) I met the vicar/vicaress when I went there for midnight mass. The church has been renovated, has a new roof now and an impressive Eco system(they sell elec. Back to the board). I recommend anyone to try and get a tour around, its a lovely place!

Headhunter said...

....And who else in Catford produces honey? I'm on a mission to become a bona fide local honey expert...

Headhunter said...

....And who else in Catford produces honey? I'm on a mission to become a bona fide local honey expert...

The Cat Man said...

yeah, let's get back to summer fetes. I get abit sick of the people hanging on my every word. I will post an article on my blog about what I see as traditional English values, maybe that will clear this up abit.

I'm looking forward to the st peters fête. (ESP the cream teas!) I met the vicar/vicaress when I went there for midnight mass. The church has been renovated, has a new roof now and an impressive Eco system(they sell elec. Back to the board). I recommend anyone to try and get a tour around, its a lovely place!

Paddyom said...

Anonymous 24 June 2008 08:55 - these other cultures celebrate their history and traditions almost every year at home and in Trafalgar Square which is a great thing and shows how multi-cultural London in 2008 is.

But in the same way that other nations celebrate their 'big day', England should be celebrating its history and identity and celebrating things which are viewed globally as being typically English - i.e. fish and chips, tea drinking, morris dancing etc....

The fact that in 2008 more people here likely eat paninis and drink coffee is irrelevant - we are talking about celebrating historical typical English traditions in case they die out (dance/art/music). Its not based on England today or we would be celebrating ipods and hoodie tops.

Unfortunately the English flag was hijacked by skinhead football hooligans in the 1970's and became a symbol of anti-foreigner racism. I wonder is that why people here seem almost embarassed of flying their own flag here and there is no England Day, and indeed as appears from this blog little support for one?

Anonymous said...

Whatever. Drop it now mate, the conversation has moved on...

Brockley Nick said...

@Paddy, I don't think anyone has expressed opposition to an event which includes more "traditional" English country fair stuff. I'm sure people would love the opportunity to buy strawberries and cream or fish and chips. But having traditional elements needn't mean the exclusion of anything else. After all, falconry displays, cake competitions and bring and buy sales are fairly 'traditional' English stuff.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - doh! You're right, please no-one feel the need to respond to my last post.

Tressilliana said...

On the subject of catering, I didn't go this year but going by what people here have said the food available was the BrocSoc barbecue, the cakes at the tea tent (and probably at a few other stalls, judging by other years) and a few Caribbean food vans. The BrocSoc is highly unlikely to have said 'This year, only Caribbean food!' It would have been open to anybody to book a pitch, but the only people with sufficient get up and go to do it this year were the aforesaid jerk chicken sellers. We need more people like this in the UK, not fewer.

Headhunter said...

It certainly would be a shame to lose some traditional crafts, arts, dance and music etc which have evolved in this country. Not sure that we need a specific festival to celebrate this to the exclusion of steel bands and carribean food etc though.

I think part of the problem probably is that there are fewer and fewer people who practice these things these days. They are largely left to older generations, youngsters in London these days do not go morris dancing at weekends!

Aunts and uncles of mine are very much into traditionall English country dancing and run a club which is part of the EFDSS (English Folk Dance and Song Society based near Regents' Park). I remember as a youngster being dragged... I mean going along to watch them and various other dance groups doing demos in various village squares. However they're all getting into their 60s and older now and arthritis etc is setting in so their group no longer does demos and I think this is a typical story across the UK.

So I don't think it's a case of ignoring our own culture, I think it's more a case of our historic culture become less and less accessible and suffering from image problems. Steel bands are perceived as far "cooler" than a bunch of hanky waving blokes dancing around a village square.

I lived in Japan for a few years, and they suffer the same problems. The tradition of geisha/geiko is dying out along with many other traditional crafts - anything from dance and washi (paper) making to Samurai sword blade manufacturer.

They also suffer to a certain extent, from national paranoia re their flag, following attrocities of WW2. Especially the flag with the "sun rays" flowing from the red circle, which was used to portray the expansion of the imperial Japanese empire at the time of WW2.

Anonymous said...

There was also a Thai food stall. How come those moaning posters are not complaining about their presence? The influx of Thais into Britain is relatively recent compared to the 2,000 years of Africans living here.

Bea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bea said...

There is a petition doing the rounds (which I signed) asking the Government for a public holiday on St George’s Day. This could be a great opportunity to celebrate what is English (not British). If the Scottish and Irish get to have an extra public holiday I don’t see why we can’t too. The day could highlight all that is English both modern and old including Caribbean steel bands, Morris dancing, Indian take-away, cream teas and other traditional (and less traditional) pursuits i.e. Maypole Dancing vs. karate displays.

And with regard to the flag – we are happy to wave the red cross of St George when it comes to England football matches. A couple of years ago it seemed like the whole of London was draped in red and white during the World Cup. So obviously no hang ups about nationalism then.

mg said...

I thought the food choices were quite good myself - we had Thai food (Just Thai Thai), donuts, some fruit from the Exotic fruit salad stall, tea and cakes. Strawberries and Pimms would be brilliant though.
I really love the fair (sorry can't bring myself to spell it the other way) and go every year. I love the farm zoo (see me elbow toddlers out of the way to pet the piglets), the dog show, the stalls, the salsa and I'm really not sure it needs to be 'about' Brockley in any pageant-y sort of way. It is about Brockley in the best way possible for me - bumping in to lots of people I know vaguely in the area and stopping for a proper chat, putting a few faces to names from here - hello again locallife sian! and generally enjoying a brilliant day out within ten minutes of where I live.
And I thought the steel pan kids were great. But we need bonkers Donna Maria and her hideous dresses back next year please - actually that would please traditionalists, she has a maypole!

mg said...

Er, just in case of misunderstandings, I was joking about elbowing toddlers out of the way.

Headhunter said...

We can't have a Maypole at the "fayre", it's in June! That's like Sainsbury's selling hot cross buns in August...

Re the public holiday on St George's day, it's a nice idea, but I doubt it'll happen, there are already too many bank hols clustered around the 1st 6 months of the year. We need another holiday or 2 (the UK lags way behind other countries in the number of bank hols per year) but later in the year, perhaps in Sept or Oct, or even another in August so we can enjoy (possibly) good weather.

Last I heard there were propositions for an England day holiday but not on 23rd April/St George's Day, but later in the year. Didn't Labour promise another Bank Hol in 1 of their manifestos. Another broken promise, or perhaps an example of sloooooow mo government again...

Who's "bonkers Donna Maria"?

The Cat Man said...

Hh,, it goes back to what I was saying before. When I go to France I want to experience what its like to be French. I would not want to walk down a quaint French street and see an array of starbucks, m&s, woolworths and dixons and no small independent French cafes (these are fast disappearing in Paris).

I feel the human race loses something special if we become all homogenized. Practically, what this means is to celebrate doing different things. Why not have a seperate carribean day similar to an English day? I would certaintly get more deeper understanding of cultures out of both events then a comingled affair where the celebration of cultural differences is lost!

Headhunter said...

Hmmm, understand your 1st point, Andy, but not too clear on how this relates to separating steel bands from morris dancers!

I think you have to face it, modern Britain IS a "comingled affair" and trying to separate steel bands, Thai and Indian food, or Polish plumbers from morris dancing and cream teas is an exercise in futility.

However I do agree that it would be shame to let the historically English/British fade away. The problem is, there is no interest in this in our/younger generations

Anonymous said...

Culture, like language cannot be policed. It will grow organically. England is not the same now as it was in the 1950's, in the '50's is was different to what it was like the the 1890's...you can go back as long as you like. Now, in London, in 2008 is quiet different to what it will be like in 100 years - the problem is?

I actually disagree with cat bloke, spearate events, schools, churches or perhaps busses??!! can only increase suspicion, resentment and the rest. Cat, move out of London and leave it to those who actually LIKE living here.

Bea said...

I can’t believe I am being dragged into this argument but here goes anyway - Andy why are you unwilling to think / believe that Caribbean culture is not now part of the general “English” culture, particularly in this part of London.

Even with a cursory understanding of the history of London you should know that London (and Britain as a whole) is an assimilation of various cultures from the Romans, Vikings, Saxons, Dutch, French Huguenots, West Indies, the Indian subcontinent through to the more recently arrived Eastern European.

A visit to the Museum of London (free entry) might be an education and is, in my opinion, an area of yours that is severely lacking.

You can’t set what is “English” is aspic. Britain and its language (which are constantly evolving) are directly influenced by social patterns, beliefs, consumption of consumer goods, art, literature etc etc many of which originated from outside this island. I would argue that it is this complex diversity that is the beauty of English and our cultural heritage.

Tressillian James said...

Well said Bea - but you forgot the influence of Americans and, to a lesser, yet significant effect, Germans, who married English girls or English soldiers after the Second World War. Where would we be without that, eh (wink)?

Tressilliana said...

Very well said, Bea. I think we're now getting to the nub of Andy's problem. England isn't a homogeneous white country and it never has been. It's sixty years since the UK government brought over a boatload of Caribbeans to help staff the NHS, London Underground etc on the Windrush. Those people now have children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren born and brought up here, all of whom are English (and British). What's so difficult to grasp about that?

Anonymous said...

I think some of you lot are barking mad if you think the erosion of English tradition and culture through mass immigration constitutes something positive. Have you ever seen the black and white photos of South East London suburbs (including SE4) for sale in Greenwich market? The place has changed incredibly in only 80-100 years. Lose your traditions at your peril.

The Cat Man said...

bea, the point I was making was about celebrating our history and cultural heritage. Your point was about the role of other cultures in todays society. That's a seperate point. I would argue that as we are indeed a modern multicultural society the need to celebrate our heritage increases. Its exactly the point about trying to get a st georges day going.

Regarding your side snipe, I've been to the muesum of London, I've also been out on patrol with both the lewisham and brixfon police forces so yes, I am well aware of the historical and present issues faced by all culutres in our modern society.

Now let's get back to brockley pls.

Chris Morris said...

A cat obsessed gay
man goes to the fayre with his parents in multicultural 21st century London and says that he feels the steel band was inappropiate and he'd prefer to see Morris dancing.

Ask yourself "Are you being trolled?"

Tressilliana said...

Andy, look at what you've just said.

'bea, the point I was making was about celebrating our history and cultural heritage. Your point was about the role of other cultures in todays society. That's a seperate point. I would argue that as we are indeed a modern multicultural society the need to celebrate our heritage increases. Its exactly the point about trying to get a st georges day going....'

You say repeatedly 'our'. Who do you mean? You are implicitly assuming that 'we' are white and English. You don't know anything about the ethnicity of people posting here. I'm not English, for a start. If by 'our' you mean 'white English', please could you say so?


'Now let's get back to brockley pls.'

The Brockley I live in is a place where people with family ties to every point on the globe live side by side, and that's how it's been long before either you or I were living here. So I'm already back in Brockley.

Bea said...

But Andy – you have missed the point – in my opinion your definition of “our” history and cultural heritage is at best misguided and at worst racist. “Our” history cannot be defined as homogenous.

I wasn’t solely making a point about the role of “other” cultures in today’s society I was also emphasising that British culture has evolved over many years with significant contributions from waves of immigrant populations bringing in new ideas and “cultures”.

And if you are so “aware of the historical and present issues faced by all cultures (sic) in our modern society” why do your statements come across as exclusive rather than inclusive.

Anonymous said...

Brockley Festival should stay as it is - more about vultures than cultures!

lb said...

Why does the presence of a steel band, or morris dancers, have to 'mean' anything, or 'celebrate' anything? It's just entertainment. I suspect the Brockley Society simply went with what was available; if they were organising a themed traditional-style fete, they might have stuck with something more old-fashionedly British, but they weren't, so they , erm, didn't. In any case, look back at historic British outdoor entertainment and you tend to find it's all Italian organ grinders, gypsy violin groups, and other itinerant musicians, so there's nothing especially British about any of it as far as I can see.

Personally I find both morris* dancers and steel bands equally tedious.

*Incidentally, the word comes from "moorish", i.e. North African, fact fans.

The Cat Man said...

Because being inclusive completely, in every aspect of our lives can be counter productive. To quote the liberal democrats motto 'diversity is a source of strength'. Intuitivly speaking, if we are less diverse we lose part of that strength. To underly this principle various species of plant and animals have become extinct. This has hindered our development of cures against certain illnesses. Similar thing to culture. Maybe future generations will need to know historical methods and technology to aid them. no one alive today can deny that this chance exists.

To progess as a human race we should celebrate all cultures but at present we don't, as pointed out by various people above.

This is the philosophical justification to celebrate diversity.

Danja said...

This really is very boring. The only thing worse than a plague of anonymii is this debate over and over and over again.

Tressillian James said...

Danja - well said - once agina we have let Andy subvert this blog.

Tresilliana - equally well put - both Bea and I (sorry for outing you Bea) although appearing 100% White British, are not. This was the point I was trying to make in my last post. Andy insults us all with this.

Let all not comment on this any longer - it would seem we are in agreement - I for one am no longer responding to his posts on any thread - let him have his say but I'm not going to be drawn into it

Anonymous said...

re local honey - HH the Butcher selling Brockley Honey is Peter James in 1 Ewhurst Road SE4

The Cat Man said...

Tj, if you replace the word 'white' in your post above with the word 'black' its plain to see who is the intolerant one here. Why would you be insulted to be white? Isnt that a racist comment?

Nick, I'm so sorry for this topic again. By all means, delete away. For my part in this, I apologize.

Headhunter said...

Andy, I don't think TJ is saying he is insulted to be dubbed white, but that you insult him/us by talking about "our" culture as being all about morris men and cream teas, to the exclusion of all else.

You suggested that we have separate days to celebrate Carribean and English cultures, as if there is no way they are 1 and the same in modern Britain.

"Why not have a seperate carribean day similar to an English day? I would certaintly get more deeper understanding of cultures out of both events then a comingled affair where the celebration of cultural differences is lost!"

I think this is the nub of the problem.

Anyway... I keep getting sucked in. How are the cats? Been out on your bike recently?

Headhunter said...

....Oh and thanks for the name of the butcher/honey retailer, Aunty Kate/Anon...

Brockley Kate said...

Tressillian James (and others) - I don't think Nick and Jon will mind me saying that all three of us have been feeling very frustrated at the way this thread just refuses to die. We don't like deleting people's comments and we don't want to start taking the draconian step of shutting down threads mid-flow, but we will if that's what it takes to prevent this kind of nonsense from continually derailing the blog and turning it into something we never intended it to be.
I would implore all of you to please simply stop engaging with this kind of debate, wait for the comments to be deleted (as they will be), and if you want to engage with Andy, go to his blog to do so.

Tressilliana said...

Fair enough, Kate. I've only been hanging around this blog for a month or so but I can see the effect this has on debate. So I will do my best to keep stum on the subject henceforth.

Tressillian James said...

Kate - I already mentioned that I was no longer responding to Andy - please don't have a go at us that are frustrated, insulted and tired of Andy's constant subversion to race on all threads.

Please delete way.

Bea said...

Oops – got sucked in again – reminder to self – must not feed the troll.

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