Launch of the Friends, London in Bloom and the Commons Open Day
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Launch of the Friends of Wimbledon and Putney Commons
On the evening of Friday 20th September 2019, the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators (WPCC) formally launched the Friends of Wimbledon and Putney Commons at a special event held on Wimbledon Common in front of a gathering of 125 Friends with the Right Honourable Justine Greening MP and Stephen Hammond MP in attendance. Both MPs have been loyal supporters of the Commons over the years and the Conservators were delighted that they were able to join in the celebration.
This special evening celebrated the historic links between the Commons and the London Scottish Regiment through words, music, food and wine, commencing with a piper led walk from the windmill through the woods to a recital on the banks of Queensmere.
The music recital began with a solo wooden recorder, whose melancholic tones pierced the darkness with a Scottish lament. St Mary’s Church Choir sang from across the waters of Queensmere pond to a candle lit gathering of Friends on the opposite bank (see photograph attached). Following the recital, Friends processed to the London Scottish Golf Club for a reception and a short historic interlude.
In the welcome address, Diane Neil Mills, Chairman of the WPCC, thanked everyone for their support and commitment in taking the lead in becoming Founder Members of the Friends. She added, "As Conservators, we will do our utmost to ensure that the dual purposes for which the Friends have been established, collective celebration and fundraising, are pursued with equal vim and vigour".
The Conservators are delighted with the response they have received; since registration opened in early September, over 200 people have joined the Friends. More information regarding the Friends of Wimbledon and Putney Common is available at www.wpcc.org.uk/friends.
London in Bloom Competition
At the awards ceremony for the London in Bloom competition held on the 20th September 2019, WPCC was awarded the prestigious 'London in Bloom Common of the Year 2019' for Wimbledon Common. This was in addition to gold awards for both Putney Lower Common and Wimbledon Common. The awards recognise the outstanding effort of the staff, led by Simon Lee, Chief Executive of Wimbledon and Putney Commons, to achieve the highest standard of public open space.
Commons Open Day
The annual Commons Open Day, held in glorious sunshine on the 8th September 2019, attracted an estimated 10,000 people. True to the Open Day’s origins, which date back over 20 years, the event maintained its ethos of being a local event for local people; meeting the horses and the Keepers in the Stable Yard remained as popular as ever, as did the now infamous Wacky Dog Show which ended the day. Along with the many local charity and business stalls, visitors enjoyed craft demonstrations, riding and dog-handling displays. The Conservators were delighted to see everyone enjoying themselves and to be reminded of how fortunate we all are to have this magnificent resource. We are grateful to everyone for supporting the occasion including the very generous donations that were received at the end of the day.
Chief Executive of Wimbledon and Putney Commons