Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Plumstead make merry

I went along with tot to the Plumstead Make Merry on Saturday. It was a hot day so we didn't stay long.
The place was full but I have to confess that apart from a few stalls, there wasn't much to interest me. I feel guilty as I'd asked a friend to come up and see it.
I thought the Nappy Cakes stand provided a fun way of gift giving.
There was a stand selling plants which I steered well clear of (see previous posts about my growing gardening addiction!).
There was also the small tent advertising the new website Best of Plumstead. However, geek though I am, I didn't venture over preferring to check it out when I got home. It's good.
The demonstration by the greenwich dance agency was cute.
And the live music provided a pleasant background to the walk around to.
Tot was not interested in the stalls. She tot kept asking for ice cream and rides which I didn't want to give her as frankly, I thought they cost too much and I couldn't be arsed to queue. Now please don't think I'm a grumpy mum....if I had the dosh I probably would have treated her though I don't think £1.50 is justified for a train ride and most of the other fair attractions were pants. Plus I could give her ice cream at home. In the end, I relented by buying her a small helium balloon which has such a thin rubbish string that I thought the thing would fly off as soon as I handed it to her.

The Make Merry is well attended and is long running so I accept that while it's not for me, there are many people who enjoy it. And I think this kind of sums up Plumstead at the moment. There are things and ways of being in Plumstead that appeal to many who live here. However, there are some people, like me, who are not catered for. My personal wish list to add (add not change) the Make Merry are simple
1. Have a food market like you get at Eltham Farmers market or the Charlton House Fair we went to last Christmas
2. Have a puppet show for kids. Punch and Judy anyone?
3. Don't rip off parents ;)

The Make Merry is well attended. I didn't enjoy it on Saturday but that's more about me than the event which is organised entirely by volunteers. I will be sure to go along next year and have a cuppa in their tea tent (even if it's 27 degrees) to help them in a very small way with their fundraising effort.

7pm: Since writing this post this morning, the chair of the organiser committee has got back to me. I didn't enjoy it but perhaps should have stayed longer. And in fairness, I'm striking out some of my posting which was inaccurate and amending a bit more. 


Anonymous said...

Hi Plummy Mummy

I hope you don't mind, but I feel the need to comment on your post. My name is Sarah and I am the current Chair of the Plumstead Make Merry committee.

I am sorry that you felt that this year's Make Merry festival did not cater for your needs. We are a voluntary committee of local people, and it takes us around 9 months to organise the event each year, it is very much a labour of love.

This year we had around 80 stalls, more than in previous years, and for the last three events under the present committee we have increased the number of free activities for families. This year, for free use by children we provided an inflatable slide, a bouncy castle, circus workshops, CAFC inflatable penalty shoot-out, and a magic show/ children's entertainer, this is all in addition to the free entertainment in the main stage and arena area and the tea tent. I am sure that you can appreciate that a lot of work goes into fundraising etc. in order for us to do this so that attendees do not have to simply spend money at the fair. We had planned to have a 'Punch and Judy' show, as we have done for the past few years, but due to family problems he had to pull out of the event two days prior to it, and after many, many hours of searching for an alternative, I was only able to come up with a magic show, to which I have received many favourable comments. We had also planned for the mobile library to come along to do some storytelling for younger children, but unfortunately they also pulled out a few days prior to the event due to lack of staffing. I do however know that some stalls offered storytelling, and we certainly had some in the tea tent as well, all of which was promoted from the main stage by our compere.

We are always looking for people to join the committee, as we are a very small team, 6 people currently, and it is a lot of work for no reward other than the satisfaction of being able to provide a day for the community to come together. If you are interested in joining the committee, or know of anyone else that would be interested, we will have details of the AGM on our Facebook and MySpace pages within the next month.

I am always pleased to have people's responses to the event, and I will feedback your comments to the committee. If you have anything further that you would like me to raise, I can be reached either via our Facebook or MySpace page, or at plumsteadmakemerry@yahoo.co.uk

I look forward to hearing from you.


hilly said...

i thought £1 for a mister whippy was fairly normal, besides, it's a free free festival, costs have to be covered.

on the punch and judy question, they did used to have the best one ever: it was politically correct, and didn't make small children cry, in between shows he used to make poodles out of balloons.

Plummy Mummy said...

It must be disheartening when you and your fellow organisers work hard and then someone like me comes along. Please don't be offended since it now seems it my and tot's loss that we did not see the magic show or other events for kids.
It was a well attended event and I hope that continues. I hope mr Punch & Judy is back next year and perhaps you can persuade some of the market farmers to attend too.
I'll be sure to be a fan on the facebook page.

Hilly - Tot has a pavlovian response of "I want I want I want" everytime she sees or hears an icecream van which I am trying to break :) It's expensive compared to giving her a supermarket bought lolly at home.

Anonymous said...

Apologies, I did just leave another response but it appears not to have come up.

I just want to make the point that we do ask the farmers market, as well as other food stall providers to attend the event, but they do not submit applications, and we cannot force them into doing so. I am sure you can appreciate that. We would all love to have more food variety at the event, and each year we do our best to make sure that happens, but we cannot force people to attend. It is not an issue of cost, as we are considerably cheaper than other comparable events with stall prices.

I too hope that the 'Punch & Judy' show returns next year, as I said before, he pulled out at the last minute so it was out of our hands I'm afraid.

Please appreciate that we make every effort to make the event the best possible, but we have limited funding from the council, and fundraising is very time consuming, remember we are a voluntary committee of local people who all have full lives outside of this. I would urge you next year to not only attend, but buy some raffle tickets and a cup of tea and some cake from the tea tent as this money goes directly into funding the event.

It is, as said before, a labour of love for us.


Anonymous said...

I hope that we can cater more for your needs/ likes next year, and I hope that your tot will experience the free activities that we offer too.
Thank you for your amendment to your blog, I did not request it but I do appreciate your effort and we are all entitled to our opinion after all.
Best wishes
P.S. The tea tent doesn't just serve hot drinks. ;-)

Emma said...

I went through Best of Plumstead to Plumstead Integration Project. This looks really interesting but as I can't access anything on the site without first answering a load of intrusive (and unprotected) questions I shall have to give it a miss.

Steve said...

I enjoyed the day (as did my small boy who enjoyed dancing to the music - and the homemade cakes from the refreshments tent - very reasonable prices too). My only disappointment was no Indian food stalls.

Plummy Mummy said...

Steve, maybe I should make an appearance at a stall next year in the guise of Chili Paper Chains...indian food, cupcakes and crochet anyone?

Emma, yes I agree about PIP. I actually joined and then left as they wanted me to reveal who I was. But the actual initiative seems very good.

Steve said...

Yes, that would be nice!

Anonymous said...

When stall applications are available for next year's Plumstead Make Merry details of how to get them will be on our Facebook and MySpace pages. Alternatively, you can email plumsteadmakemerry@yahoo.co.uk anytime to be added to the list for distribution.

We have had real difficulties in getting Indian food stalls at the event, so would welcome any that submit an application.

Steve - Thank you for your kind words, I'm glad you and your boy had a good day.

Hope to see you all again next year.

Chair of the Plumstead Make Merry committee

loft.chair said...

hilly said...
i thought £1 for a mister whippy was fairly normal, besides, it's a free free festival, costs have to be covered.

Mister Whippy's ice cream costs are not relevant to The Make Merry and we do not see any of the money that the stalls etc make.
We get the money that they pay for the hire of the pitches.
Make Merry Fund Raiser/ Publicity and compere of the main stage

Emma said...

Yeah that was my issue with PIP too. As a teacher I have to be incredibly cautious about having my real name online. Plus I am very aware that little on the internet is 'private' and actually, I'm not willing to share information about myself with people who I don't know/can't check out at all.

It's such a shame as it seems a great initiative but I'm sure a lot of people are put of joining because of privacy issues. I would have mailed it about them but it's not possible without joining!