Painting at Parksfest 2018


Around half a dozen regular watercolourists rocked up for Summerfest 2018 in Rockliffe Gardens and tucked themselves away into nooks and crannies before starting work. The vibe was relaxed and leisurely, with several people chatting to the painters and reminiscing about when they used to make art in their youth.

20180714_143634_Film1Unlike with photographs, people don’t generally object to being painted or sketched and there were plenty of visitors, some of whom have been unknowingly immortalised as patterns of colour on paper while enjoying the series of bands on offer. Meanwhile on the lower level the Canine Capers fun dog competition was followed by an impromptu game of football, providing inspiration to one of the group who tucked herself behind a chair, the better to capture the scene unobserved.

20180714_143704_Film120180714_143808_Film120180714_145153_Film1Also on site were several stalls, including a bar, Grizzlys (located in Plumstead High Street opposite The Plume of Feathers) and a show for children which was well-attended. By close of play, there were quite a few pictures produced, some of which may well be appearing on a stall near you in due course – if you live in SE18 that is.

20180714_145318_Film1 (1)




Transformation on the Cards

Great Woolwich Get Together 2018 parade (1)

This year’s Get Together and Armed Forces day was partly located on The Arsenal in the former Firepower Museum. Greenwich Council were particularly keen to include local artists to begin promoting what will ultimately be an extensive art quarter. Art Plumstead were out in force with a stall selling jewellery and cards.

Great Woolwich Get Together 2018 Art Plumstead stall (1)

Great Woolwich Get Together 2018 Art Plumstead stall (2)

Great Woolwich Get Together 2018 Art Plumstead stall (7)

Despite the somewhat industrial surroundings, we soon had the stall set up, even adding a jaunty backdrop with an additional cloth. There were several other art stalls and one from London Drawing offering the chance to be photographed in the style of a Renaissance portrait. The results of the session can be seen here.  Working with a few well-chosen props the team transformed modern day visitors into a series of intimate Renaissance Selfies . Seeing the end result – taken on a mobile phone – is quite unexpected to the sitter.


Business was mixed, quiet patches were interspersed with busier periods, and some stalls did better than others while familiar faces dropped by throughout the day. We were grateful to be inside enjoying the shade. Meanwhile, in the baking sun the entertainment continued on the Arsenal and in the streets around General Gordon Square. It went on until 8 pm, but by that time Art Plumstead had quit the building and were individually relaxing at home.

Great Woolwich Get Together 2018 Art Plumstead stall (5)

Great Woolwich Get Together 2018 parade (2)

A Fine-tuned Performance


The penultimate concert in the Plumstead Peculiars concert series became an unexpected informal Art Plumstead meeting, with several members of the group turning up independently to enjoy the Abraxas Ensemble. It was a treat to sit in the cool interior of the Ascension Church away from the heat of the afternoon and enjoy a vibrant medley of familiar classical tunes played with panache and good humour. By the end, everyone felt thoroughly invigorated.

As always, there was tea and cake served by volunteers with a chance to mingle. Donations to the retiring collection are split between the church and the musicians. There is only one concert left in the series featuring Julia Macdonell on horn and Alexander Thomas on harp so if you are interested to find out what is on offer, Sunday July 22nd is your last chance of the summer!




The Plumstead Wyrm. A Tale for Midsummer.


Wyrm 6

The Wyrm?????

Art Plumstead’s Midsummer event was a bit different in style from the last couple of years, having a different artistic director, but it took place on the 21st June as before, and there were still a few floral headdresses to be seen to help set the mood as well as the knee tremblers from last year.

Wyrm 16

Starting at The Star Inn, there was a chance to mingle and for the early birds to have first dibs on a variety of jaunty head adornments, freshly constructed from local greenery that very day. This prepared them for a brief synopsis of the tale of The Plumstead Wyrm (pronounced worm), penned by our own Poet Laureate Dee, whereby the key players of the piece were identified before a brief rhyme, accompanied by a ringing of bells, explained how everyone would know when it was approaching time to move on. Naturally, it included the words ‘Hey Nonny-Nonny-No’ as you would expect.


The assembled party then moved in a suitably jolly fashion to The Old Mill where the Resident described what a Wyrm is and what is a Penwyrm – someone who helps the Wyrm. With another jangle of bells, all present trotted off down the steps to the Slade Pond. Here, the Wyrm spoke for the first time to describe its birth on Shooters Hill in the River Woghbourne that ran down to the Thames. Jelly worms were distributed to munch on the next stage of the journey.



After the bells jangled for the penultimate time, the audience climbed up the opposite flight of steps, walked past the young men playing volleyball and all the way to the far end of Winns Common. This was the setting for the waves and the wind to give advice to the Wyrm, describing local characters, some of whom seemed to bear a remarkable resemblance to certain members of Art Plumstead. The knee tremblers and party blowers were issued to the participants who went clattering down Purrett Road and into the Plume of Feathers. By now, the person who was to play the Wyrm had mysteriously disappeared.



The grand finale in which the Wyrm and lover are reunited took place in the garden of The Plume of Feathers. Just to add to the excitement there had been recent works undertaken to excavate the old Anderson Shelter since the previous planning visit by Art Plumstead. This meant the Wyrm had to make a last minute change of hiding place (against the wall with a few wisps of ivy pulled across) before emerging. Thanks to a couple of handy umbrellas and a biddable audience who were happy to be shepherded into the lower part of the garden, no-one suspected a thing. As the imaginary curtain fell, there was a round of applause, the playwright heaved a sigh of relief and beer a-plenty was consumed before those who remained to the last tottered back up to the Common where a memento of the nights revelry was suitably displayed.

Wyrm 66

wyrm 46

The Woghbourne today – Home of the Wyrms.

The attachment below is the script with directions.

The Plumstead Wyrm A.P. website copy.

And this is the bibliography.

The Plumstead Wyrm Bibliography version 2




Plumstead Make Merry 2018

Plumstead Make Merry 2018 (82)

Art Plumstead were based in two locations at the Make Merry as they have been for the last few years. Out in the main body of the Make Merry we had a stall selling cards and small prints and pictures, while over in the information tent the theme of the vegetable sculpture competition was ‘Memories of Plumstead’.

Art Plumstead stall

During the proceedings, the Queen of Plumstead, arrayed in her purple cloak bedecked with a myriad of badges donated by her loyal subjects could be seen flitting from stall to stall, bringing joy to all who beheld her majesty. She gave kind words of encouragement to dignitaries and commoners alike but took care never to be photographed within the precincts of any stall lest she be accused of favouritism. You can find pictures of her and many other pictures including some of the vegetable sculpture competition here.

Plumstead Make Merry 2018 (91)

Plumstead Make Merry 2018 (92)

The good weather encouraged plenty of people to come and it was generally felt that it was one of the best Make Merry events ever, in terms of numbers, diversity and the good natured atmosphere.

Art Plumstead stall 2


You May Help Yourself

Back in May, Art Plumstead led a free foraging walk for Friends of Shrewsbury Park, retracing the path of the previous one in September. This meant it was an introduction to some of the edible wild food growing locally and a chance for anyone who came before to compare the plants with what they remembered last time. You can read all about it here.

Foraging poster 2018