Tag Archives: Plumstead Make Merry

High and Dry

The foul weather of Saturday was safely over by the time Art Plumstead hosted a stall at the Shrewsbury Park‘s Lark in the Park a day later. There were plenty of other stalls in the main area and several types of food on sale along the path leading to the field where the dog show took place. Live music was provided by a number of different musicians and John and Rob went around promoting PLUnk, Plumstead’s week of International Music

Art Plumstead’s stall sold cards, small paintings and hairsticks (handmade and gender neutral, as you would expect). It was jazzed up by a length of Hungry Caterpillar bunting from The Woolwich and Plumstead Roses WI lucky dip jar raffle at Make Merry in June; this is already its second outing since then, so it was £1 well spent. When we weren’t selling our wares, we were using the time to capture the atmos. Meanwhile Martin practised calligraphy to publicise the classes he will be running from September at Shrewsbury House.

The Fair finished at 4 pm, which allowed time to go home down the hill, quaff a mug of tea, then nip over to the well-attended Plumstead Live on Winn’s Common for more mingling with familiar faces accompanied by more live music. There had also been the final concert in the Plumstead Peculiars Concert series during the afternoon but you can’t be everywhere at once. Still, we could console ourselves with a cooling pint from the beer tent.

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


Plumstead Make Merry 2017

Plumstead Make Merry (40)Art Plumstead showcased the creative skills of regular attendees of Andrew’s Watercolour classes with a selection of hand-painted cards and local scenes which flew off the stall; sometimes literally, since the weather, although gloriously hot, had occasional gusts of wind. Luckily, there were enough volunteers to keep an eye on the stall and its contents, and retrieve any stray works.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPicMonkey Collage Plumstead Make Merry 6Later they were joined by Liz who entertained the children with a puppet show depicting the adventures of a crab who found the courage to make a journey to the blinged up crystal rocks at the bottom of the sea. It was an original and amusing way to deliver the message of respect for the environment.

Make Merry 2017 Veg Comp AllMake Merry 2017 Veg Comp All JudgingMeanwhile, in the information tent, Erik and Dee had been receiving entries for the vegetable carving competition. The theme was local people and places. The new, streamlined ballot system was aimed at encouraging voters to choose only one sculpture as their favourite piece, then move away so others could make their selection.

Make Merry 2017 Veg Comp Helicopter

Make Merry 2017 Veg Comp John de Morgan

Make Merry 2017 Veg Comp Steve Davis

Make Merry 2017 Veg Comp hand sculpture

Make Merry 2017 Veg Comp MPs

There were any number of local stalls and activities, hordes of visitors and anyone involved will say it was a very successful Make Merry 2017.

PicMonkey Collage Plumstead Make Merry 4



More Treasures Unknown

IMG_20170416_160556590_HDREvery Community Market since January has seen the monthly watercolour workshop move from ‘beginners’ to ‘improvers’ – they will be selling a selection of their cards and paintings at the Make Merry – but the 5th annual Easter Quiz Crawl (see pics of the gleeful winners) launched the warm weather season of Art Plumstead activities and reminded those who have been in at the start that we will have reached our 5th Anniversary on September 2nd, right in the middle of Plumstravaganza 2017.

IMG_20170416_160604160_HDROnce again, Karen managed to find a different part of Plumstead to be the setting of a trail combining anagrams of local streets and questions to answer about places seen en route. There were also a few random sights to be spotted and identified. To make it slightly easier they were all in sequence, but no team managed to spot all of them. The teams set off from The Star and meandered round the back streets to journey’s end. At the final count, there was only one point between the scores of the first and second teams. For the second team, it was a bitter pill to swallow, but it was metaphorically washed down with a few pints in The Old Mill.

IMG_20170416_160610672It is about to get busy in the Art Plumstead Calendar, starting with the Tree Trail in Workhouse Wood, and if you aren’t already on the mailing list, the simplest way to be kept informed is to sign up using the contact form at the bottom of the Art Plumstead home page.


Make Merry 2016

IMG-20160611-02103In brief, The Queen of Plumstead graced the Art Plumstead Stall with her presence, Maggie scooped first prize in the sketching competition, later using her picture as the basis for a fabric design, and the prizewinners of the vegetable sculpting competition made a superb display of creativity.20160613_124147 (3)


Forty Years of Making Merry

mm generic pic

Art Plumstead added their own unique touch to the 40th Make Merry in the gazebo which was provided by the Make Merry committee in return for providing information, running workshops and hosting lost children as the need arose. The weather was pretty well perfect, neither hurricane conditions, nor relentless heat. An extra layer was appreciated from time to time though.

andrew mm w shop pic

edinburgh pic mmOver in St Mark’s Hall, Andrew gave a rolling workshop in watercolour with children and adults participating, while Kevin was being interviewed for a feature in The Greenwich Show, topic; Plumstead as a village. Meanwhile, back at the stall, Maggie was going great guns with the felt making workshop, showing people of all ages how to make poppies, almost to the very end of the Make Merry. At least 50 were created.

sketching comp winners mm

Clockwise from left, first, second and third in the postcard sketching competition.

maggie felt pic mmThere were books, DVDs, plants, objets d’art, a postcard sketching competition, an interactive map to show where visitors to the Make Merry 2015 had come from, a picture tweet competition – even a few lost children to be claimed – the Art Plumstead stall had it all!

mm maypole

Near, Thus True!


The third Easter Treasure Hunt was somewhat shorter than before in terms of distance covered but fiendishly tricky to complete, with a range of clues to solve to divine the route, including anagrams of the roads visited, others to answer to help steer the participants in the right direction and a set of random clues of things to spot on the way. This time the contestants were received at Plumstead library, where the quiz sheets were issued at the cost of £1 per person, with all proceeds going towards fundraising for the Plumstead Make Merry 2015. It was all for fun – but there was an underlying sense of competition as well!


Most of the entrants made use of the library tables to solve the street anagrams to at least give them some idea of where to go. We knew we would end up at The Old Mill, but everything else had to be puzzled out on the hoof. Although some of the roads had been used before in the first Easter Treasure Hunt, Karen had managed to spot different clues to solve. Several were tantalisingly familiar, but managed to go unseen by everyone who took part.

The tension mounts as the scores are collated

The tension mounts as the scores are collated

By the time everyone had wandered up to the finishing point, they were quite ready for a drink or two while they waited for the results to be announced. The winners were a duo calling themselves Kevman and Rileyboy and were duly awarded their certificate and egg. There were plenty of smaller eggs for the vanquished to scoff as compensation, but more importantly, everyone had enjoyed themselves at little cost, whilst discovering new things about their neighbourhood and raising money for the Make Merry which will be 40 this year. If you want to have a go for yourself and see what you missed, you can find the route in the resources section of the website. You don’t have to make a donation to the Make Merry afterwards, but it would be gratefully received! Better still, come along on the day (Saturday 6th June 2015) to support it and see our stall as well.

The joyous winners

Dressed for Success

Art Plumstead wins cup for Best Dressed Stall, Plumstead Make Merry 2014

Art Plumstead wins cup for Best Dressed Stall, Plumstead Make Merry 2014

This year the Evil Sky Fairy decided to forbear from trashing the Make Merry; accordingly, the rain had cleared up by the time the Make Merry was officially opened at noon, and for most of the afternoon remained bright and sunny. Plants, books, homemade brooches and other adornments, cards and a few select items of objet d’art (or toot, depending on your point of view), helped to pull in the customers. Andrew picked up his paintbrushes later to work on a scene of the Slade Pond as further enticement to linger.

Art Plumstead's Stall

Art Plumstead’s Stall, Plumstead Make Merry 2014

We also ran the information stall on behalf of the Make Merry team, as they had enough to do with stewarding the event, in return for being given use of their gazebo. Next Year’s Make Merry will be the 40th, so do consider now whether you could give a couple of hours to help make it a resounding success and contact them nearer the time – or now, if you are a good organiser and can help with planning.

Mayor Angela Cornforth assesses our stall before making her purchase.

Mayor Angela Cornforth assesses our stall before making her purchase.

The Mayor, Angela Cornforth visited every single stall before making her decision; we were somewhat surprised to be told to make ourselves available at the stage for the imminent announcement of the prize for best dressed stall which we had won. It was a well-attended Make Merry, and we had a steady stream of visitors. The forthcoming Midsummer Stroll was promoted and plenty of people left their details to be kept informed of future Art Plumstead events. We also raised a fair bit of money for future projects and reunited a boy with his lost mobile phone – it was quite a saga – so all in all, it was a very busy day for Art Plumstead, but a successful one.

Erik and Karen display our cup back at base

Erik and Karen display our cup back at base

Typical Weather for the Make Merry 2013

Rose and Roy preparing for rain

Rose and Roy preparing for rain

The forecast had suggested there would be ‘intermittent showers’ on the day of the Make Merry. That was an understatement, or rather, a lie. Luckily, we had a gazebo and blankets to cover the goods when the heavens opened, and thanks to mobile phones and local contacts, we were able to rustle up additional tent pegs when it soon became clear, within minutes of setting up the gazebo, that without them it would become airborne. Even so, Roy and John spent a good deal of time holding onto the canopy, just in case.

John sees the funny side of it, while Erik looks out at the scene of desolation

John sees the funny side of it, while Erik looks out at the scene of desolation

The first big downpour came at about lunchtime, just after Rose had erected a beach shelter to tempt the punters to buy it. Instead, it became an additional refuge with the rain lashing down. Once the rain cleared after about twenty minutes, everyone stopped huddling morosely under the nearest gazebo and continued going from stall to stall. Immediately the atmosphere changed, as everyone started chirruping. Attendance was pretty good, in spite of the rain. We had a variety of hand-made items for sale, as well as plants, books, DVDs, CDs and selected ‘objets d’art’. Maggie had run up some bunting from samples of American cloth, and our logo was prominently displayed on laminated boards. To keep the troops going, some wise APs had brought food and hot coffee.

The novelty has now worn off!

The novelty has now worn off!

We also ran a free ‘Urban Sketchers’ style event, inviting visitors to the stall to have a go at capturing anything that caught their fancy on an A5 card and bringing it back by 4pm, before it was taken down the hill to be judged by Tim Cousins, a local artist exhibiting this year as part of Greenwich Open Studios. Both Erik and Karen were placed in the top 4. And we did raise a bit of profit. So, in spite of the rain, and the gusty wind, it was a good, albeit wet time had by all.

Nicky proudly displays her winning sketch, certificate and print of The Slade

Nicky proudly displays her winning sketch, certificate and print of The Slade