Great Music at Second Pop-Up

Taqsim with a stunning Arabic sound

Music was fabulous at the June 8 park pop-up. The line-up included multi-cultural performers as well as pop and golden oldies. Visitors loved the sounds. Performers included Taqsim, a female Arabic fusion band with its own belly dancer. The Argonauts brought an upbeat vibe to the park. There was also the laid-back sounds of Patti Paige. Amberliegh shook it up with African drumming and dancing. London Dynamic Asian Arts was amazing with Bollywood songs and beautiful traditional dancers. Thank you Graham Jones for performing and mc-ing.

Mahamaya shares a Bollywood song with her son

Patti Paige delivers a soulful set

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Fun & Cakes at June 8 Pop-Up


Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles!       Photo by Lionel Osinnowo

It was breezy at the June 8 pop-up but that didn’t bother Mr. Bubbles. It just meant more bubbles for the children who couldn’t get enough of them. Mason and VJ gave kids a drill test in support of Combat Stress, a charity for veterans. It was a laugh! Pauline from Happy Pots made pottery with the little ones. There were crafts and stories with Alice and the local libraries. The Adventure Playground was buzzing with visitors exploring the play frames and special activities. The community gathered to chat and enjoy tasty home-made cakes at the cafe. With music and fun, it was great day for the family in the park.

Mason gets the children moving       Photo by Lionel Osinnowo

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June 1 Pop-Up Lovely Day

The Sing-Along Band charms. Photo by Lionel Osinnowo

It was perfect sunny weather on June 1 for a relaxing park pop-up. The children loved Mrs H and the Sing-Along Band. Families sat on the grass enjoying the day. Owls and other big birds from Falconry UK were glorious. There was poetry and reading for children by Culpeper Poets and local libraries.

Children moved to the beat of Zumbini. The Islington Swifts Project advised local residents how to encourage the intrepid birds. The Adventure Playground was buzzing with its own special brand of fun. Corsican Brass serenaded visitors enjoying home-made cakes in the cafe.

Next Saturday it’s bubbles, bouncy castles and Bollywood!

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Big Bird Show at the June 1 Pop-Up

Make Friends with Blu the Cockatoo

Come join the pop-up fun this Saturday June 1 in Barnard Park. There will be free family activities from 11am – 4pm.

Here is what’s on:

* Mrs H and the Sing-along Band kicks off the day at 11am in the Adventure Playground amphitheatre. Good times music and puppetry for smaller children.

* Falconry UK big bird display 11-3pm. Hold an owl!

* Scruffs Dog Event 12pm. Dogs show their moves on an agility course and win prizes. It’s a laugh.

* Corsican Brass perform from 1pm. Lovely to listen to in the cafe.

* The Adventure Playground will be open for families with their own brand of fun. The Children’s Olympics will take place in the park. There will be Zumbini for small children too!

* Storytelling for children from West and Lewis Carroll libraries. Culpeper Poets write poetry with 10-12 year olds at 11am, read with ages 8-10 at 1pm and ages 6-8 at 3pm.

The Friends Café will be serving coffee, tea and homemade cakes. Enjoy the day with the community.

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Friends of Barnard Park AGM

The Friends of Barnard Park will be holding our Annual General Meeting at 7:30pm on Monday May 13th in the Adventure Playground Building just off Copenhagen Street inside the park perimeter on the right as you enter from Charlotte Terrace. There will be an update on regeneration, community gardening and plans for pop-up events on June 1 and 8. Tea, coffee, wine and snacks will be served. Copies of the new revised Constitution, which is an updated version of the Constitution of 2004, will be available to read prior to voting on its adoption.

The agenda will comprise:-

1) Welcome
2) Agreeing the Minutes of the AGM 2018 (Copies provided)
3) Election of committee members
4) Election/re-election of officers (Chair, Secretary, Deputy Chair, Treasurer)
5) Chair’s report on the period March 2018/May 2019
6) Acting Treasurer’s Report March 2018/May 2019
7) Gardening Report
8) Guest Reports on Regeneration – Councillor Rowena Champion; Bhupesh Thapa, Central Assistant Parks Manager Environment & Regeneration; Matthew Hill, Project Manager, followed by Q&A
9) Vote on new Constitution
10) Any Other Business

The meeting should end before 9:30pm. The building must be vacated by 10pm.

We hope to see you there. It’s your local park!

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Adventure Growing Project

Summer salads for healthy eating

Our volunteers are planting vegetables with the Adventure Playground children, a continuation of a project first began with Thornhill School last year. There will be beans, potatoes, tomatoes, and other veg along with herbs. Last year we harvested three buckets of potatoes! The spuds were made into potato cakes by the community group Octopus for the kids. This year we have built some amazing frames for growing beans.

The volunteers also worked last year in conjunction with Willoughby, contractors from the Google roof garden project in Kings Cross. Google generously donated services and plants for a Playground landscape upgrade. Willoughby is a contractor for the Chelsea Flower Show. As a result of the donation, there is now a seating area with a curved natural stone bench and new beds of grasses, herbs and flowering ground cover.

Lovely stone seat and fire pit for kids

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Spring Blooms on Barnsbury Road

Lush border brightens up the day for passers by

Delightful flowers have bloomed throughout this warm spring in Barnard Park. Volunteers now tend a number of park garden areas. But truly gorgeous this year is the border under the lime trees along Barnsbury Road. Snowdrops, daffodils, hellebores and other blooms have appeared with colourful foliage plants. There were also bright yellow crocus that popped up around the base of the limes. The border has made the park more welcoming and is a source of cheer from those passing by. After a number of years, the plants in this border have grown now to fill the space. Plants are now being divided and shared with Thornhill Road Gardens. Spread the joy!

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Blooming Gold for Barnard Park Gardeners

Top marks for volunteer gardeners


Barnard Park have received a gold award in Islington in Bloom for the second year in a row. Gold is a very high standard. Hundreds of hours of work and much skill by volunteers make the park’s creative gardening areas bloom. It’s a challenging environment but the efforts are worth it. Park goers enjoy the beauty spots which provide colour and interesting foliage throughout the seasons. They tell us!

So congrats to volunteer gardeners who now tend four garden areas in the park. The growing areas include a street-long spring border on Barnsbury Road, a vibrant bed in the children’s playground and a central bed of contrasting shrubs and flowers. Residents of Charlotte Terrace cultivate the fourth area – garden spaces near their flats planted with fruit trees and roses. It’s lovely to have cared for landscaping to enjoy when you walk through the park.

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Two in a Row! More Pop-Up Fun June 9

Drums and dance from Amberliegh

It was another sunny Saturday for the second Barnard Park pop-up with live music and loads of activities for kids. Our partner Barnard Adventure Playground offered its own special brand of fun. On the green, children were enchanted with Mr Bubbles and his bubble extravaganza. There were bouncy castles for small fry jumping and a bike to create spin art. Kids made pots with Pauline from Happy Pots.

Oxjam hosted live music throughout the day. Amberleigh Drummers were a percussion hit. There was dance from Afrobeats and the Young Actors Theatre. Les and Tina bought mellow sounds from the Cally Road. From Oxjam, performers included Graham Jones, Patty Paige, Unique Technique and the Argonauts.

For flower lovers, there were self-guided tours of the park’s three volunteer garden areas included in the Open Garden Squares Tour.

All in all, it was a fab day for 300 plus children and adults. Families enjoyed a relaxed afternoon picnicking across the park. See you next year!

Mr Bubbles, the pied piper of bubbles



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Summer Fun at June 2 Pop-Up

Great times in Barnard Park at the Pop-Up on Saturday, June 2. Three hundred visitors enjoyed the sunshine and free activities organised by the Friends of Barnard Park in partnership with the Adventure Playground.

Mrs. H and the Sing-along Band had the children singing and dancing in the aisles of the Playground amphitheatre. Big birds from Falconry UK delighted parkgoers who could hold an eagle, owl or vulture on a gauntlet. The Islington Swifts Project was there too.

Nearby in the park was Scruffs dog show where local pups tested out an agility course and offered their best trick. It was a lovely to see children enjoying animals in a friendly environment. Corsican Brass performed in the afternoon serenading parkgoers in the café. The bakers went all out to produce tasty treats. Lovely day.

The joyous sound of Mrs H and the Sing-along Band

Making friends with an owl by Falconry UK

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