Festival lights up Thamesmead

18 September 2017

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More than 4,000 people enjoyed the Thamesmead Festival weekend (15-17 September), including the mesmerising light show which lit up Southmere Lake and the four iconic Thamesmead towers on Saturday.

We worked with more than 40 local creative residents, artists, organisations and partners to deliver the weekend-long activity programme which featured the light spectacular including a resident light procession, illuminated floating swans, light projections and fireworks followed the Thamesmead Town Fete in Southmere Park.

Thamesmead Festival 2017 highlights

Fete and light spectactular

Light spectacular by drone

Pet show winner, Drake the dog

Sister act, Thamesmead's Got Talent stage

Residents enjoying the Thamesmead Town Fete

Light procession around Southmere Lake

Light spectacular at Southmere Lake

Meerkats at Gallions Park

Family having fun

Carnival of Air in Gallions Park

Carnival of Air on top of the world at Gallions Hill

Thamesmead Town Fete

The afternoon event included the Thamesmead’s Got Talent Show featuring 10 local acts who entertained the crowd, through the sun and the rain. While the Thamesmead Pet Show attracted 15 entrants, including staff cross collie, Drake - a Drake rapper 'look-alike' who won the show.

Drake's owner, Lucy Anderson (pictured below) said: "The fete has been really good fun, I'm so happy we won the pet show."

Pet Show winner 2017

Thamesmead resident, Debbie Frimpong who attended the Thamesmead Fete and light show said: “The day has been fantastic, absolutely beautiful. My family and I have lived in Thamesmead for 21 years. You won’t find another place like it, it is unique and is only going to get better. Watch this space!”

While daughter, Jerusha (pictured below with sis Jecoliah) who was one of the performer’s on the Thamesmead’s Got Talent stage said: “I’ve had a great time, both performing and supporting my sister who performed too. There is a great atmosphere and a real community vibe. I really enjoyed growing up in Thamesmead, I love the place – everyone knows each other and looks out for each other.”

Carnival of Air

Meanwhile, over in West Thamesmead was the Carnival of Air. Offering acrobatic meerkats, make a wish windmill making workshops, the Woolwich Singers, carnival dancers Mas Tropicana and the Kinetika silk scrolls which led the Carnival of Air procession from the bottom to the top of Gallions Hill.

Lewisham resident, Carole Meyer who hopped on the Thamesmead Festival double decker bus tour with her sons, taking in the sights and sounds of Thamesmead including the Carnival of Air said: “The bus tour which brought us here was both educational and a lot of fun. We have loved every minute of the tour and the carnival – there is a great atmosphere and the parade looks fantastic. It is our first time in Thamesmead – it looks lovely and very green, we will definitely return to explore more.”

Carnival of Air 2017

Lakeside Centre

The Festival took place the same weekend as Open House London which saw a number of flagship buildings across London opening their doors for tours, including the historic Crossness Pumping Station and hard hat tours of the iconic Lakeside Centre in Thamesmead.

One hundred people, including 40 residents visited the Lakeside Centre which overlooks Southmere Lake and Thamesmead’s iconic towers. The venue which will be managed by Bow Arts, is set to become the focus of cultural and community life for residents and visitors alike when it opens in 2018. Offering affordable creative workspaces, a café and an enterprise kitchen, as well as a day nursery, gallery and project space and host a range of pop-up stalls and markets including a wider partnership of events, school programmes, public art and affordable housing for cultural key workers.

Residents took along old photos and memorabilia to the tour, so they could be scanned by Bexley archivists and feature as part of Thamesmead’s 50th anniversary exhibition next year.


The Thamesmead Festival 2017 is part of Peabody’s longer term plans for culture in Thamesmead and a partnership event between Peabody, Thamesmead residents, local organisations and artists, part funded by Arts Council England, supported by London Borough of Bexley and Royal Borough of Greenwich and delivered by Emergency Exit Arts. It was also part of the Totally Thames Festival and Open House London.

Culture in Thamesmead

Peabody is working with a number of local artists and community members as part of the Thamesmead Culture Forum. Meeting on the third Monday of every month, it is the perfect place for anyone interested in culture to get together and share their work and ideas, contribute their expertise or local knowledge and welcome others who contribute in Thamesmead. Discussion is already underway on how to celebrate Thamesmead’s 50th anniversary next year (2018). Anyone interested in joining should email, [email protected]