On Sunday 3rd March, we had a little gath­er­ing to cel­eb­rate the relaunch of FEAST in 2013. I say ‘little’, but in the end, we had around 500 vis­it­ors to the event that involved the many bril­liant people and things in West Nor­wood. From all the volun­teers who give up their free time to organ­ise FEAST each month (and in between…), to groups like Nor­wood Forum, Friends of West Nor­wood Lib­rary and South­side Rehab­il­it­a­tion Asso­ci­ation, all of whom work and cam­paign tire­lessly for a bet­ter West Nor­wood, it was hard not to appre­ci­ate what a great place it is we live in.

Our pop-up cafe offered such a vari­ety of deli­cious dain­ties, all so mouth­wa­ter­ingly enti­cing it was hard to believe they were all donated by gen­er­ous FEAST volun­teers and not cre­ated in a high-end pastry kit­chen. We had a raffle where each prize con­sisted of a local exper­i­ence, rather than a tan­gible ‘thing’ — cof­fee and cake for two at Beam­ish & McGlue; £20 to spend at Whittaker’s Fish­mon­ger; the idea being to bring people onto their high street, to exper­i­ence the great things on offer, and to poten­tially cre­ate new rela­tion­ships between loc­als and shop own­ers.

If you popped down with your kids, it’s quite likely they went home a little more covered in glit­ter than when they arrived! Our kids activ­ity area was busy through­out the day, with col­our­ing in, crown-mak­ing and the afore­men­tioned glit­tery dec­or­at­ing. On top of this, we had a real treat when local story-tell­er Karen Owen arrived and tickled our ima­gin­a­tions with her cre­at­ive tales.

And of course, as a ‘relaunch’, we made sure to focus on the future, not only of FEAST, but of West Nor­wood as a whole. Each mar­ket hub had an area to let vis­it­ors know what will be hap­pen­ing in the com­ing year — the Garden­ers Corner trans­formed into Fresh n Green to encom­pass fresh pro­duce as well as flowers and plants; samples of the kinds of food on offer at the Food Fair; arty activ­it­ies at Artis­ans; and the chance to win £10 to spend at the Retro Vil­lage.

In addi­tion, we were lucky enough to have the guys from Pic­ture­house down to let every­one know about the excit­ing cinema devel­op­ments at Net­tle­fold Hall; and Axel, our design­er, dis­played his plans for the big FEAST rebrand hap­pen­ing in the com­ing year.

We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did, and we really hope to see you all again on Sunday 7th April when the FEAST mar­kets begin again.

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