Twinkle Park Pond Update

You may recall that over the night of October 16th 2013 all the water in Twinkle Park’s pond disappeared . Everyone was aghast for that amount of water to disappear so rapidly needed either an earthquake or a large tanker siphoning the water away.

Over the following weeks the Trust asked as many professionals to give their opinion on how the water may have escaped. United House, British Gas, Thames Water, Rawell Environmental Ltd -manufacturers of the special liner the holds the water in, Royal Greenwich Parks department, Warwick Landscape Ltd.

We tried refilling the pond first from the top-up system being left to flow for 48 hours and then by United House emptying their rain water collection into the pond. That was a lot of water as it was a very wet winter. All to no avail.

Greenwich Parks department helped the Trust excavate one section of the pond to see if the liner had split apart, but it was intact.

Finally we employed a company called ‘Stratascan’ in July this year to undertake an GPR survey – Ground Penetrating Radar. This has indicated no great holes under the pond that might have caused the loss of water. It has identified two special ‘areas of interest’. We are now discussing how we will excavate these areas to see if they give us a clue as to the cause of the water disappearing. This will happen in October.

Once we have this information the Trust will undertake fundraising to pay for the reinstallation of the pond and hope this will be achieved as soon as possible.

At present the ‘pond’ is somewhat more of a meadow – boasting a beautiful crop of ‘Purple Loosestrife’, so at least it is hosting all sorts of life – but hopefully it will recover its watery qualities before too long.

We will let you know what happens next.


A Rainy Summer Day

As the old song goes: if you want the rainbow, you must have the rain — and that’s certainly what we got. Hopefully everyone has dried off by now, following this year’s wetter-than-usual Twinkle Park Summer Festival, which was a lovely time, despite the less than perfect weather!  The day started out bright, but the first sign of trouble came as the wind whipping through the canyon was a little too strong for one of our marquee tents, which, after many years faithful service has been consigned to the dust bin.

Fortunately, the rain held off for the day’s first official duties. As man of you know, we have lost two great friends and colleagues over the past year, so we were delighted to be joined by friends and family of Jim Murray  and Richard Macvicar to unveil a commemorative plaque in their honour as we celebrate the completion of the master plan in Charlotte Turner Gardens. Both were long serving trustees, involved in the local area for many years, and who have contributed a great deal to the spirit of the park and gardens, so it is most fitting for them to be remembered in such a way.

The final part of the recent works in Charlotte Turner Gardens was then ceremonially completed, as the children’s playground was opened by former Twinkle Park Trustee, Councillor and Mayor of Greenwich, David Grant (cutting what was, admittedly, a somewhat improvised ribbon). We were also honoured by the attendance of the Mayor and Mayoress Cllr Mick Hayes & Gillian Hayes, and Davida Allen, on behalf of Veolia Environmental Trust, who provided the grant which enabled the playground project to be completed.

Photo of the commemorative plaque for Twinkle Park Trustees Jim Murray and Richard MacVicarPhotograph of the Viking Ship in Charlotte Turner Gardens



Photograph of the opening of the Charlotte Turner Gardens playground
Back in Twinkle Park, activity levels rose to the sound of DJ Stormy, followed by the wonderfully vibrant Heart of Steel orchestra. All of this was as ever, powered by the volunteers running the Pimm’s o’Clock station and the cafe, as well as the much needed addition this year of a barbecue, which kept everyone well-fed.
Photo of Heart of Steel orchestra performing at Twinkle Park Summer Festival 2014
Photograph of Marq Kearey's pond themed screen printing
Photograph of sausages on the barbecue
Photograph of picnicking family at Twinkle Park
One of the nice things about the summer festival over the past few years has been the relaxed atmosphere and being able to while away an afternoon, enjoying being outside and doing things. As the music played, there were several distinct games of football going on in the playground, alongside attempts at hula-hooping, whilst over towards the pond some more sedate activities were taking place. Trustee Marq had prepared some pond life-themed screen prints to pull, whilst Drew and Ross from Assembly at the Old Tidemill School helped craft masks all afternoon.
dfgs Photograph of Assembly SE8's mask-making
Photograph of Games down the ages at Twinkle Park Summer Festival
Photograph of Twinkle Park Summer Festival 2014
The final attraction of the day was the latin jazz sound of Havana Good Time, and they did their best to play through the rain — even when the speakers started to buzz from the drips through the roof of the ‘waterproof’ marquee. The rain lasted for around an hour, and sadly brought about the early close of the festival, as we left the marquees to drip-dry inside the school and went home wet but happy, looking forward to next year.
Photo of a child at Twinkle Park Summer FestivalPhoto of bunting around the pond at Twinkle Park
Photo of a girl playing on the stones in Twinkle Park
Photo of a dog at the Summer Festival
Twinkle Park Trust would like to give great thanks to…
All at Greenwich Parksfest, Cllr Mick Hayes & Gillian Hayes (Mayor and Mayoress of the Royal Borough of Greenwich), David Grant & Ann Grant, Cllrs Aidan Smith & Matthew Pennycook, Jagir Sekhon, Ian & Sheila and all Mac’s family & friends, Jim Murray’s friends and several generations of family members!, Teddy Perry, Davida Allen and Veolia Environmental Trust, John Perry and Jackie for feeding everyone with the barbecue, Patrick Gardner (DJ Stormy), Heart of Steel Orchestra, Havana Good Time (who brought some sun through very heavy rain!), Annie Phipps & friends for running the games and starting several football matches, Ellie Phipps & friends for their face-painting, Ross & Drew from Assembly for the mask-making workshop, Faye & Marilyn who served up Pimms all day, our local police officers for supporting the community event, Lucy for taking all the photographs,Jo, Andrew, Vicky, Anthony, Elaine, Marq, Bridget and Carol for their work in organising everything, and everyone who came along!!!

Twinkle Park Summer Festival 2014 – Schedule

Sunday 29th June 2014 sees this year’s Twinkle Park Summer Festival – a day for the community to come out to the park for music, fun and activities, supported by Greenwich Parksfest.

The event will also serve as a celebration of the completion of the Twinkle Park and Charlotte Turner Gardens Masterplan, including the unveiling of a commemorative tree plaque, and the formal opening of the new toddler’s playground (if you haven’t already had a go on the talking tubes, this is your opportunity!).

As such, as well as the main events in Twinkle Park, there are some special parts of the programme in the Southern end of Charlotte Turner Gardens to start the day.

Please see below the intended times:


Charlotte Turner Gardens

2pm Opening of the Festival with jig dances by London Pride Morris Men in Charlotte Turner Gardens, McMillan Street.

2.15pm Unveiling of Tree Plaque

2.30pm Formal Opening of the play area by David Grant, former Mayor of Greenwich.

2.45pm Jig Dancers lead the audience to Twinkle Park – via the pathway alongside the school into Twinkle Park.


Twinkle Park

1 – 3pm DJ Stormy – reggae, dancehall and RnB in Twinkle Park

2pm Café in the Park & Pimms ‘o’ clock and Barbecue open.

3-3.30pm Jig Dancing in Twinkle Park.

4.00pm Heart of Soul – our favourite local steel pan group bring some lively flavour to prceedings.

4 -4.45pm Havana Good Time – London-based salsa music to keep up the energy play their first set of the afternoon

4.45 – 5.15pm Games through the ages.

5.15-6pm Havana Good Time – a second set of salsa rhythms to end the day

6pm Festival Close

We also have our friends from the Old Tidemill School, Assembly, making unique masks from natural materials, and the Twinkle Park Trust will be giving details of the plans to repair the beloved pond in Twinkle Park.
We hope you can make it, and look forward to seeing the whole community spend some time in the park.

Twinkle Park Summer Festival 2014

The 2014 Twinkle Park Summer Festival has been set for

Sunday, 29th June
2pm – 6pm

This year’s event has the added excitement of celebrating Charlotte Turner Gardens’ refurbishment, and the completion of a 20 year project which started with the Master Plan for the two sites being developed, way back in 1993. This special event will be marked by the official opening of the Toddler’s Playground, and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque in the Garden.

As ever, the day intends to provide something for everyone, and all members of the community are invited to come along. We will have music, games, activities, food and drink to enjoy throughout the day, as well as a couple of surprises.

The full programme and schedule will be announced in the coming weeks, so keep an eye on the news page and Twitter!

Please let friends, family and neighbours know about the Festival – we look forward to seeing everyone there.


During 1993 and 1996, the Twinkle Park Trust worked with local people to develop a Master Plan for the building of Twinkle Park and refurbishment Charlotte Turner Gardens. Twenty years on, and we are nearing the completion of the work — and to mark the occasion, we would like to invite everyone to celebrate with us. There will be a formal unveiling of the latest improvements on Sunday June 29th 2014, but before that, May 31st sees the re-opening of the Petanque court, and an invitational match featuring some of London’s best players! 

May 31st from 1 – 3pm

Charlotte Turner Gardens (Benbow Street end)

All are welcome to come and play (or watch), and receive some tips from the experts.

We hope to develop a local petanque Club who can then take on regional and possible national teams, and also support the Dog and Bell — who hold sets of Boules available for people to hire at a small cost.

Spring Cleaning in Twinkle Park

Details of tidy up at Twinkle Park on Saturday 15th March 2014

This Saturday sees the first tidy up of the year at Twinkle Park, run by volunteers from the Twinkle Park Trust and open to any willing helpers. Whilst there is, lamentably, no need to clear out any pond weed this time (so nobody has to don the ceremonial waders) there is plenty to do in order to make the place look its best – and now that the weather seems to have taken a turn for the better, people can leave the safety of their homes and actually come outside to enjoy the park.

Anyone wishing to get some fresh air and partake in some light-moderate physical activity, please come to Twinkle Park at 11am, Saturday 15th March 2014. Members of the Trust will be on hand with equipment and assistance. This will be the first of what will be a regular programme of tidy-ups throughout the year.

We look forward to seeing you!

Charlotte Turner Gardens – final refurbishment commences!

Photograph of Charlotte Turner Gardens, looking North

As some of you may be aware, from notices circulated locally, the final refurbishment of Charlotte Turner Gardens and the building of the new Toddlers’ Playground is scheduled to commence next Monday, 10th March 2014. It is the culmination of a long process of consultation, and will see a real improvement to the area, restoring it to a place of real value to all parts of the community. The work should take around six weeks to completion, so we hope that nobody is greatly inconvenienced whilst it takes place.

We look forward to spending time in the new gardens, come the summer!

Full details are in the attached PDF.

CTG Works 2014

Mac (Richard MacVicar)

Photograph of Mac

Sadly Mac (Richard MacVicar) died on Wednesday 12th February.
His passing was comfortable and anticipated but nevertheless the loss of a dear friend and colleague.

His funeral will take place at
Honor Oak Crematorium, Brenchley Gardens, Brockley, London SE23 3RD
on Thursday March 6th at 1.45pm.

(Map below)

This will be followed by a gathering at the Dog and Bell around 3pm.

Everybody welcome, but no flowers please.

Mac has been an invaluable member of Twinkle Park Trust since 2002, providing staunch support of the Trust, considered critique and practical help in all things big and small. Often his stern countenance would suddenly be swept aside by a smile the width of Deptford High Street’s length and he was always available to put up uncontrollable marquee’s,dig out compost heaps,plant new bushes or impart pearls of wisdom and information.

Mac we salute you dear friend.

Pond water

Something unexpected happened yesterday. In spite of the ceaseless trudge of the seasons: the shortening days, dropping temperature and, most pointedly, the rain, it was discovered yesterday that the Twinkle Park pond was all but dry, having rapidly drained. One of our trustees discovered the situation and took immediate steps to begin an investigation.

We are very grateful of the prompt assistance from various members of staff at Greenwich Council, who have responded to the problem by sending out a team of surveyors and contractors, who are attempting to find the cause of the drainage and to resolve the problem, as well as consider any potential associated issues.

The bed of the pond is now being cleared to allow further investigation, and we hope to have some news very soon on further action, which will be relayed via the website and Twitter.

The pond is of course a much loved feature of the parks and home to a wide range of wildlife – from the family of moorhens to all the creatures regularly discovered in the pond dipping sessions, so the matter is being handled as a high priority. We would once again like to thank all who have assisted so far in working to solve the problem and safeguard the pond and park.


Update 21/10/13

Greenwich Parks have cleared the pond weed from the bottom of the pond in order that we might see the source of damage. They started Wednesday afternoon and continued throughout Thursday.

On Thursday, Greenwich Parks department met the council’s water response contractor, who then repaired the pond refill system and installed an extra valve between the mains and the pond.

Thames Water visited the site on Friday to see why the water pressure between the mains and the pond refill was very low. They found a faulty valve on Saturday afternoon which they repaired and restored the water pressure.

The top-up  system was been left turned on at full pressure since then but this morning had not made any noticeable difference to the water level.

Investigations are underway as to the possibility of damage to the membrane which lines the pond, and what could have caused such damage.

Our friend, Jim Murray

Sadly Jim Murray passed away in September and we have lost a wonderful friend, a keen raconteur and a staunch supporter of Twinkle Park Trust and our local community.

Jim was part of the original group who strived to develop Twinkle Park and Charlotte Turner Gardens to better provide for local people’s needs and aspirations by constructing a beautiful park in place of the derelict Hughes Fields Recreation Ground, replaced for a while by a tarmac kick-about space.

Jim would tell great stories of his children using the swings and roundabout and it was from Jim that Twinkle Park gained its name, as being the name of Mrs. Twinkle, superintendent of the recreation ground. A story he retold frequently also with a twinkle in his eye.

Jim was one of the original signatories to the company Twinkle Park Trust Ltd and was chair of the Trust until 2011 when he stepped down and was elected Honorary Trustee.

In July 2004 Jim signed the 30 year lease of Twinkle Park and Charlotte Turner Gardens by the Trust from Greenwich Council. In a celebration event Jim presented a certificate and a box of 9 peppercorns to Mayor Cllr O’Sullivan and his Mayoress.

Photograph of Jim Murray with the Mayor of Greenwich

Throughout the 15 years he was involved with the Trust Jim not only steered the Trust through its many and often taxing meetings but was always to be found at the summer and winter festivals and at the various openings that marked the construction of the two Parks as they slowly developed.

Jim will be sorely missed.

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