Back in the dim and distant past when I made the decision to move to Walthamstow, I got a mixture of reactions from my friends. Although mixed, I think I can group my friends feelings in to three categories. Those categories are The Unknowns, The Judges, and the Geographic Doubters.
Sadly for the people in this category they had no knowledge of Walthamstow, they responded with “You are moving where?” Then looked for their AA road maps to see if E17 really did exist.
These people thought they knew what Walthamstow was, and they were afraid, very afraid. “Don’t move there, it’s miles from anywhere and it’s not safe, no, not safe at all”
The Geographic Doubters
All the maps in the world could not help this group. “Walthamstow, that’s in Essex innit”
All these years later, I can’t help but feel smug that some of these doubters made the Journey to the beginning of the Victoria Line (Walthamstow Central), to come to our very own Garden Party. And why wouldn’t they, the garden party was a fantastic event last year, and I for one had a brilliant time there this year. My old friends from South of the River were not the only non E17ers to come over and pay a visit. Whilst sitting in Lloyd park drinking cider from a bottle (classy as ever), I chatted to loads of people who had come to Walthamstow for the day. And from what I could see, pretty much everyone who was in Big Bills garden had a great time.
The layout of the event this year is a little different than last year. The main stage has been moved in to a big blue tent, which I think was the only change I didn’t like. Last year the stage took up one half of the park, and like many , I spent the day lazing on the grass in front of it listening to the acts. I didn’t much fancy being inside a tent on a hot day so I gave the main stage a swerve this year. But I did make myself at home in front of the News From Nowhere Stage. First listening to the Walthamstow Acoustic Massive, then the Stow Festival took over with the likes of Krix Panx, Lady President and The November Five.
Although we spent most of the day in front of the News From Nowhere stage, we did have a good old wander around first. We started off watching a wine making demo which was run by Organic Lea. The chap running the demo was talking about specific gravity, wine making is way more complicated than I thought it was. I knew during the demo that we were in for a good day, I mean, any day that starts with wine making is going to be pretty good right? We also got some Thai Food from Yum Yum, and told them again how excited we were that they were opening in Walthamstow. I’m sure we were not the only ones to tell the staff of our general excitement that Yum Yum are coming to E17, but they all smiled and said thank you, like we were the first to say it.
The morning after the day before, and thanks to my over consumption of Somerset Cider, I’m nursing a slightly sore head. But following a day of basking in the sun and listening to great music, that smug feeling is still there. It’s pretty cool that I could go to this fantastic event and then walk home afterwards. People from all over London came to the Garden Party, and it was on my door step, well, close enough to my door step. It’s easy to take stuff like this for granted, but all the things that happen in Walthamstow, like the Garden Party, Art Trail and Stow Festival, make our corner of London a pretty special place to live.
If you missed out on the Garden Party on Saturday, it’s all happening again on Sunday 19th, for line up and info, click here.