Manor Park gets into its swing

The icy January conditions cut short our plans to go wading in the mighty Quaggy from Manor Park with Lee Green Forum on Saturday.

But a glorious winter’s day still had much to offer. In the bracing conditions, we warmed our cockles with a cup of hot chocolate from Fred and Banu, the couple behind the Arts Cafe who have done so much to rejuvenate the park over the past two years.

In the space next door to the cafe, a five-piece swing band called the Pimentos shortly began to play – and what a great interlude to the day.

They were Mike on drums, Greg on guitar, Anthony on alto sax, the band leader Ed on electric bass, and Abby on vocals.

Their set was eclectic – among them traditional numbers, I Wan’na Be like You, mash-ups of Tainted Love and Where Did all the Love Go, Pharell Williams, Pixie Lott and Paloma Faith reprises, and even a George Michael tribute (an up-tempo Careless Whisper), all delightful swing renditions.

It was a cosy space; ever more so as the sun went down and more people arrived, tempted by the warmth and sound emanating from within. The saxophonist, squeezed up close to the entrance, patiently put up with comings and goings – even opening the door for one shopping-laden would-be listener escaping the frost, but never missing a note.

Their next gig is the Lord Northbrook next Saturday (January 28). Catch them if you can.


Author: lewishamlately

I'm Jolyon and I started Lewisham Lately after fretting about the lack of news coverage for the borough. I have lived in south-east London for the majority of my adult life, including Camberwell, Peckham followed by the leafier realms of Hither Green from 2009. Now on the fringe of Lee Green and Lewisham Central. Feedback, story ideas, corrections, disagreements are all more than welcome. Please do keep it civil, though - the world's an angry enough place as it is.

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The Deptford Dame

In and around SE13, London


In and around SE13, London


The park needs TLC. Lewisham Council propose to re-landscape using Heritage Lottery Fund grant. Completely OTT, all that is required is upgrading of what is there already and maintenance. The Mansion House, on the other hand, is a whole new ball game.

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