Dulwich Festival Fair

Dulwich Festival Fair

There is so much I love about where I live.

From the tree-lined streets and pretty parks, to the bustling high street and plentiful pubs.

Museums, acres of estate land, and a world-famous gallery, which is currently collaborating on a project with some of the biggest names in international street art to create murals on specially commissioned walls all over the area.

It is quite stunning.


Some friendships were formed with parents of other young local children.  Others, when needing a hobby outside of our family life, a time to just be ourselves, led the Greek God(zilla) to the local cricket club and myself to the WI.

We met friends of friends in the area, who have now very much become friends – the ‘of’ no longer required.

Through blogging, where friendships made online crossed over into real life.

Then there is the sense of community that for me, stems from the local friendships we have made.

It is hard to believe that when I first moved to the area 5/6 years ago, I barely knew another soul.  My social life was tied up in the Greek God(zilla)’s, or I would spend over an hour traipsing back to West London to catch-up with my old friends.  As time went by and we started a family, these trips became few and far between.  I was home alone with a small baby and felt very isolated at times, so I had to really make an effort to get to know people.

It certainly did not happen overnight, but our home does finally feel like home to me now.

One weekend, we may arrange to have friends over for Sunday lunch, perhaps a midweek drink after work, or a Saturday morning coffee and playdate.  There are people to stop and chat to in the street, to say hello to in the park, or wave across to in the supermarket aisles.

So, when Angela from SE Mags invited me to volunteer at the Dulwich Festival Fair again on Sunday, I agreed, mainly because if there is anything I love more than a list, it is a laminated list presented to me on a clipboard.


But also because I was happy to have the opportunity to be involved in such a popular community event.

Plus, I got to help a friend out, obviously.

I do not know if anyone can really appreciate how much work goes into organising these things.

Over 100 stalls were set up on Goose Green in preparation for vendors to come and sell their wares.  Bouncy castles were inflated for the kids and face painting areas were assigned.  For the grown-ups, there was live music and beer tents at each end.  Local food traders cooked in pop-up kitchens and the EDWI sold homemade cakes, biscuits and jams.

dulwich festival fair bouncy castle

before the crowds

duwlich festival fair ice cream van

ice cream

East Dulwich WI stall

East Dulwich WI stall

I arrived at 9am to help guide the stall holders to their relevant pitches, but the organisers started around 5am when the first of the equipment started to arrive, and did not leave until after everyone else had gone and the area had been completely cleared.

All I had to do was walk around with my clipboard, flash my official badge and ask people to pack-up and move their cars off the grass.   Most of the questions directed at me were in relation to the location of the loos or the nearest bin. 

My contribution was minimal, but I was still totally zonked at the end of the day and even stood down a quick drink in the pub for a yummy roast chicken with my family at home.

However, I had so much fun being Angela’s ‘Clipboard Bitch’ that I have already volunteered my services again for next year… if she’ll have me, that is 🙂


You can follow me on Twitter @grenglishblogfind me on Facebookand on Pinterest as Grenglish


  1. May 14, 2013 / 11:28 AM

    Thanks for this Sarah. I need my clipboard volunteers to help me out so it is wonderful to have friends like you, Ange and Philipa who give up their time to help me. I have had some lovely comments from stallholders about the organisation of the event, of which you help me more than you know. Having partners in crime in the morning when almost 140 different stalls/acts/rides start descending on the Green, is brilliant. It would be daunting otherwise.

    I shall be putting some photos in the June issues of the magazines, just sorry that I didn’t get one of us all – must do that next year! xx

    • Grenglish
      May 15, 2013 / 11:28 AM

      ooooh can’t wait to see the pics! It was lots and lots of fun, happy to be help xx

    • Grenglish
      May 15, 2013 / 11:39 AM

      really was RM xx

  2. May 14, 2013 / 1:40 PM

    I have photographic evidence of you being a “clip board bitch”!
    Lovely to have you as a neighbour, a fellow blogger and tweeter and also my new WI friend too!

    • Grenglish
      May 15, 2013 / 11:38 AM

      Back atcha lovely xx

  3. May 15, 2013 / 5:22 AM

    Yum, an ice cream truck! That would have sold me in coming along! haha

  4. May 15, 2013 / 9:34 AM

    Love this, this is what I need. We haven’t long moved and some days it feels like an uphill struggle – this post gives me the boost I need – it will be good, it just takes time.
    Isn’t the WI fab!

    • Grenglish
      May 15, 2013 / 11:38 AM

      It does just take time Gemma. It is one thing meeting lots of people but it is quite another finding one or two really good buddies! Always daunting when you move to a new area but just keep throwing yourself out there and will only be a matter of time before some like minded souls snap you up. I love the WI – have made some firm friends there xx

  5. May 16, 2013 / 9:33 AM

    What an amazing fair and so lovely when you find/nurture a community where you live-I returned to friends I always had in Leeds but loved meeting new people at all the stages in my life in London from Uni onwards and of course our short stint in Bristol. Easier to make mates when you have kids…and dogs apparently x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.