After 4 years of hard work the community came together on Sunday 14th August for the grand opening of the new Manor Park playground.

Many local people turned up to support this momentous occasion. Simeon Linstead, Chair of Friends of Manor Park, introduced our amazing project leader, Fiona Sowell. She’s led this work from day one, and her persistence has certainly paid off, with what is arguably one of the best playgrounds in the borough.

Fiona gave a short speech, during which she told the story of how we got to where we are today, she also thanked the community for their amazing support, our fundraising team, local councillors (particularly former cllr Simon Edwards), Kinsgton Council, Mayor of London, our landscape architects – Outerspace, the playground supplier – Kompan, and the local businesses who supported the event – Hooky Street, Tesco, Co-op, and Plough Bakery.

Fiona then handed over to the former Mayor, Cllr Thay Thayalan, who gave a short speech. He made reference to the fantastic community effort that’s gone into this playground, how Covid had made it a much more challenging project, and the council’s committment to parks through its Community Playgrounds Programme.  He then cut the ribbon which was tied across the monkey bars AND our playground was formerly open.

Read more about the story of the playground

The Friends of Manor Park Team ran a couple of gazebos. In one we listened to ideas from the community, answered questions, and showed off the architects drawings for the park masterplan.

Kompan, the company that installed the playground had a gazebo where families could pick up tokens to get free ice creams. We also had another stall where Harriet Linstead applied glitter makeup and a balloon lady who modelled funny shaped balloons for the children. The ever popular Hooky Street Cafe had a stall for coffee, cold drinks and snacks.

We received lots of positive feedback from local parents, who love the new larger space, the fantastic new equipment and the smart picnic seating. People were saying how they now have a playground they can invite their friends to.

Find out what’s next for the playground and the park – read more

View more photos from the opening event – gallery

Fionna Sowell giving a speech about the history of this project.
Simeon Linstead, Chair of Friends of Manor Park, outside the Friends of Manor Park stall
Queuing up for ice creams courtesy of Kompan.
Richard Broome of Outerspace the landscape designers
Harriet Linstead applying glitter makeup
Former Mayor Cllr Thay Thayala giving a speech
Cllr Thay Thayala officially opening the playground.
The Balloon Modeller
The queue for the Balloon Modeller.
Hooky Street Cafe