My first day volunteering at the West Norwood Feast was so much fun. I was handed the tabard of power (an attractive hi-vis orange vest) and miraculously cars stopped to wave me and other volunteers past and people smiled. I started by handing out entertainment posters to the leaders of the four hubs (gardening, artisans, food and retro). Artisans had a wee problem since a car was parked in one of the stall spaces. This was despite parking suspension notices being up and cones lining the road. Luckily, they found space for the stalls further down the road and set up the remaining stalls around the car. Around 11am, in a dramatic operation, a council truck reversed into the area, lifted the car and parked it around the corner. The artisans hub leader placed the entertainment in the space left by the car. The car owner appeared a little later, looking just a little bemused while a volunteer showed him to his new parking space.
I spent the rest of the day at the retro village, which is a lethal place to spend a day. I came away with a small bowl, a leather briefcase and a pair of 1970s curtains. Luckily, someone bought the green Doc Martin's before I could investigate them further. We were in full sun most of the day and the buzz from the stalls and the customers was great. There was enthusiastic colouring-in fun, lots of singing, much shopping and plenty of chatting. At lunchtime, I met friends and enjoyed wondrous food and a half of strawberry cider at the food hub before heading back to the retro village. I had signed up to volunteer only for the morning, but I stayed all day. The Feasters wound down while the stalls were being dismantled by heading to Portico Gallery for a drink and watching the Raku pottery as it came out of the kilns and into the oxidation areas. It's fascinating stuff.
I'm now a fully fledged volunteer. Yay! Roll on 6 May when the next Feast hits the West Norwood streets.