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Posted by Kim Winter, Monday 28th November, 2011

The Brixton Experience

Dancers at the Brixton Experience

Image: Nick Weedon

Nick Weedon and Jean Kerrigan report on a lively Saturday from a stall at Brixton market

The Friends' stall in Brixton market on 26 November was part of "The Brixton Experience", one of several new initiatives run by the Brixton Market Traders Federation to offer local businesses and organisations spaces in Brixton Station Road. The various themed Saturdays have been running for several weeks, and have begun to gain good momentum, with a real buzz and distinct community atmosphere.

The scene was enlivened by a Brazilian carnival troupe and some very entertaining remote-controlled  items - a wandering Christmas tree, a meandering stack of traffic cones, and a particularly cheeky wheelie bin, which chased passers by and squirted water at the unsuspecting.

The offer of a free stall on this occasion gave FoWG a great opportunity to have a presence in the market, and we did very well raising the profile of Brixton Windmill and informing both Brixtonians and visitors from further afield about one of the  borough’s best kept secrets. Those who knew nothing about the historic Grade II* windmill were fascinated, and many agreed to visit next summer when the building reopens for free public tours at Easter 2012.

We also signed up some new Friends – some volunteering to train as guides – and sold booklets about the windmill, postcards and some of our lovely “I love Brixton Windmill” T-shirts. All in all, there was great support expressed for Brixton Windmill and our plans for 2012.

Richard Santhiri, Vice Chair of the Friends of Windmill Gardens, said, "Brixton Windmill is a real eye catcher and has its own charm. We got lots of new members, and everyone in Brixton is getting to know our work. There were many people that I spoke to on the day who came to the grand opening of the mill and had seen us on TV or in the local press."

Many thanks to Richard, Sandra Watts, Nick Weedon and Jean Kerrigan for running the stall and keeping the community spirit going!