Latest news 

"Down the Blue"

You may well know that a while ago Debra Gosling, one of our long-standing supporters, published a unique and lovely history of Southwark Park Road, called 'Down The Blue'. It was so popular it quickly went out of print. The good news now is that Debbie has republished it herself, and copies are available from her directly at £10.00 plus £2.50 post and packing.
If you are interested in getting a copy of 'Down The Blue' please mail Debbie on

"Our Park"

In September 2009 the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded The Friends a grant to carry out a reminiscence project entitled "Our Park". Considering it was the first municipal park in London to be open to the public, we believed that the story of Southwark Park was not as well-known as it should be. Apart from a small booklet published in 1999, there was no substantial written or oral history of one of London's first public parks, a gap of local and regional significance, not only to adults, but also to children.  Through "Our Park" we set out to tell that story to our local community in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe, and we also drew upon their memories of the park to make the tale as rich as possible.

The project was completed by the summer of 2010, and activities included heritage walks and talks; exhibitions; work with local schools (including an educational resource pack) and community groups; and a floral display in the park.  A full-colour book was published, based on interviews and writings of local people.  In addition a history of Southwark Park Bowling Club was produced.  In all, over 200 people took part in a very successful project, and we thank them so much for volunteering their time.  And thanks to Debra Gosling for her book design work.

The Rotherhithe Caryatides

On Saturday 4th June 2011 something magical happened in the park. 

The Mayor of Southwark, Cllr Lorraine Lauder M.B.E., unveiled two lovely statues, which once flanked the main entrance of the old Rotherhithe Town Hall on the corner of Neptune Street and Lower Road. 

Originally designed and constructed by Henry Poole RA, and opened on 28th April 1897, the Town Hall was severely damaged during the Second World War and was subsequently demolished.  The caryatides remained on site until 1974, but were then moved to the Heygate Estate in Walworth. 

A campaign for their return to Rotherhithe was begun and sustained over many years by longstanding Friends member, Gary Magold. 

With monies from the Rotherhithe Community Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the caryatides now make a beautiful addition to the park.

You can download copies of the books (for free) here:

Our Park_opt.pdf Our Park_opt.pdf
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Type : pdf
Southwark Park Bowling Club_opt.pdf Southwark Park Bowling Club_opt.pdf
Size : 7176.575 Kb
Type : pdf

 Other news

Dr Salter statue

You may have heard the bad news that the Alfred Salter memorial has been stolen from our sister park, King's Stairs Gardens. Alongside is a pdf you can download of a poster asking for information - if you are able to circulate to your contacts in the community it would be much appreciated.


WANTED! V4.pdf WANTED! V4.pdf
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Type : pdf

 UK Power Networks

Our park faces a very serious issue at the moment. The major utility company, UK Power Networks, have been in negotiations with Southwark Council to dig a deep tunnel for electric cables to improve power supply to the City of London. They want to use part of Southwark Park as their main works compound, and if Southwark Council grants planning permission, the project could start on site in November. Once there a works compound will be in place for up to two years.

The Friends of Southwark Park strongly oppose the plan because it will:

  •     Stop the public using a large area within the park between the China Hall entrance and Hawkstone Road
  •     Turn the southern end of the park into an eyesore, with green space, flowers and trees giving way to hoardings, cranes, compressors, excavating machines and staff offices
  •     Disrupt the landscape and wildlife and increase noise and nuisance for park users and nearby residents
  •     Add to traffic congestion in the area with over 20 lorries a day taking away the spoil from the tunnel
  •     Lead to a loss of public land, because UK Power Networks will have access rights to their tunnel forever
  •     Undermine all of the good work carried out over the last ten years to improve the park.

We believe the plans are completely inappropriate for our park and call upon you to help us in urging UK Power Networks and Southwark Council to think again. You can:

    Contact us on for more information and how to get involved
    Contact Southwark Council on to register your views
    Sign our online petition at

The Friends Blog

AGM 2013

September 8, 2013
Papers for our AGM are available on the 'Meetings' page of this website. The meeting will be held in The Art Gallery by the lake. You will see that we have a very important item on the agenda - an update on the development of the Old Nursery Master Plan from  Harrison Consultants.
Below is a link about a survey being carried out by Southwark Council on the issue of dogs in parks which may be of interest to you.
We look forward to seeing you on 18th.

Coronation commemoration plaque

June 1, 2013
Please note the change of venue for the next meeting to The Gallery in the Park, next to the children's playground.
Before the meeting we have organised a pleasant event at the nearby Coronation Tree. From 5pm we will gather and Mrs. Jenny Bianco, Deputy Lieutenant for Southwark, will kindly unveil a plaque to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation. After the unveiling there will be some light refreshments in The Gallery.

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Southwark Park 150

April 22, 2013
At our meeting this coming Wednesday we are considering the above subject. As you may know 2014 marks the 150th anniversary of the passing of the Act which enabled Southwark's oldest park. We really don't want to let it go by without proper recognition!
There's a discussion paper for Wednesday on the 'meetings' page of this website. I know you are busy but hope you can find a few minutes to read and comment upon it. If you can't come to the meeting we would still like to get your views....

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Volunteer planting rescheduled

March 15, 2013
Andrea Pita advises that the volunteer planting session for Saturday 16th March has now been rescheduled to 23rd March.
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Next meeting

March 15, 2013
Next meeting is on Wednesday 20th March, 6pm at the Park Office. You will see that we have two guest speakers - Susan Hunter from the Council's Warden Service to talk about dog control and Lyn Olding on the Lido Fountain planting scheme.
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Run for Bermondsey

November 13, 2012
Here's a link to a short film on YouTube about the London Marathon and Bermondsey made by members Peter Gazey and Rose Ades It is called 'Run for Bermondsey, and you will recognise familiar places and maybe faces. Thanks to Peter and Rose. 
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Rotherhithe Festival

July 11, 2012
The Rotherhithe Festival is on Saturday 14th July in King George's Field from 11am. A lovely free community event with music and stalls.
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RSPB Cockney Sparrow Count

July 11, 2012
Help London’s house sparrows and take part in the RSPB Cockney Sparrow Count 18 June to 12 July!

The Cockney sparrow was once a regular fixture in our London gardens, parks and squares. However, the city lost 68% of them between 1994 and 2000. The RSPB are asking Londoners to spend an hour, sometime between 18 June and 12 July, looking for house sparrows in their gardens and/or local green spaces and parks. It will help identify where populations are doing well, just clinging on or faring ba...

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New book on Bermondsey and Rotherhithe

June 10, 2012
You may be interested in this link about a book on Bermondsey and Rotherhithe written by one of our friends, Debra Gosling. 

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I Love Jamaica Day event

January 27, 2012
A Special Meeting has been arranged for Monday 6th February at 6pm in the Parks Office next to the cafe in Southwark Park. The purpose is to discuss a proposal to hold the I Love Jamaica Day event in the park on 24th June 2012 as part of the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's independence celebrations. 
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