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Your Bandstand Needs You!

Your Bandstand Needs You!

After a three year gap the lovely Hyde Park bandstand will, once again, host four wonderful bands which will fill the space and deliver toe-tapping and dancing music on four dates in August and September.

With very many thanks to our extremely generous donors, without whom we couldn’t do it, we are unveiling the programme and hope you’ll be tempted by some of these offerings. We’re looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible. No need to go online and book fiendishly expensive tickets, these are free for everybody to enjoy, and should appeal to all ages and interests.

SUNDAY 7th August 2.30 to 4.30pm
South London Jazz Orchestra
with Simon Selman who will demonstrate and teach a few swing dance-steps.

SUNDAY 21st August 2.30 to 4.30pm
Melodians Steel Orchestra
This award winning premier 30 piece steel band has, since 1987, been performing at Royal events and at prestigious venues throughout both the UK and overseas.

SATURDAY 10th September 2.30 to 4.30pm
Orquesta Mambarito and Colombian singer Fabian Velez
Between this high-profile band and singer, they deliver red hot salsa and Latin Jazz. We are expecting dance groups from all over to join us.

SUNDAY 18th September 2.30 to 4.30pm
Snowdown Colliery Welfare Band
To bring our mini season to a close, we return to the roots of traditional bandstand music by introducing this large brass band from East Kent, as a reminder and representative of all the coal miners’ bands from across Britain.


We need help in promoting these concerts and plan for more in the future.
Without these generous sponsors and donors, these concerts would not have been possible. We are nearly there!

Our thanks to them all and perhaps to some of you who may be reading this?

The August concerts have been funded by:
An Anonymous donor
SEBRA (South East Bayswater Residents Association)
The Victoria, Paddington
Taormina Restaurant, Lancaster Gate
Ozuki Sushi and Pan Asian Cuisine, Lancaster Gate.
The Friends of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

The Snowdown Welfare Colliery Band is funded by Carl Richardson in memory of his late uncle.

Our very grateful thanks to them all.

Orquesto Mambarito has been funded by the members of the Friends of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and volunteers from the Hyde Park information kiosk.

If you feel able to add to this list and join this generous group, we would be extremely pleased and any amount, however small, will add to our coffers for this series and help us to have the confidence to think about continuing this recently renewed tradition of using our lovely bandstand.

Cheques payable to:
Friends HPKG and posted to Friends HPKG, The Old Police House, Hyde Park, London W2 2UH.

Or our Nat West Bank details are:
The Friends of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
A/c no. 18151701
Sort code 60-04-04

Please make sure you let us know that these donations are to be earmarked for the concerts.


After three Covid, or fear of Covid, years with no live AGMs, we were very pleased to be able to get together again on the 6th July at the LookOut in the middle of Hyde Park.

We were very grateful for the offer to use this beautiful building surrounded by a private garden and sun terrace for our AGM. About 70 of us gathered for an early evening meeting. As we do every year, invitations were sent out to guests along with our members, we so enjoy the company and input of new faces and points of view. On this occasion, we welcomed several new local councillors and an MP who had tendered her resignation that morning, plus many members of The Royal Parks and contractor’s staff.

We couldn’t have managed without Graham Alderton the Centre Manager who worked very hard to set us up. Ledy Leyson from the LookOut education team welcomed us to the building and explained its origins.

Andy Williams and Jason Taylor gave comprehensive presentations on their own Parks, what had gone on this year and what to look forward to with loads of pictures. There were groans from time to time when shots of eg. debris relating to the Cannabis smoking day appeared. Royal Parks director Tom Jarvis, helped answer questions which were many.

We were really pleased to welcome both new Head Gardeners (a brand new role), Beth Handley (Hyde) and Russell Stevens (Kensington) as well as other key players and our 830th and newest member.

A drinks reception followed on a beautiful evening on the terrace, and our photographer circulated. It was a lovely spot but, we appreciate, because of its position and distance from any convenient drop off points, not easily accessible for many our members. It’s something we’ll have to try to put right next year (if we get invited back).

Many thanks to all the Trustees who worked so hard organising the logistics, including getting in significant quantities of refreshments and ensuring all our paperwork was present and correct. Without sleeves rolled up before and afterwards, there wouldn’t have been such a relaxed event for the rest of us.

And, we received quite a few thank you’s afterwards, which were both gratifying and unusual for an AGM, I think.


Hot on the heels of the AGM was the Nursery plant sale for members and friends. Over several years this has become an extremely popular event, and I think we have more queries about this than we do for any of our other events.

New manager, Rob Dowling, took over earlier this year and hit the ground running. It was not a slowly managed handover and he has worked very hard. He has quickly made a big difference to the place in the short time he’s been there. There’s been a great deal of turning out and chucking away of junk and rubbish, and small areas have been transformed. No wonder he’s got so many teams of volunteers working hard. They go home with handfuls of veggies and sweet peas all grown in huge pots in these allotment-like corners. Hyde Park courgettes and potatoes? Bring them on! So, our own members look- in was a little later than usual with fairly short notice.

But, the plants on sale! Our jaws dropped. The choice was impossible. One member returned on his bike three times, a convertible mini went off loaded to the gunwales with a row of five foot geraniums sticking up from the back seat. A bicycle was so loaded it could barely be pushed, let alone peddled and we were sorry that our favourite, the reclining tricycle, had a puncture and couldn’t make an appearance. The mini driver emailed later to say thank you and that she’d missed a trick because she had forgotten to ram the boot.

£1,028 was raised for the Royal Parks charity and we had a lot of appreciative members.

Thanks go to all the trustees who turned out to help, and a willing young man (son of a trustee), who cheerfully helped with plant trollies for hours.
A couple of trustees were even skilled enough to work the card machine.

Most thanks though to Rob who worked hard to make it so special for us, on top of his day job which is pretty hectic.


And last, but I know will be much appreciated by members, are a couple more opportunities to use your membership cards in the Parks.

Boating on the Serpentine The new boats are now launched, a little later in the season than is normal, but having taken them back in house there has been a lot to do. They are offering us 20% off boat hire (pedalos and rowing boats) and although it has been very busy at weekends, it will soon settle down and mid-week isn’t quite so hectic. I’m looking forward to a group of members being well prepared for the next Olympics national rowing team. Many thanks to The Royal Parks for treating our members to this discount. Benugo Recently I have met new manager, Mahfujur, at the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen (SBK). He has very generously offered our members 20% off food and drinks (not alcohol) at all Benugo outlets in both Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Apart from SBK, these are the Magazine restaurant at Serpentine North and the little refreshment bar in the Serpentine Gallery South Summer Pavilion.

We are most grateful to him and wish him luck. It’s a difficult time, as we know, in the catering industry as a whole.

Enjoy your summer in the parks and keep cool!

Sue Price
Paul Shelley
Rob Dowling