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All smiles at re-launch of Nelson Square gardens

Families turned out in their droves for the re-launch of a community square and gardens.

A trio of residents groups joined forces with Southwark Council to re-launch Nelson Square as a community space at a free event on Friday (April 7).

Southwark mayor Kath Whittam officially opened the square by cutting the ribbon and families enjoyed free food in the sunshine, a bouncy castle, and face painting.

The square was recently in the headlines after a man was stabbed near the playground – but the event organisers were keen to make it clear that it is a safe place for children to play.

“I’ve lived here for twenty years and this has never happened before,” Liz Justice, one of the organisers, said ahead of the event. We are not dwelling on it but the reality is it’s a safe place for kids to come and play.”

Liz said the event at the square on the corner of Blackfriars Road/Surrey Row and Union Street was a success.

She said: “We had a fabulous day and a real reclaiming of the park for local people and our resident Blackfriars Road community.

“We had some absolute stars from London Lions basketball. Captain Joe Ikhimnwin and Navid Niktash came down and had a great run around. They also handed out 100 free tickets for entry to their game against Leicester on Easter Sunday.

“Mark Burford, head coach at The Ring SE1 was sparring and talking to the kids about boxing for fitness and discipline. He was born on the square and first boxed there as a kid himself as the club has run since 1910.”


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