On a warm, but overcast, evening of monday 11th June the Friends held a BBQ at the Childrens Zoo in aid of the Winter Garden fund.

The Friends offer a huge Thank You to the following for their support of this event…
For Wines, Beers and juices
Fullers, Chiswick Brewery; Goedhuis & Co.
Waitrose, Wandsworth Southside branch

For Flowers
Detta Phillips
For Desserts
Capitan Corelli; Deliverance; Popina,
Ransome’s Dock Restaurant

For Draw and Tombola prizes
Percol Food Brands; La Gondola al Parco;
San Genaro Pizzeria; Carluccio’s PLC;
Santa Maria del Sur, Argentine Bar and Grill;
Tigi Bed Head; The Butcher and Grill, Parkgate Road

And, …
Greg Lawson, Quantum Leap Events
The Heap family, for use of the Zoo
Victor Garcia and Friends,
Vivienne Westwood
Battersea Park Newsagents
Wandsworth Events Team

The following is an extract from issue 74 of The Review by committee member Vicki Barker:

The Heap family could make a fortune renting out Battersea Park Zoo as a venue for weddings or corporate events. But, for the second year running, they have thrown it open to the Friends for free, to help us realize our dream of creating London’s first Winter Garden here in the park.

Good news like this travels fast – this year, the event was sold out well in advance, and disappointed punters had to be turned away at the front gate. The two hundred lucky ticket-holders whiled away the warm evening strolling among the animal enclosures, to the sound of the Latin band, Los Soneros, and occasional wolf whistles from the Mynah bird aviary.

For charm of venue, delight in entertainment, range and tastiness of food and for all-round sheer enjoyment, tickets for the Barbecue at the Zoo have to represent the best value in London.

Greg Lawson, manager of the Battersea Evolution, was there, rolling up his sleeves and helping cook and serve the food he’d donated. Various Committee members manned the bar, the front gate and the tombola table. (See above for more detailed thanks.)

Of all the items donated for the occasion, the highlight had to be a pair of lethally high, lusciously yellow, stupendous regency-style Vivienne Westwood shoes – donated by the great lady herself, after a chance meeting with Committee Member Ruth Forrest a few days earlier. Miss Westwood adores Battersea Park – and when Ruth asked her if she might have something for the silent auction, she seems to have dug into her own wardrobe. She also donated a signed book.

The evening’s activities were monitored by the meerkats, whose initial agitation turned to curiosity at all these humans wandering around their home at what would normally be, one surmises, their bedtime. They stood on tip-toes in little clusters, eyeing the passing human menagerie.

In fact, the Zoo’s Jason Palmer was heard to say he thought many of the birds and animals, a large proportion of which come from South America, particularly enjoyed the music!

“I cannot thank the Heap family enough,” says Ruth Forrest, the chief organiser. “And all of the Zoo staff, led by Jason Palmer, were extremely helpful… they couldn’t have been more cheerful and kind.”

The final tally is still being prepared, but it’s believed this year’s event raised in excess of £3,500 for the Winter Garden – well above last year’s total.

Oh!, and your correspondent was the successful bidder for The Shoes. Vivienne Westwood Shoes in the auction They fit beautifully: walking in them is another matter. La Westwood and her clientele manage to sashay across the landscape at those Olympian heights without a stumble. Head held high, ankles wobbling, I teetered precariously on my tiptoes. I kept wondering what this reminded me of, and then it hit me:
I looked like one of the meerkats.