Month: November 2017


Sir Quentin Blake backs the Bexley bid!

World famous illustrator and author Sir Quentin Blake has backed Bexley’s bid to become London Borough of Culture!

In a letter of support Sir Quentin told the Council’s Chief Executive Gill Steward:

“It is with the greatest of pleasure that I would like to add my support to the London Borough of Bexley’s bid to become the London Borough of Culture” and that he would be “truly delighted to see the borough win such a tremendous accolade”.

The full letter of support is reproduced below.

Quentin Blake Bexley LB Culture letter


London Borough of Bexley backs the Bexley bid

This video of support from senior Council Officers and Members outlines why winning the London Borough of Culture bid would be so key to the borough.

The statements are available as individual clips below.

Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE
Leader of the Council

Cllr Peter Craske
Cabinet lead for Culture

Gill Steward
Chief Executive

Toni Ainge
Deputy Director for Communities

Jane Richardson
Assistant Chief Executive Regeneration and Growth

Paul Moore
Director of Place Communities and Infrastructure

Jacky Tiotto
Director of Children’s Services

Richard Blakeway
Chairman of BexleyCo

Michael Bate
Head of Finance

Dr Anjan Ghosh
Director of Public Health

Stuart Rowbotham
Director of Adults Services


Bexley’s Winter Lantern Parade

Let it glow TV Screen

Date: Thursday 7 December
Opening Hours: 5pm to 7pm
Address: 4-5 Marketplace, Broadway, Bexleyheath, DA6 7DU

Join us for the London Borough of Bexley’s first Lantern Parade. A spectacle of light, featuring food stalls, music, an arts and crafts fair and late night shopping in Bexleyheath Broadway.

Local children that have taken part in the free pop-up lantern making workshops with internationally renowned artist and curator Tessa Garland, will be taking their creations out to light up the High Street. The parade will take place along the pedestrianised area on the Broadway. It will begin and end at 4-5 Marketplace in the Broadway, near the Christmas tree and opposite Starbucks.

Adding to the festive fun, is a special arts and crafts fair and food stalls, offering a unique festive shopping experience, alongside late night shopping in several shops on the Broadway and in The Mall.

A selection of artists will be selling alternative and original handcrafted Christmas gifts. One trader is Kay Davis, a graduate of Central Saint Martin’s based in South London, whose paintings and illustrations are based on childhood memories and Caribbean culture. Kay will also have hand painted fashion items that will only available at the fair. There will also be the chance to see a small collective of international artists called ‘Point and Place’ who have developed an original board game called Hexagons, a memory game using original artworks and photographic images.

Let it Glow is free to attend. We advise participating in the parade to arrive 15 minutes in advance to light lanterns.

Whether you’re participating in the parade, or looking for alternative handmade Christmas gift, come and get festive and #LetItGlow in this celebration of arts and crafts at Bexley – the perfect countdown to Christmas!

Pop-up workshops are running at the former Bensons Bed shop in Bexleyheath Broadway, every Saturday from 11am to 4pm until Saturday 2 December and are free to attend.







Sir Peter Bazalgette backs the Bexley bid!

Sir Peter Bazalgette – lead on the independent review for the Government into the Creative Industries, Chairman of ITV, president of Crossness Engines Trust and former chair of Arts Council England – has pledged his firm support for Bexley’s bid to become London Borough of Culture.

Sir Peter Bazalgette provided a personal message to an audience at a special business and key stakeholder event at Hall Place earlier this week (21 November) via video. In giving his wholehearted support to Bexley’s bid, he talked about the power of arts and culture, in its intrinsic value, but also in its ability to build community identity and cohesion. He talked about the way culture delivers enormous social benefits, how it supports education and skills and of the significance of the creative economy.  He also noted how Bexley is perfectly positioned to be at the centre of the emerging Thames Estuary Cultural Production Corridor opportunity.

Get involved

The final countdown…

It was only at the start of last month that we officially launched Bexley’s bid to become London Borough of Culture at a special event at Hall Place and Gardens.

We recorded this video on the day.

No time at all has passed and we are already racing toward the bid deadline date of 1 December!

There is still a chance for anyone interested in getting involved or find out more by emailing

Please also get behind the bid on Facebook and Twitter.


Get involved

Bexley’s chance of a ‘fourth plinth’

The Council is supporting local mental health charity Centrepieces and the North West Kent Countryside Partnership (NWKCP) in their bid to the Aviva Community Fund for funding for an exciting arts project based at Hall Place & Gardens.

The bid is for funds to install a plinth in the grounds of Hall Place, similar to the famous Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. Once installed home-grown artists will be invited to take turns to display their sculptures to the public.

Bexley has provided the old mill stone at Hall Place and brickwork and a popular spot where the plinth could be built.

Voting on the Aviva site started on 23 October – and ends at midday on Tuesday 21 November. The project needs votes from friends, family and supporters to be entered into the finals, where a judging panel will decide on where the funds will be awarded.

Cabinet Member for Community for Community Safety, Environment and Leisure, Cllr Peter Craske said: “This is a great opportunity for a respected local charity to develop something that everyone can enjoy and take part in. Centrepieces have worked closely with us and their current ’Twelve’ exhibition at Hall Place that runs until March is an example of some of the innovative, unusual and impressive art their group produce. A plinth that changes over time and includes a range of work from across the borough is a fantastic idea and I wish them the very best with the bid.”

Geoff Norris from Centrepieces said: “We are proud to be working on a project that not only celebrates the artistic talent of the local area, but that helps to increase awareness of mental health issues and to remove stigma. Our charity is entirely volunteer-run and this is a fantastic opportunity to shout about what they do”.

Isabel Shaw from North West Kent Countryside partnership said: “We are delighted to be working with Hall Place and Centrepieces on this exciting project. The beautiful Hall Place gardens are a treasured space for local people, and a plinth would be an innovative and interesting addition. We hope everyone that loves Hall Place will vote for our project so that we can make it a reality!”

Aviva Community Fund offers local groups funding for community projects. Centrepieces have applied for £1,980 for the project.

Please visit the Aviva Community Fund website and vote for the Centrepieces project!


The first ever Bexley Bookbuzz literary festival

Cabinet member Cllr Peter Craske just after he announced Bexley's first ever literary festival

The festival will feature events across the borough, including visits from authors, illustrators, storytellers, drama and art workshops, creative writing workshops, visits from famous book characters, poetry sessions and much more.

Authors set to visit the borough during the fortnight include world famous Ben Aaronovitch, Mike Gayle, Alison Weir and Stephen Booth.

During the fortnight there will be a chance to take part in ‘Where’s Wally hunts’, a special look into the ‘Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ and a visit from the Gruffalo and Peter Rabbit.

There will be sessions on how to self-publish and the chance to try some book illustration skills.

Making the announcement, Cllr Craske explained: “There is something for everyone. We have fiction and non-fiction authors coming to talk about their work alongside visits from some very special book characters and a performance of former Bexley resident Roald Dahl’s The Twits!

“All of it is either free or available for a small fee. This kind of festival is just another reason why our borough deserves to be recognised as London Borough of Culture. Winning that accolade would mean even more community events like these for residents and visitors. We just need as many people to #backthebexleybid and remember to pick up your festival programme as soon as it is available, check online and get planning!”

The programme will be available online at and in Council libraries from January.

Author and some other events will be ‘ticket only’ and spaces can be reserved either online or through a Council library once the full programme has been announced.