The lively Street Scenes of London

It’s high summer on Friday evening in the great, big village of London. You want some fun but you want something different. Well I suggest that you head for the streets and simply speak to strangers.

Along with friends, I’ve done this for years. It brings me laughter, surprises and a sense that anyone could be my new friend.

Hundreds of passers-by have embraced the project over the years, so now we’re holding events regularly and building a network of people to help run them. What if little street happenings were so common, you could always count on there being a street somewhere with friendly strangers set up to welcome you? Surely that would make the most of our public space and the marvellous people of this city.

So we’ll be doing it throughout the summer, listing coming events and looking for people to help us put on more.

We call the project Street Scenes. If you’re in the mood, you can see if we’re out on a given night by checking our Facebook and Twitter.

How does it work?

We simply set up a small activity on an unused patch of pavement and chat to friends and passing strangers. “A patch for you sir, or a bobble?”… “Excuse me?! Oh, ah… I see, well why not!”

Magic of the streets

There’s something special about the streets. Almost everyone, from every background and mindset, walks the streets at some point. There’s no other space like it.

Patchwork team fixes the knee with grace and good humour.

Wonderful things happen when the streets become an open meeting place for all these people — people who would otherwise never meet.

The funny things people do

When we’re out there, we keep ourselves busy with activities that bring us new acquaintances. A Street Scene can really take on any shape but we have some of our own tried and tested favourites.

From patch-work, to letter writing, they keep us entertained, but they’re also interactive and easy to share with all those passing by.

Some are classic past-times or crafts. We keenly give short classes in making origami frogs.

Patchwork, with bobbles and other extras for sewing on to garments is a big one. Drawing challenges are a favourite.

Readings too are often given to bring mystery, wisdom and fun.

Other activities are more unusual, including novel games and practices such as “hair-comb-therapy”, Blind Mate and the Guest Book.

There are so many undiscovered ways to bring strangers together.

We’re always looking for new ones so please let us know.

Blind Mate: a number of strangers from different groups of people in the park agree to be blindfolded and meet others whom they’ve never met or seen before. No preconceptions, just chatter.

Below you see the Guest Book filling up.

The Book is a diamond mix of guest house etiquette and street surprise; our kind visitors leave us blessings, news from nowhere and charmed ramblings.

A lucky white horse rides with this man who stopped for some quick patchwork.

The letter-writing table gives people the materials to write a letter to family or friends. That rare moment of putting pen to paper might just arise as you wander round town.

So long as they’re friendly and respectful, all kinds of traditional and unusual entertainments make the walkways more interesting.

An active summer of Street Scenes

This summer, our friends new and old will be dotted around London’s streets, waiting for whatever comes along. As the weather warms up, the streets are the ideal setting for evening chatter and cheer.

Come join us and find out how it works. If you have an nice idea for an activity, or any thoughts, get in touch. We’ll make the streets lively with people meeting people alongside games and good-times.

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