Saturday 14th July saw Lockner’s tenth annual Big Lockner Lunch. Our very first Big Lunch started in 2009 with a few neighbours and a home-made picnic on some estate greenspace, talking and sharing together for the first time. The Big Lunch has grown every year since and is now the event of the year that we all look forward to the most. Our lunches have been used many times as a National Case study by the Eden Project who started the Big Lunch Initiative eleven years ago, last year ending up as a 3D model of the Lockner Big Lunch at their Westfields Pop up event. The perfect example of a thriving, strong community in action.
This year we celebrated in the Red Park of Lockner, and had over 100 residents laughing, eating and drinking, playing and dancing together in the sunshine.
Food took centre stage this year, with delicious tastes from all around the world being tasted and enjoyed.
Lorenzo stole the show again with his infamous jerk chicken, the smell of the BBQ coals and spices warming the air; this year we managed to get through over 80 kilos of chicken, I kid you not. Happy people were pictured all day, plate in hand eagerly awaiting another serving. Pat welcomed everyone warmly into her garden where she had rice, curry, plantain, coleslaw, macaroni and Southern fried chicken, and some of our newest neighbours Marcos and his beautiful family from Brazil spoiled us with Churrasco de curacao and steak fresh off the grill on his doorstep.
Talented baker Katie at @cakeordeathldn treated us all to vegan baked delights that literally disappeared within ten minutes of us opening the boxes; Lemon and passion fruit curd cake, carrot cake with vanilla icing, the best sea salt chocolate brownies I have ever eaten in my life, and peanut and chocolate cookies. Pip served us a spinach and feta bake (to balance out all that MEAT!), and the Wonderlings kept us all cool with salads and ice pops.
For the children we had Nathan @theonlywayismarbz who thrilled the little ones with superhero, unicorn and creature face paints and Abi and her sister made schldren and adults alike sparkle all afternoon with glitter tattoos. Tony at Commander Fit Kids was literally the Bouncer at the Bouncy castle giving Lockners little ones the perfect place to burn off some energy under his watchful eye.
Dan Rosen from DeBeauvoir ran a fantastic Dr Bike Clinic, fixing and sprucing up everyone’s bikes and didn’t stop all afternoon in the playground as DJ Juba charmed us all with his tunes, neighbours from every demographic wiggling their hips and smiling along with the music long after the event officially ended, and into the night.
There were more Lockner merchandise giveaways this year and we splashed out on some very hipster organic and ethically sourced cotton aprons and deluxe tote bags from @bagitdontbinit meaning everyone went home with a gift to remember the day by, we can enjoy bumping into neighbours sporting the bags around Hackney in the days to come.
Our friendly neighbourhood policing team popped in to enjoy some community spirit and some delicious food and could be seen laughing with residents and swaying to the music; plate of well-deserved Jerk in their hands!
Irie Feather @zuzatehanu and her Fire Show took centre stage in the playground with her daring fire eating (screams from Lockner’s children, don’t try that at home, kids) and fire breathing.
The Big Lockner Lunch makes us all feel so lucky to live here on Lockner, it’s a rare gem in London, a place where community is strong, and people look out for each other and friendships flourish. A place where our children can play out, under the watchful eyes of parents nursing mugs of tea (or wine!) together.
A big thank you to the Resident participation team at Hackney Council who provide us with a grant to fund not just our Big Lunch, for to estates throughout Hackney to do the same.
And a huge thank you to everyone who came to celebrate life on Lockner yesterday and making it feel so warm and special.
See you all next year!