We're a bit late saying this but we really, really enjoyed Bungo in the Back Lanes this year. It was the busiest I've ever seen the event, probably a lot to do with the amazing weather we had on the Saturday. Everywhere you looked there were large groups of people chatting, laughing and having fun while their skin turned slightly pink.
As usual the lanes were chock full of stalls selling everything from cupboard bric a brac, to homemade cakes and from old furniture to art. It was so busy we didn't even get a proper wander around. We were taking turns to man our table but it took so long to properly look at every stall we never got too far before having to return.
One of our highlights though was the Craft Mafia, who were pitched up in one garden and had some great selections of interesting local handmade goods. Our favourite things however were the amazing selections of homebaking which were spread throughout the lanes. (Who knew the Southsiders were such a baking-friendly people.) There were all kinds of stalls from local shops beautifully decorated cupcakes, to child made chocolate crispy cakes but our favourite was a delicious passion fruit sponge cake made by a couple of girls in the first main lane. They had 10+ different cakes with all kinds of amazing and unusual flavours.
The only problem with this years event was that the Council didn't grant Bungo their licence to serve alcohol - despite the event having been granted a license for the previous 12 years. We have attended Bungo in the Back Lanes for the last five years and have never seen any anti social behaviour or trouble. It's the type of event where most people will have a glass of wine and listen to Jazz or a beer and chat to their neighbours.It's just a pity that the Council decided to only give their refusal at 4pm the night before, leaving the organisers no time to work out alternative proposals. We also hear a couple of people say that the environmental health were trying to stop people selling food not prepared under commercial conditions.
We understand that these issues arose this year because the Council were more involved having provided a small amount of funding. While its great that some funding is provided to ensure the event continues it would be a tradegy if the event had to change itself too much to conform to meet its funders desires. The slightly ramshakle nature of the day with the kid produced smoothies, cakes and other items are what make the event different and special and it would be a disaster if the spirit of the event was lost.
As I mentioned we've been to Bungo in the Back Lanes many times but this was the first time we've actually been involved with a stall ourselves. Normally we spend the whole afternoon wandering the lanes, browsing the stalls and hanging out in the Big Tea Garden or the beer tent area.
However this year we organised a SSH Bungo badge hunt. We were up early that morning and with the help of Gav hid fifty little Southside Happenings cards, around the lanes, on stalls, inside items, under things, and clipped to trees, we even hide one on Gav's hat (though no one was brave enough to ask him for it). If you handed in one of these cards to our stall then we gave you one of the special blue SSH badges.
At our stall we were also selling little "I Love the Southside" + "Shop South" badges and had a massive map of the Southside onto which we asked people to mark their favourite places. People were loving the map and by the end of the day it was covered in little pins with suggestions of all kinds of great places. (We'll do another post this week sometime showing all the pins.)
Thanks to everyone that pinned on the map and to those that came up and spoke to us. The entire purpose of writing this blog is to help create the kind of fun, community spirit that Bungo in the Back Lanes embodies and getting all your feedback and kind comments makes it fun to keep doing. Congratulations to the Bungo in the Back Lanes organisers, it was a great day and we are looking forward to next year already.