Where do you go to get a bandstand? The Clapham Common bandstand looks an awful lot like a pair of bandstands that once stood in South Kensington Gardens… and there’s a good reason for that.
When South Kensington Gardens closed in the 1870s, its two bandstands were sold to Peckham Rye and Southwark Park – which already had a bandstand, so that one was uprooted and sent to Plumstead. And in the 1890s, when Clapham Common wanted a bandstand of its own, they decided to copy the South Kensington design.
Then came World War II, and the two originals were destroyed, leaving only the replica in place… until Southwark Park rebuilt their version, basing it on the Clapham Common replica that had been copied from them in the first place!
Our bandstand withstood the test of time, right up until the 1960s when it began to succumb to the inevitability of old age and the prospect of a long, slow drawn-own demise. Other than for the odd lick of paint it was abandoned to the mercy of the elements, and by the turn of the new millennium it was rusting and crumbling, strewn with graffiti and used only by pigeons.
Fortunately in 2003 the Clapham Society combined with the Friends of Clapham Common to persuade the London Borough of Lambeth to embark upon a rescue campaign and, supported by a hefty grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as a not inconsequential contribution from the local community itself it was restored to something like its former glory.
Happily the bandstand is now in use again and when it is in use it boasts an excellent café, which is a wonderful place to be when the sun is shining, the music is playing and you are in the mood for an enjoyable cup of coffee and a cake.
When you are in the mood for a pizza however you need not travel very far. For just along the road is the famed Eco Restaurant, recognised as one of the very best of the Clapham Old Town restaurants.
Our pizzas, of course, don’t look like anything you might find in Kensington or Peckham Rye. Whatever appeals to you when perusing our menu, at our Clapham restaurant you will find only the original versions every time.