Community celebrates 50 years at Lillington and Longmoore Gardens

Over 200 residents enjoyed a double celebration in Pimlico on 5 July. As well as marking the 50th birthday of Lillington and Longmoore Gardens estate, a new sports pitch and community hub were officially unveiled. The high spirited event, which refused to be dampened by the weather, was officially launched by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Audrey Lewis.

The estate, managed by Westminster City Council’s housing provider CityWest Homes, has brought a disused space back to life for the community. Perched above Green Flag Award winning grounds, the space has been transformed into a sports pitch, allotments and children’s storytelling area. CityWest Homes teamed with residents, Westminster City Council and the Lillington and Longmoore Gardens Residents’ Association to bring the disused space back to life. In order to provide extra value for money, they also sought external funding from energy distributor UK Power Networks.

Throughout the afternoon, residents enjoyed a feast of activities in the new space. There was a community picnic, sports, storytellers and entertainers. An exhibition, compiled by residents, showed images of the estate from its birth in the 1960’s. Meanwhile, one of the biggest hits of the day was the allotment area. Visitors could have a taste of the good life as they sampled fruit and vegetables grown by their neighbours.

Watch a video of the event here.

The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Audrey Lewis, who officially opened the new space, said: “I am so proud to open the new sports pitch and community hub at Lillington and Longmoore Gardens, which will give residents of all ages a space to play, learn and relax right on their doorstep. From football to fertilising, storytelling to strolling, there is something for everybody in this new thriving community space.

“I would also like to wish residents and everybody involved with Lillington and Longmoore Gardens a happy 50th birthday, and I hope that the award winning estate has even more success over the next half a century.”

About Lillington and Longmoore Gardens

Lillington and Longmoore Gardens has a unique architectural pedigree. The architects, Darbourne and Darke, were chosen by Westminster City Council following a competition held in 1961. They were tasked with creating a design sensitive to the existing architecture and in particular the church of St James the Less. Darbourne and Darke used the red brick of the church as the building block for a series of advancing and receding balconies, which now stretch most of the length of Vauxhall Bridge Road.

Local residents have created an exhibition documenting the history of the estate, including photographs of its construction and the extensive damage caused to the area by the Second World War, which was part of the impetus for the new development.

Lillington and Longmoore set a new standard in the planning and style of social housing schemes, and remains a blueprint for medium-rise housing to this day.

The estate was designated a conservation area in 1990 and extended in 2012 to include Longmoore Gardens, built in a similar style by Westminster City Council architects in the 1980s.

Lillington and Longmoore Gardens was named one of the UK’s top ten council estates by Rowan Moore, architecture critic for The Observer, last year.

Photograph captions:
Main: The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Audrey Lewis (centre) takes a moment for a group picture
Image 2: Enjoying the new storytelling area
Image 3: A taste of the good life on the allotments.

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