What an illuminating visit to Herne Hill this morning!
The last time I headed to that part of south London musthave been ten years ago and the place has been rejuvenated.
A lifeless high street has been transformed into a vibrantcommunity. Dozens of market stalls selling everything from leeks tolemonade, baby gros to beef - and there was even something for the discerningvegetarian - I enoyed a delicious Indonesian curry for lunch!
The locals have worked really hard to transform HerneHill. So much so, they applied for, and won, a grant of £93,000 from theGovernment's Mary Portas Regeneration Fund - the only successful Londonapplicant out of seven nationwide.
The cash will now go towards improving the market, puttingon cultural festivals and funding more street entertainment for visitors.
As ever, the reporter's dilemma - how involved do we getin the story? Buoyed by heady mix of sunshine and fragrant aromas, Ibought some daffodils, a strawberry plant, some raisin and walnut bread andsome home-made wrapping paper - all lovingly grown, baked and made inHerne Hill.