Celebrations planned to mark the Battle of Medway

The Battle of Medway, also known as ‘The Dutch Raid’, and in Holland ‘Tocht naar Chatham’ (The Battle of Chatham) – when the River Medway was engulfed in flames – marked one of the greatest disasters in England’s naval history. It was also the event that prompted the investment that funded development of the new English naval fleet, the first of which to be built was the Lenox!

In June 1667, the Dutch fleet sailed up the River Medway and caught the English unprepared. This daring invasion brought the Second Anglo-Dutch War to an end.
Under Lieutenant Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, the Dutch captured the fort at Sheerness before entering the River Medway to attack the English fleet at Chatham. They broke through the defensive chain and, despite fire from Upnor Castle, towed away the Royal Charles, England’s flagship and burned a number of ships. To prevent their capture and block the channel, the Royal Navy sank around 30 of its largest ships.

Although the dockyard was spared by the arrival of troops and artillery, the attack was nevertheless a humiliating defeat for the English. In Holland, the action marked the highpoint of the Dutch Golden Age.

Despite proving to be a crushing loss for the English, the Dutch Raid heralded the start of a period of great financial investment in the English naval fleet and as a result, led to it becoming the most powerful in the world, for generations to come.

Find out more about the events that are planned on Medway Council’s website 

Come and meet us at Nunhead Cemetery open day

The Lenox Project team will be present at the Nunhead Cemetery open day on Saturday 20th May from 11am till 5pm – why not come along and meet us and find out more about the project?

The open day, which is organised by the Friends of Nunhead Cemetery is also a great opportunity to visit one of London’s least-known cemetery and to have a guided tour of the crypt, which is rarely open to the public.

There are demonstrations, performances and tours throughout the day, and lots of stalls run by local organisations and charities such as our own. Homemade refreshments are on sale and entry to the cemetery is free.

Tall Ships festival 2017

Thanks to everyone who came along to visit The Lenox Project last weekend during the Tall Ships festival. We may not have been at the heart of the action in Greenwich or Woolwich but we were closer to our future home at Convoys Wharf and we had a good view of the river nevertheless.

We were delighted to say hello to all our old friends and make lots of new ones over the two days we were there, and as always it was exciting to hear all your positive feedback about the Lenox Project and our plans for the site.

Thanks to your generosity in the way of donations and merchandise purchases, we have been able to add more than £200 to our funds, which will be very helpful in covering our costs over the coming months.

Visit us at the Tall Ships festival!

Easter weekend sees the return of the Tall Ships Festival to Greenwich and Woolwich, and the Lenox Project will be participating at the event on Saturday 15th April and Sunday 16th April.

More than 30 tall ships will be moored along the river from Deptford Creek to Greenwich, and in Woolwich as well. You can visit the moored vessels and also buy tickets for a river cruise on selected ships. There will be festival villages along the riverside at the two main locations, and music and events at other locations, including a stage outside Waitrose on New Capital Quay. Four of the tall ships will be moored on the river right next to us, so it should be a great photo opportunity!

We’ll be bringing our exhibition trailer and cannon to the riverside just behind the Sail Loft, so you can drop by on your way to Greenwich. On Sunday the huge Parade of Sail will start from the mouth of Deptford Creek as the ships set off on the first leg of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta from the UK to Canada, so we expect to have a stunning view of the start of this magnificent event.

From our stall there will be a great view of Convoys Wharf, our future home, so if you aren’t quite sure how we fit into the Thames riverside do come along and we’ll be able to show you!

We’ll also have merchandise on sale and we’ll be able to update you on our latest progress.

Saturday 11am till 6pm on Saturday: Sunday 11am till 5pm

London mayors visit Deptford

Lenox Project director Julian Kingston welcomed a group of London mayors, consorts and   council officials to the Master Shipwrights House in Deptford, on a visit hosted by Lewisham chair of council Cllr Obajimi Adefiranye this week.

Cllr Adefiranye and his guests arriving at the Master Shipwright’s House

Julian told the visitors about our plans, setting the Lenox in the historical context of the former shipwright’s house on Watergate Street, and the double dry dock where the ship was originally built, and which still remains below the buildings on the site next door.

Julian uses the Thomas Milton map of Deptford’s Royal Dockyard to explain the context of the house and of the Lenox

The guests also visited St Nicholas’ Church and the Laban Centre, and ended up at Lewisham & Southwark College where they enjoyed a lunch which was prepared and served by the college’s catering students.

The Lenox Project achieves charitable status

We are delighted to announce that the Lenox Project has successfully completed the process of converting from community interest company status to a fully-fledged charity.

This means that the Charities Commission is satisfied that our organisation exists for charitable purposes, and that these purposes are for the benefit of the public.

As well as giving potential funders and donors the confidence that their money will be used properly, having charitable status will also give us access to a wider range of grants and other funding sources.

The objects of the charity are the advancement of education for the public benefit in ship building and restoration, marine and maritime heritage by:

a) building a replica of the Lenox, a restoration warship, at Convoys Wharf in Deptford and
repairing and building other culturally or historically significant vessels in the future;
b) increasing public understanding and awareness of the history of Deptford, the Royal
Dockyard, and the area’s contribution to the development of shipbuilding;
c) promoting educational, teaching and employment opportunities through a maritime and
manufacturing skills and training programme, and related apprenticeship programmes;
d) establishing a centre of excellence for historic shipbuilding and restoration in Deptford; and
e) launching and sailing the Lenox to support a future programme of sail training.

Focus Consultants appointed to develop Lenox Project business plan

The Lenox Project has appointed specialist Focus Consultants to work with us on developing our first business plan, which is due to be completed later this year. Focus will also assist us in preparing funding applications for the next phase of work.

Focus are national market leaders in developing and delivering award-winning heritage projects and the firm has a track record covering tourist attractions, castles, scheduled ancient monuments, and listed buildings.

Consequently they are well placed to understand the significance of Deptford’s maritime heritage and the conditions necessary to deliver a successful, sustainable project. Their expertise ranges from business planning, economic impact assessments and conservation plans through to capital project management, delivery, interpretation and exhibition development.

Some of the projects the firm has worked on include Sea City Museum in Southampton’s cultural quarter; the M.33 National Museum of the Royal Navy; HMS Belfast; Boathouse 4 and the Transforming D-Day Museum, both in Portsmouth.

Live in Evelyn Ward? The Lenox Project needs your vote!

We’re delighted to announce that our bid for funding for outreach to local schools in Deptford has successfully passed the first stage of the Evelyn Assembly application process. We will be presenting our plans to the Evelyn Assembly on Saturday 21st January, and inviting residents to vote for us!

We want funding so we can train young people aged 16-18 as our ‘young explainers’, giving them the skills to go into primary schools in supervised sessions to teach younger children about Deptford’s maritime history.

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We absolutely love this idea because it would enable us to reach two different age groups in a single hit, and also because it is not just about bringing history to life, it will also deliver valuable training, skills and experience to young people, which could assist them in getting a job or moving into further education.

Our plan is to recruit 20 volunteers from local secondary schools and youth programmes, and train them through a series of workshops to deliver the outreach. They would also develop the ideas and materials needed for the primary school sessions.

We intend to deliver these sessions to four primary schools in Evelyn Ward:

  • Deptford Park
  • Sir Francis Drake
  • Grinling Gibbons
  • St Joseph’s

The Lenox Project has teamed up with local company Refinery Productions, which organises the annual science festival Smashfest UK, at the Albany, to bid for the funding. If we are successful, Refinery Productions will deliver the training and outreach through its own well-established ‘young explainers’ programme – so we will also be providing employment to local people and supporting a local business. Refinery Productions already works with all these local schools so has the contacts and arrangements in place to assist in setting up the sessions.

Anyone who lives, works or studies in Evelyn Ward, and who is 14 or over, is eligible to vote. Not sure if you’re in Evelyn Ward? Click here to see a map of the ward boundaries.

If you are eligible to vote please come along to the assembly before 12.45 – you need to allow enough time to find out about all the projects that are competing for funds, and enough time to cast your vote.

Evelyn Assembly takes place at the Lewington Centre, 9 Eugenia Road, SE16 2RU

Saturday 21st January, 12-2pm

Nearest stations: South Bermondsey/Surrey Quays

Click here to download the flyer

The Lenox Project joins the Association of Independent Museums

We are delighted to announce that the Lenox Project’s application to join the Association of Independent Museums has been accepted.

aim-certAIM is a national charitable organisation which connects, supports and represents independent museums, galleries and other organisations.

It provides a network for the independent sector, based on mutuality and sharing of expertise and its membership ranges from voluntarily-run community organisations to some of the largest museums in the country, including historic houses, heritage organisations, ships, historic railways, etc, as well as museum consultants and commercial suppliers. The association also regularly publish national research reports into the independent museums sector and actively lobbies central government on issues such as Gift Aid and VAT.

For more information, visit http://www.aim-museums.co.uk