The conversion of the Lenox Project from a community interest company to a registered charity earlier this year was a very exciting move for us, but it also means we now have to meet much more exacting standards in our governance and financial record-keeping.
To address this, we now have two exciting opportunities for volunteers with the experience to fill key roles within the core Lenox team.
We are seeking a finance manager to develop and implement best practice in all our financial procedures, carry out day to day book keeping, manage tax returns and Gift Aid, and ensure our accounts are produced in line with the requirements of Companies House and the Charity Commission.
We are also recruiting a volunteer who will take the lead in our general administration and record keeping, organisation and minuting of meetings, and event and outreach planning. All existing members of the core team are volunteers, and all are currently involved in this work, limiting the time they can spend on strategic planning and stakeholder liaison. We need someone who can play a lead part, supporting our directors and other team members to enable them to progress the work of the charity.
Ideally we wish to recruit volunteers who already have similar experience within a charity environment, and who are able to advise and guide us in meeting our statutory requirements. Candidates will need the experience and confidence to work proactively in these roles, and to become key members of the core team.
This is a very exciting time to join the Lenox Project as we are about to publish our business plan and have just secured funding to organise a schools outreach programme in Deptford, as well as a number of free public events. We are also submitting bids for other funds so that we can expand our expertise and continue our work.
If we are going to deliver our charitable objectives we must be sure that we have a robust and well-managed team in place – can you help us to achieve this?
As a charity, the Lenox Project is eligible to claim back Gift Aid on all donations from individuals who pay tax in the UK.
We have now completed the registration process with HMRC to allow us to make claims, so if you are donating to us, and you pay tax in the UK, please download our Gift Aid form, fill it in and return it.
The donor must:
have paid at least as much in Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax in that tax year as you want to claim in Gift Aid
make a Gift Aid declaration that gives you permission to claim it
We’re delighted to announce that we will be opening up the Master Shipwright’s House again to the general public for Open House on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September.
This is a great opportunity to have a look around this really special house and its wonderfully tranquil gardens; a secret Deptford gem where the master shipwright overseeing the work in Deptford’s Royal Dockyard would have lived.
As well as getting the rare opportunity to see behind the big black gates at the end of Watergate Street, visitors will be able to meet the team behind the Lenox Project charity and its sister project Sayes Court Garden CIC.
The original Lenox was built in the double dry dock right next to the house, and you’ll be able to get an idea of exactly how big the ship was (and how big the replica will be!).
Visit our exhibition trailer and see our restored Saker cannon, or just relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
We’ll be bringing visitors up to date with our plans for the year ahead, and recruiting volunteers to join us in the next steps of getting this exciting project off the ground.
And did I mention cake…? Teas, coffees and homemade cakes will be available with all proceeds going to support the Lenox Project.
London Open House
Saturday 16 September 10am-5pm
Sunday 17 September 10am-1pm
Access is via the big black gates at the river end of Watergate Street, SE8. Nearest station is Deptford (trains from Cannon St); DLR at Deptford Bridge or Greenwich, or buses 188, 47, 199 along Creek Road.
The Lenox Project team had a very enjoyable and productive day out at Nunhead Cemetery open day, despite sharp showers making it a little damp at time. We had our Saker Cannon and exhibition trailer alongside the stall, which drew plenty of attention from visitors.
In between the rain, however, we enjoyed meeting lots of new faces and catching up with some of our long-term supporters.
We were delighted to have Dulwich Folk Choir sing a few sea shanties alongside our stall after their performance in the old chapel.
It was also a great opportunity to meet representatives of other community groups and organisations, and to see Francis Chappell’s magnificent horse-drawn hearse put through its paces.
Thanks to everyone who came along – if you signed our mailing list you’ll be receiving our next newsletter in the coming weeks; and as always, thank you very much to anyone who donated cash or purchased merchandise – your support, whether financial or otherwise, is invaluable to us.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.