The Lenox Project makes the news

The Lenox Project was featured on ITN a couple of weeks ago in a short item focussing on community champions – our director Julian Kingston was hailed as one for his efforts in pushing the project forward.

The interviews were filmed during our Open House event at the Master Shipwright’s House in Deptford on 17 September 2016.

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London Open House at the Master Shipwright’s House in Deptford

The Lenox Project is hosting London Open House at the Master Shipwright’s House on Saturday 17th September (10.30am to 5pm) and Sunday 18th September (10am to 2pm).

IMG_0939This is a fantastic opportunity to visit the oldest upstanding building of the Royal Dockyard at Deptford; the former home of the shipwright who designed and built the Lenox.

  • visit selected rooms of the house
  • enjoy the gardens and views of the river
  • find out about the firearms of the period and see our crew of re-enactors loading and firing them
  • meet Richard Endsor, author of The Restoration Warship and a key member of the Lenox Project core team
  • find out about current progress of the Lenox Project from our core team
  • see our restored Saker cannon and find out where it came from and how it was restored
  • support us by buying Lenox Project merchandise
  • homemade cakes and hot drinks will be on sale – with all proceeds to the Lenox Project
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Re-enactors will be loading and firing weapons of the era

The Open House website has a list of all the other buildings that are open in the area – so have a look to see what else you can visit around Deptford and Greenwich.

The Master Shipwrights House is behind the big metal gates at the river end of Watergate Street in Deptford.

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We look forward to welcoming you to one of Deptford’s hidden gems!

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Homemade cakes and hot drinks will be on sale

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Pepys estate 50th anniversary festival

On Saturday 16th July the Pepys Estate in Deptford will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, and we’ll be taking part in a special event to celebrate this milestone!

Come along to the 2000 Community Action Centre on Grove Street to join in the fun – we’ll be there with the Lenox Project from 2pm onwards.

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Friends of Nunhead Cemetery open day 21st May

A date for the diary of anyone wanting to come along and catch up with us – and visit one of London’s lesser known cemeteries at the same time!

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We are taking part in Nunhead Cemetery open day again this year; do come along to meet us as we’ll be there with our restored Saker cannon on show, and merchandise for sale!

The open day is also a fantastic excuse to visit Nunhead Cemetery and find out more about it, visit the chapel and crypt on a guided tour, wander through the leafy grounds, and support local organisations such as the Lenox Project, and Friends of Nunhead Cemetery, which is responsible for organising the event.

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Shtandart welcomes the Lenox team at the Tall Ships Festival

The Shtandart moored at Woolwich. Photo: David Graham

The Shtandart moored at Woolwich. Photo: David Graham

The Lenox team made an early visit to the Tall Ships Festival in Greenwich. A special focus of the visit was the Russian frigate Shtandart moored at Woolwich Arsenal Pier, a modern replica of a ship built by Tsar Peter the Great and one of almost 50 sailing ships visiting Greenwich.

The original Shtandart was just over a third the size of the Lenox and was the first flagship of the Imperial Russian Navy, built by Dutch shipwright Vybe Aleksandr Menshikov under the direct supervision of the Tsar. It was in commission until 1727, when it was broken up following damage during a refit. The Empress of Russia, Catherine I, ordered a replacement to be built, but this was not realised until a group of sailing enthusiasts embarked upon a project in 1994.

The new Shtandart is a remarkable achievement, having been built without the benefit of surviving historical plans. The replica has furnishings and decorative carvings copied from the original ship, as well as working cannons, but she also meets modern safety standards, although accommodation for the crew is extremely tight, but not as cramped as it would have been in the original. The original crew numbered between 120 and 150, whilst the modern crew consists of 30 trainees and 10 officers.

Shtandart @ Woolwich Lenox Project Visit LR-740

Left to right: Captain Vladimir Martus, David Graham and Julian Kingston

Lenox Project director Julian Kingston and our architectural advisor David Graham secured a private visit to the ship on Friday morning before she opened to the public, and met with the captain, Vladimir Martus, whose expertise combines that of naval architect, master shipwright and builder of the ship. We were given a warm welcome, learning first-hand the full story behind her construction sixteen years ago, and were also able to give him a detailed summary of our plans for the Lenox.

Built in 1703, the Shtandart was a contemporary of the Lenox, which was built in 1678 but remained in commission until 1756. The connection goes much further, in that the Tsar learnt about the latest in shipbuilding technology at his visit to the Royal Dockyard at Deptford in 1698, where the Lenox was the first of thirty similar ships to be built, making the Shtandart one of the first Russian ships to benefit from his visit.

The Shtandart's ornately carved bow. The carved figures are based on crew members.

The Shtandart’s ornately carved bow. The carved figures are based on crew members. Photo: David Graham

The Shtandart was constructed by a small team almost entirely by hand on wasteland outside St Petersburg. They were allowed to fell trees in the nearby forest that Peter the Great had planted for the construction of ships over 300 years previously. The only concession to modern technology was the occasional use of a chainsaw, and later her twin engines and navigation equipment. She has been successfully cruising northern waters since and regularly joins races and regattas, providing the young crew from St Petersburg with the unique experience of learning to sail a piece of history.

The Shtandart's upper gun deck with working cannons. Photo: David Graham

The Shtandart’s upper gun deck with working cannons. Photo: David Graham

Vladimir gave Julian and David much in the way of useful advice and strongly supports what the Lenox team are trying to do. We aim to maintain links with the Shtandart project and one day may see her visiting Deptford alongside the Lenox. We extend our best wishes to the Captain and crew for fair winds and calm seas.

www.shtandart.ru

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Build The Lenox skipper in Thames Jubilee Pageant

Julian Kingston, director of The Lenox Project, took part in the Thames Jubilee Pageant on 3rd June. His boat, Cathia, processed in the Lifeboat Section within the larger category of “Historic & Service” in the middle of the 1000-strong flotilla (and terrible weather!). This picture, taken from BBC coverage, shows Cathia cruising past a large lifeboat crew at Tower Bridge.

Twelve years ago, Julian – a boat builder by trade – rescued the Cathia from destruction and brought it back to his moorings in Deptford Creek. With the hull in fine condition, Julian set about rebuilding the main cabin and cockpit, and most recently he has been restoring the fore cabin and galley area to get her into shape for the pageant.

Cathia was originally a lifeboat, and like many boats of its age (it was built in 1924), it was converted to a motor cruiser in the 40s. “Adam Hart-Davies wrote a book on how to convert working boats into motor cruisers and leisure boats,” says Julian. “Standard conversions of ships like lifeboats were very cheap to do. Quite a few working boats were rehabilitated at around that time by amateur enthusiasts for whom sailing and motor cruising would otherwise have been financially prohibitive. But there are very few boats like this remaining, which makes Cathia special enough to be included in the flotilla.”

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L’Hermione gets ready to take to water

The proposal to build a replica of the Lenox was partly inspired by a similar project in France which has been under way for more than a decade. This project, to build a replica of the 18th century frigate Hermione, has now reached a crucial stage with the completed hull being revealed to the open air with the removal of the covers, and the dry dock where she was built being filled with water ready for the hull to be launched in July this year.

The town of Rochefort where the ship is being built is planning three days of festivities built around this event, which is sure to bring even more tourists to the area. For more information visit the Rochefort town council website.

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Deptford Presents… exhibition

Deptford PresentsOn the 4th of November ‘Build the Lenox’ exhibited their proposals alongside other community led projects as part of ‘Deptford Presents’ – the call for a holistic approach to the Convoys Wharf scheme fostering a real sense of place. The evening was attended by notable academics, politicians and local residents uniting in the call for a scheme that was ‘right for Deptford’.

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