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

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.

Lenox Open House draws nearly a thousand visitors

The London Open House event hosted by the Lenox Project at the Master Shipwright’s House in Deptford was a great success, with 962 visitors welcomed to the venue over the two-day opening.

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Lenox Project volunteers worked with the owners of the Master Shipwright’s House to host the event as part of London Open House on 17th and 18th of September, having spent the previous weekend tidying up the grounds, baking cakes, designing and ordering merchandise and flyers and making sure everything was in place to give our visitors a great Deptford welcome!

img_0032smallimg_0050a-copy img_0076-copyWe were delighted to have historical re-enactor Jim Evans and his crew on site for both days, entertaining our visitors with some very loud bangs from weaponry of the period, not to mention demonstrations of hand-to-hand fighting, story-telling and even bouts of carousing in drunken-sailor style!

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Stalls selling tea & cakes and our unique merchandise were staffed by our team of volunteers on the day, including our patron Dame Joan Ruddock, and we provided flyers with information about the history of the Master Shipwright’s House for those wanting to know more.

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Our director Julian Kingston and historian Richard Endsor, who were in period costume, spent the weekend telling visitors about our ambitious plans and explaining the history of Deptford’s dockyard, the Lenox and our restored Saker cannon.

img_7814New for this event were the ‘bow’ and ‘stern’ posts which was Jon’s idea, put together by him and Julian so that we could show visitors the size that our exact replica will be. Richard is standing next to the bow post in this photo – the stern post is by the riverside in the very far distance and barely visible!

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We even had a film crew present on the Saturday, interviewing Dame Joan and Julian about the project, both for a short item which was shown on ITN London News last week (we hope to be able to post the clip in due course) and also for a documentary which is in production.

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To top off the entertainment, we had vessels sailing past on the river as part of Royal Greenwich’s Tall Ships 2016 event, which were also popular with our visitors.

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We were delighted to welcome so many visitors to enjoy the house and grounds, find out about the project, and support us by buying merchandise and signing up to our mailing list. And while events in the grounds kept people entertained, the star turn was still the house.

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Special thanks go to the local businesses who supported us – Lush Designs which is based in Cockpit Arts in Deptford kindly allows us to sell their Lenox tea towels to raise funds for the project, and Jones Hire in Creekside, was happy to loan us a huge tea urn free of charge for the weekend.

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In turn our team was happy to support another local business – the Dog & Bell pub – where we repaired for a restorative drink or two after a hard day’s work.

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