Upcoming talks by our director Julian Kingston

If you want to find out more about the Lenox Project, or meet some of the people involved, please come along to one of our upcoming events in the Deptford area.

Our director Julian Kingston will be giving a talk at Deptford Does Art on Friday 2nd February as part of the celebrations linked to the return of the anchor to Deptford High Street.

Some of the films we showed at Open House are playing in the cafe of Deptford Does Art and you can find out more about the long campaign by the Deptford Society and Deptford Is Forever to bring the anchor back.

There will also be a talk on Saturday 3rd February by our sister community project Sayes Court Garden CIC, whose work with landscape architects at Greenwich University in 2016 inspired the work by Max Barnes that is currently on display in the gallery on the lower floor of DDA.

To mark the maritime theme, a small fleet of ships has been hung in DDA’s window so you can’t miss it if you are walking by!
Julian will also be giving a talk at the Brookmill Pub on Cranbrook Road on 22nd April as part of a series of fund-raising talks for the Friends of Brookmill Park group.
Tickets for this talk will be £5 on the door; proceeds go towards promotion and enhancement of the park, its wildlife, planting and amenities. For more information about this and the other talks about the local area which take place in February and March, please see the group’s Facebook page.

Friday 2nd February, 7.30pm. Deptford Does Art, 28 Deptford High Street, SE8 4AF.

Sunday 22nd April, 6.45pm. The Brookmill Pub, 65 Cranbrook Road, SE8 4EJ. Tickets £5 on the door, doors open 6.15pm.

Filming on Convoys Wharf

This week we spent two hours filming on the Convoys Wharf site courtesy of the site owner Convoys Properties Ltd. Luckily we chose the sunniest day of the year, a far cry from the grey and wet weather which seems to have been the norm for January.

The Olympia building on Convoys Wharf where shipbuilding used to take place

Director Julian Kingston talking about our future plans

Patron Dame Joan Ruddock explaining her involvement with The Lenox Project

Anna Delaney and Matt Lynch filmed interviews with our patron Dame Joan Ruddock, who has been involved in the project almost since it started, and our architectural adviser David Graham, who explained where we plan to build our visitor centre and museum on the protected wharf site.

Architectural adviser David Graham standing next to the former canal entrance at the west end of the site

These interviews will be incorporated into our short film which we will share with you as soon as it is finished!

New book about Deptford royal dockyard excavations

Museum of London Archaeology has published a book about the excavations that took place on the site of the former Deptford Royal Dockyard over the 12 year period from 2000 to 2012.

This is essential reading for all those interested in the history of Deptford’s Royal Dockyard, and indeed British shipbuilding, and is likely to become one of our recommended, must-read publications alongside our ‘project bible’ The Restoration Warship by Richard Endsor. 

For more information about the new MOLA book, by archaeologist Antony Francis, visit the link https://www.mola.org.uk/deptford-royal-dockyard-and-manor-sayes-court-london-excavations-2000–12

The Lenox Project – a short film

We are excited to announce the launch of a short film about the Lenox Project, which was made for us by two talented professionals; Matthew Lynch and Anna Delaney.

The film, which was mostly shot in and around the Master Shipwright’s House in Deptford, introduces our historian Richard Endsor and our directors Julian Kingston and Helena Russell, who explain a bit about the Lenox, the wider history of Deptford Dockyard, and a short overview of the aims of the charity.

Please feel free to share it widely on social media, and with your friends, family and colleagues to help us spread the word about our project. Publicity is just as valuable to us as donations, sometimes more!

Open House 2017

Were you one of our visitors? If so, please take a couple of minutes to fill in our feedback survey by clicking on this link. Your feedback will help us gauge our impact and improve what we do https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9FPVDXY

More than a thousand people (officially 1039) visited the Master Shipwright’s House in Deptford, south east London last weekend as part of the annual Open House event.

Our team had great fun welcoming visitors to the house and introducing lots of new recruits to the Lenox Project. Even after the gates were officially shut at 1pm on the Sunday, we let another 50 or so visitors in to enjoy the grounds while we packed away.

The house is the perfect venue at which to introduce people to the Lenox – after all, she was built in the Great Double Dock right next to the house and her spectacular launch would have taken place at the waterfront here.

For this year’s Open House we put together a series of short films and news reports about the Lenox, her sister ship the Anne, and similar replica ships such as L’Hermione and the Gothenburg, and showed these in three of the rooms in the house.

This included the debut of our new film about the Lenox which was filmed at the Master Shipwright’s House a couple of weeks ago and which we’ll be sharing online in the very near future – it’s currently being expanded with a bit of additional footage which was shot over the weekend, so watch this space for the official launch!

Once again we were supported by local firm Jones Hire, who gave us the loan of a huge tea urn free of charge to enable us to keep our visitors refreshed.

All proceeds from the tea and cake stall go directly to supporting the work of the Lenox Project, so it’s great to have local businesses who enable us to provide this, and also our fantastic volunteers who bake all the cakes that visitors enjoyed.

Thanks for all your support and we hope to see you again next year – maybe even on Convoy’s Wharf!

Finance and admin volunteers wanted!

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?

For more information, or to apply for the role, please contact us on info@buildthelenox.org

We are now registered for Gift Aid

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

For more details about donating and to download the Gift Aid form, please visit our Donations page.

Open House at the Master Shipwright’s in Deptford

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.


Nunhead Cemetery open day

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.

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