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.
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!
We 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!
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.
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.
New 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.