Only a Day Away!

We’re excited here at the Boundary Fun Palace Makers Hub as it’s only one more day until we get to unveil our Fun Palace! We’ve had to change our plans a little bit as the weather has decided to change – there’s heavy rain forecast which will make it a bit too squelchy to be totally fun in our courtyards BUT we’re not giving up and we’re taking our fantastic Palace of Fun into St. Hilda’s.

Of course there are some things that can’t be taken inside so we’re arming ourselves with gazebos, Jenga and giant chalks so that as soon as the rain does one we’ll be out quicker than a thingy in a doodah and having a knees up!

Here’s our revised programme.

See you on Saturday x


Only a Few Days Left…

As proud residents we wanted to bring history, gardening, music, art, craft, puppets, games and sport right into the heart of the Boundary Estate, so that’s what we’ve done. There are wonderful contributors and a brilliant group of volunteers ready for next Saturday, October 1st, when the courtyards and St. Hilda’s East will become a fantastic Fun Palace open to everyone with a whole host of free activities. Come along – our programme is bound to have something to interest you!

    It’s not too late to help us make our Fun Palace – if you want to volunteer or share your skills please get in touch.

    We look foward to seeing you!

    Ooh – Not Long Now!

    Hello all! Sorry it’s been such a long time since we’ve updated you all on the plans for the Boundary Estate’s very own Fun Palace here on our blog, but there’s been a lot going on behind the scenes to make sure that we make the very best Fun Palace for our neighbours and the local community. We’ve updated the What’s On page so if you want to cut the drivel and get down to the nitty-gritty click here.

    Our Fun Palace wouldn’t be possible without the agreement of Tower Hamlets Homes who have trusted residents to make their own Fun Palace, and the help, support and trust of St. Hilda’s who are allowing us to use all of their public spaces as we wish and without any charge. Still there are expenses to be met – especially as we’ve aimed high and are covering three courtyards, the sports court and five rooms in St. Hilda’s. We’ve raised money with a screening of Wendy Richardson’s wonderful new documentary about Joan Littlewood, ‘In the Company of Joan’. Joan was an incredibly talented and successful theatre and film producer who, with Cedric Price, first thought of creating a Fun Palace. She was an inspirational figure who deserves much more recognition, and thanks to the incredible folk who thought of reinventing the idea of a Fun Palace as Fun Palaces she may finally be recognised as the inspirational figure she was by many more people. The event at Rich Mix, which we co-hosted with the East End Women’s Museum, was a great success and raised £313 to be shared between us. We’ve also been given grants by Tower Hamlets Homes and Veolia UK which have helped us create what we hope will be an amazing day for everyone. We’ve also had a huge amount of support from Mears Group, Tower Hamlets Community Payback Team, and Veolia, all of whom have been helping us with advice and recruiting volunteers.

    Equally important and amazing is the response to our requests for people to take part in our Fun Palace. People seem to love the Fun Palaces idea and the vast majority are taking part with no charge to us, and we are incredibly grateful to them for their generosity in sharing their time and skills.

    Talking as we were of Joan Littlewood we’re really pleased to say that there are two wonderful links with her at our Fun Palace – one of our contributors Dan Jones’ parents were friends of hers, and Brick Lane Bookshop – which started as Tower Hamlets Arts Project, itself a very Joan Littlewood inspired project – is run by Dan’s wife Denise and will be running a bookstall in St. Hilda’s.

    Latest News…

    It’s only six weeks until the Boundary Estate Fun Palace takes place and we’re talking with contributors and planning to make sure our fellow residents and the neighbourhood have a really great day. We were absolutely delighted to hear that we’ve got funding from Tower Hamlets Homes ‘Inspiring Communities’ fund to help us with expenses for items such as printing and materials which will help us enormously.

    We’ve just added a new What’s On page to let you know what’s planned for the day, and it will be regularly updated as we get more people and organisations confirmed so check in regularly.

    If you are an artist, crafts person or musician and want to share your skills, if you want to make a cake for the Tea Shop or if you want to donate any materials please get in touch – this is your community Fun Palace.

    Don’t forget to reserve your seat for our free documentary screening ‘In the Company of Joan‘ at Rich Mix on Monday 12th September. A collection will be made for our Fun Palace and the East End Women’s Museum.


    8 Weeks To Go – Our Plans

    Our Fun Palace will be taking place on 1st October across the historic Boundary Estate’s courtyards and in St. Hilda’s East Community Centre. There will be a Community Knowledge courtyard where community groups can share their local knowledge and skills from a market style area, and where talks and workshops will be held beside a venerable old tree, a Growers Space will have stalls, talks and workshops on flower, fruits and vegetable growing. In the Games Zone there’ll be a chance to play and learn carrom, chess and draughts, share traditional outdoor and playground games, listen to stories and watch a puppet show. Vallance FC will be organising various trials and matches in the sports court. In St. Hilda’s there will be wide range of talks and activities ranging from learning about local history and science, singing, workshops with a trained pastry chef and crafts experts, there’ll be two food areas serving refreshments, lunches and tea and cakes, and a stall selling all manner of books based on the east end.

    We are still looking for people to help us make the Fun Palace so if you are, or you know, computer coders, musicians, storytellers or puppeteers who would be prepared to give some time to us please get in touch. We would also like to borrow gazebos, trestle tables, deckchairs, folding tables and folding chairs for chess, draughts and carrom. If you can help with any of this, or you’d like help make the Boundary Estate Fun Palace, please email

    Illustration: Emily Medley

    Don’t forget that we’re showing Wendy Richardson’s documentary ‘In the Company of Joan’ at Rich Mix on Monday 12 September to help raise funds for our Fun Palace and the East End Women’s Museum. Find out more here.

    We’re still in the process of planning for 1st October, we’ve got meetings pencilled in to finalise some plans and are waiting to hear from some possible participants, but here’s the line up so far…

    Individual Participants:

    Polly George – Pottery Workshops

    Dan Jones – Art Workshop

    Roger Mills – Writing Workshop

    Heather Ridley-Moran – Fabric & Wool Crafts Workshop

    Deb Scott – Print Making

    Nadia Valman – ‘A Child of the Jago’ Walk & Talk

    Tower Hamlets Wheelers – Cycle advice, maintenance and fun.

    Vallance FC – Sports trials and matches

    Women’s Environmental Network – Vegetable and flower growing workshops and advice.

    Libraries, Museums and Universities:

    Bishopsgate Institute – Event to be confirmed

    East-End Women’s Museum – East-End Suffragettes Talk

    London Metropolitan Archives – Event to be confirmed

    Queen Mary University of London – Event to be confirmed

    Community Supporters:

    Boundary Estate Community Launderette

    Film Office

    London Borough of Tower Hamlets – Community Payback & Volunteering

    Rich Mix

    Tower Hamlets Homes

    Local Business Supporters:

    Albion & Boundary

    Brick Lane Bookshop


    Illustration: Emily Medley


    Joan Littlewood Documentary Screening – 12th September

    East End Women’s Museum and Boundary Estate Fun Palace are pleased to present ‘In the Company of Joan‘ at Rich Mix on Monday 12th September at 7.30pm.

    In the company of Joan Logo - credit Wendy Richardson

    The documentary will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s director, Wendy Richardson, and special guests who knew and worked with Joan Littlewood.

    Wendy Richardson’s wonderful documentary takes a look at the influence theatre director Joan Littlewood had on working class actors and audiences alike. It covers her early days touring Northern communities with Ewan McColl through to the Theatre Royal Stratford East years, and the work with young people in the East End of London.

    Joan Littlewood photo credit PA

    Tickets are free with donations at the event for East End Women’s Museum  and Boundary Estate Fun Palace, many thanks to Rich Mix for their support in enabling this event to take place. Reserve your seats here!

    Boundary Estate Fun Palace will take place on 1st October and is part of the nationwide Fun Palaces weekend on 1st & 2nd October.



    Working Towards a Great Day!…

    It’s only 11 weeks – less than 3 months – until this year’s Fun Palaces weekend, and we’re working hard to make sure the Boundary Estate Fun Palace is something the whole community will want to be part of. We really do have something for everyone and we’re still talking with people who are interested in taking part.

    Here’s what we have planned so far…

    Across at least four Boundary Estate courtyards and in St. Hilda’s East Community Centre there will be events going on from 10am until 6pm on Saturday 1st. October. All events will be free, and all places being used will be wheelchair accessible.

    In St. Hilda’s there will be refreshments for sale throughout the day – we hope some of the community groups who use St. Hilda’s will prepare dishes from around the world and there’ll be a tea room with home-made cakes and biscuits.

    There will be a number of arts workshops where you’ll be able to try your hand at pottery with Polly George, portrait making with Dan Jones or printmaking with Deb Scott, and talk about writing with Roger Mills, a creative writing tutor. Tower Hamlets Sings will be holding singing workshops and we hope that enough people will take part so that a Boundary Fun Palace choir can sing us to a close on the day! Cycling enthusiasts will be able to learn the basics of bicycle care with Tower Hamlets Wheelers.

    London Metropolitan Archives will be holding local history workshops where you’ll be able to find out the real history of the Old Nichol and the Boundary Estate as well as pointers to finding out how to track down your family history. Stefan Dickers of Bishopsgate Institute will be talking about some of the famous photographs of the east-end held by the Bishopsgate Library Archives and sharing the secrets of taking photos that will provide interest and clues to historians of the future. The Cable Street Group will be on hand to talk about the Battle of Cable Street whose 80th anniversary is on 4th October.

    We’re talking with Queen Mary University and we hope there’ll be eye-opening and thought provoking science workshops and talks from some of their team – keep your eyes peeled for more information on this before too long!

    Plus there will be stalls providing information on all manner of community groups and organisations.


    We’re still getting offers from people who want to share their skills, from knitters and stitchers to cooks and gardeners. If you want to take part as a contributor or a Fun Palace Maker please get in touch – we’ll need lots of help getting ready for the day and on the day itself.

    So far we’ve had great help and support from St. Hilda’s East, Boundary Community Launderette, Tower Hamlets Homes, Tower Hamlets Council Community Payback & Volunteers team, Rich Mix, Brick Lane Bookshop.

    We are looking for…

    A good value and dependable printing company, funding, volunteers – if you can help please let us know. (Oh – and we want great weather at all Fun Palace venues please!)

    We’ll be blogging again soon.



    A Quick Update…

    It’s been a while since we last blogged but we’ve been busy listening to what people on the Boundary want at their Fun Palace, and we’ve already managed to get some great people, groups and organisations on board to help make our estate the place to be and create some superb experiences we’ll all be talking about long after the event. October 1st seems a long way off but we’ve got some great locations and live right in the middle of an arts and sciences powerhouse so we need to make the most of the time to make our Fun Palace brilliant!

    Already we’ve got quite a few things confirmed. Local artist Dan Jones will be sharing his skills and energy to get people drawing, painting and making portraits – even if they’ve never done it before, whilst Wapping potter Polly George will be making ceramicists out of everyone who wants to turn their hand to throwing clay. Cable Street writer Roger Mills will make words flow with ease as he shares the tricks of the trade with style and humour, and If you’ve ever wanted to turn your hand to printing Deb Scott will guide you through the basics.

    Stef Dickers of the Bishopsgate Institute will be sharing his unrivalled local historical knowledge and show how to make a visual record of the ever-changing local landscape through photography. The Cable Street Group will be on hand to share their knowledge on the history of the ‘Battle of Cable Street’ whose 80th anniversary falls just a few days after the Fun Palace and will be commemorated at a major event on 9th October. We’ll also be joined be the London Metropolitan Archives who hold a huge amount of fantastic records of history of the Boundary Estate, Britain’s first planned council estate, and the truth about the now infamous Old Nichol it was built on.

    There’ll be the chance to stretch your vocal cords and find your voice with Tower Hamlets Sing – even if you think you’re not the singing sort. The Women’s Environment Network will share tips on gardening, growing and making the most of our surroundings, and Tower Hamlets Wheelers will be showing how to get the best out of your bike.

    Phew! But we’ve only just started…

    We’d love to hear from you and find out what you want at your Fun Palace. We’re talking to many other people at local arts groups, cookery clubs, music groups, drama clubs, gardening groups, science organisations and sports clubs. Join in, be a Fun Palace maker with us, anyone who lives on or near the Boundary Estate is welcome. You can email us, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, links are on the right of the page.

    Tower Hamlets Homes are letting us use the courtyards, we’re taking over St. Hilda’s and Tower Hamlets Council are helping us find volunteers to make sure the day runs smoothly. The brilliant folk at Rich Mix are letting us have use of the main venue space for an evening in September- we’ll keep you posted on what we’ll be doing there!

    Illustration by Emily Medley


    What Would YOU Like?

    Fun Palaces is not just about what will be happening in October, it’s about coming together to create, to celebrate who we are, what we do, the unique Boundary Estate and the brilliant community who lives here. There will events throughout the year leading up to 1st October and we really want you to be involved in deciding what sort of things will be in our Fun Palace; what will fill the courtyards, the playground and sports court; the cafes, halls and meeting rooms of St. Hilda’s East. Below are some ideas to whet your appetite with some photos of our wonderful estate. Tell us what sort of things you’d like to see and do.

    We’ll turn the estate into a place full of interest and fun for all ages and all tastes.

    We now have a small steering group of four local residents – Sabreen Ahmed, Holly Bremner, Philip Green and Kamal Uddin – plus Maya Kumagai-Jones of St. Hilda’s East and Cllr. John Pierce. We hope more residents will join in and help make our Fun Palace, so whatever your interests, skills or experience if you’re interested in helping please get in touch. It’s going to be a community organised and run event, and at Fun Palaces everyone’s an artist, everyone’s a scientist!

    Take a little time to daydream, ponder the possibilities and think what you’d like to see, do or find out about…
    …gardening advice, a plant and seed swap in the courtyard of Shiplake House ?
    …an arts, crafts & handmade market village in the courtyard of Abingdon & Benson Houses?
    …hopscotch, grandma’s footsteps & puppets in Hedsor & Laleham courtyard?
    …Robotics in Cookham Courtyard?
    …volcano making in Sunbury & Taplow courtyard?
    …sports of all sorts in the sports court?
    …history workshops, computer coding, carom games, chess tournaments, planet-making, pottery throwing, drawing classes, a world food cafe and an English Tearoom in St. Hilda’s?
    …Boundary Estate history walks?
    P3061457 (2).JPG
    …and quiet spaces to just be.

    It’s all possible at the Boundary Estate Fun Palace!