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?
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…and quiet spaces to just be.

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

It’s Official!

Fun Palaces registration opened on Monday and the Boundary Fun Palace was one of the first to be registered, so we’re now on the Fun Palaces map and have our own page on the official Fun Palaces website. The Boundary Estate Fun Palace is on the way!

A small steering committee has been set up to get our Fun Palace off the ground and we’ll introduce them to you all very soon. If you want to help us make the Fun Palace we’d love to have you on board so please email boundaryfunpalace@gmail.com – whatever your skills, interests or experience. Remember at Fun Palaces everyone’s an artist, everyone’s a scientist!

Although we’ve only been officially part of the Fun Palaces family for less than a week we’ve been really busy. We’re working very closely with St. Hilda’s who are going to open their doors to Boundary Estate’s Fun Palace, which means that we’ll be holding fun events, fundraising and holding meetings there in the run up to the main event in October. Rich Mix is supporting the Boundary Fun Palace too, and have kindly and generously offered us use if the main space and and exhibition space later in the year. We’re planning to hold a fundraising event for the Fun Palace and, in conjunction with the Bishopsgate Library, an exhibition about the Boundary Estate. The well known local artist and human human rights activist Dan Jones will be helping us too, he’s a great banner maker, mask maker and collector of rhymes and stories, amongst many things, so it will be exciting to see what he brings to our Fun Palace. We’re also in touch with the City of London Libraries, Queen Mary College sciences faculty, Stemettes, local organisations, community groups and schools. Our Fun Palace looks very exciting already and it’s very early days! If you have any ideas, are involved in the arts, sciences or sports, local groups or schools and are interested in getting involved then please get in touch with us, we’d love to hear from you.

We’re starting to make contact with local businesses too and already have been offered support by Peter Prescott and the team at Boundary & Albion. As ever the Boundary Estate Community Launderette has stepped up to the plate and met the cost of leaflet printing. If you run business or organisation on or near the Boundary Estate and would like to offer us support please let us know.

You won’t have to wait until October before getting a taste of  what Fun Palaces are. We’re looking at holding an event in May – we’re on Facebook and Twitter  @palace_fun – as well as here and the Fun Palace site so there are lots of ways to stay connected with us.

Finally we once again want to say a huge thank you to Maya and the team at St. Hilda’s and Councillor John Pierce  for their confidence and keen interest in the Fun Palaces idea, we couldn’t have done this without them. Huge thanks too to Susmita Sen, Chief Executive of Tower Hamlets Homes, in agreeing to trust residents to organise and run a Fun Palace in the courtyards and public spaces of the Boundary Estate.



Want to Join In?

We’re getting ready for the meeting on Thursday 18th February, 7pm, at St. Hilda’s East Community Centre, 18 Club Row, E2. Everyone who lives and works on the Boundary Estate is welcome, the Fun Palace will be a community event organised by residents. Before the meeting we thought you’d like to know something about Fun Palaces and what could be possible at our Fun Palace. If you don’t fancy reading everything below, take a look at the brilliant Fun Palaces films under the heading What Sort of Things Could We Do?

Fun Palace comic strip1
Made Using Fun Palaces Comic Maker


What are Fun Palaces?

In short they are whatever local communities hosting the Fun Palace decide they  want – but here’s a fuller and much better explanation by the brilliant people at Fun Palaces HQ:

Fun Palaces are about creating and making together: they are a space where arts and sciences, fun and learning meet, working alongside and working together. They are as much about getting together to do something in your community, as they are about what it turns into on the weekend itself.

You can make or join a Fun Palace in whatever way best suits you and your neighbours; with play, experiments, stories and discovery. High art and hard science are as welcome as the fun and the games.

Each Fun Palace is unique, self-generating, self-supporting and local. Some may just be moments, some last the whole weekend.

In the 2014 Fun Palaces weekend on 4/5 October there were Fun Palaces in theatres, gardens, tents, woodlands, shops, car parks, schools, libraries, swimming pools, public squares, town halls and dozens of other venues. They were made in 138 community locations, by 3183 people, many of whom had never before created a public event, and over 40,000 people took part.

In the 2015 weekend on 3/4 October there were 142 Fun Palaces in all four British nations, as well as other countries, led by approx 2500 Fun Palaces Makers, with over 50,000 participants.

Fun Palaces is an ongoing campaign for culture at the heart of every community, with participation led by, for and with local people.

Fun Palaces 2016 dates are 1st & 2nd October. Anyone and everyone – anywhere –  is welcome to make a Fun Palace.

The principles are that each Fun Palace is Free, Local, Innovative, Transformative and Engaging. By creating them together, right where we live, we can make a huge shout for culture at the heart of all our communities – benefiting both from an ongoing campaign and the wider impact of simultaneous action.

Why a Fun Palace on the Boundary Estate?

The Boundary Estate is incredibly special, it’s Britain’s first planned council estate and has large courtyards, gardens and play areas that are ideal for holding Fun Palace events, plus we have wonderful St. Hilda’s Community Centre at the heart of the estate which has cafe spaces, rooms and toilet facilities that are all fully accessible and available for us to use as part of our Fun Palace.

A Fun Palace is a great way of bringing everyone together. With the stresses and strains of everyday life making getting to know your neighbours not as easy as it should be Fun Palaces are a great way of meeting people, talking and getting to know your neighbours whilst having fun.

Who Will Organise It?

The Boundary Estate Fun Palace will be organised and run by residents, and the idea came from a resident who visited some of the Lambeth Libraries Fun Palaces in 2015 who thought it would be brilliant if the Boundary Estate community hosted a Fun Palace in 2016.

There’s already been a little work done, setting up this blog site, Facebook and Twitter pages and checking there’d be spaces for the Fun Palace to take place. St. Hilda’s Community Centre totally support the Fun Palace and have offered the use of the centre for the event. Susmita Sen, Chief Executive of Tower Hamlets Homes, is supportive of a Fun Palace on the estate and will help with a small amount of funding which will help make other fundraising a little easier. Our local councillor John Pierce has been for the idea since he was first approached and will do all he can to help. Contact has also been made with Tower Hamlets Council, Queen Mary University Outreach Team, Bishopsgate Library, the Women’s Environmental Network, Stemettes, City of London Libraries and local businesses all of whom are interested in supporting the Boundary Estate Fun Palace in various ways.

What Sort of Things Could We Do?

That depends on the ideas people have, there’s no set rule. Obviously we have to think about the limits of money and the locations but we could do anything – science experiments, make things, play sports, sing, play instruments, find out about local history, gardening and cooking, for example. Anything!  If you’ve got skills you want to share, if you want to help or if you just want to come along and have a look on the day then that’s all good – it’s our Fun Palace for us to plan, for us to run and for us to take part in however we want.

Get some ideas from the great films made about the Fun Palaces in 2014 and 2015

Can We Really Host a Fun Palace?

Yes! By sharing ideas and skills and by working together to organise and run the event we most certainly can. We have a great community with a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience to help make the Fun Palace a success. The Boundary Estate has a long history of residents working together with community festivals in the 1980s and 1990s, and much of what residents did to improve the estate for everyone is still visible – from the planters in our courtyards and the playground on Camlet Street to the Boundary Estate Community Launderette.

An organising committee will need to be elected to oversee planning the event and applying for funding. That w

We will have to officially register with Fun Palaces HQ, which shouldn’t be a problem as we’ve already registered an interest and kept them up-to-date with what we’re doing.

Some Thank Yous…

To Maya Kumagai-Jones and the team at St. Hilda’s Community Centre for their support so far, and for giving us the space for this meeting.

To Steve & the Tower Hamlets Homes caretaking team for posting the notices in all the stairwells on the Boundary Estate.

To Boundary Community Launderette for paying for the printing of the meeting notices.

We really hope you’ll be able to join us at the meeting. Keep up to date with us on Twitter and Facebook too!


Ready, Steady…

Brilliant news for the Boundary Estate Fun Palace – St. Hilda’s East have confirmed they are going to be working with us to make our Fun Palace something to remember! We’ve also got the support of Tower Hamlets Homes and both of our ward councillors, we are talking with Tower Hamlets Council next week and we’re also talking with lots of other organisations to make sure that our courtyards, playgrounds and St. Hilda’s will be filled with all sorts of incredible things to entertain and amaze us from the worlds of art and science… and that’s just the beginning! Join us and be part of something special.
We’ll be holding a public meeting towards the end of January when we’ll talk about what we can have in our Fun Palace – it’s going to be organised by us, residents of the Boundary Estate, so make sure you’re part of it by signing up to our Facebook or Twitter pages to be kept up-to-date.  You can also find out more about the wonderful world of Fun Palaces and the inspirational people and events who have organised events for their communities at the Fun Palaces website.
Fun Palaces Illustration by Emily Medley