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 boundaryfunpalace@gmail.com

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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

Dishoom

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Illustration: Emily Medley

 

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!

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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.

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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!

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Take a little time to daydream, ponder the possibilities and think what you’d like to see, do or find out about…
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…gardening advice, a plant and seed swap in the courtyard of Shiplake House ?
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…an arts, crafts & handmade market village in the courtyard of Abingdon & Benson Houses?
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…hopscotch, grandma’s footsteps & puppets in Hedsor & Laleham courtyard?
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…Robotics in Cookham Courtyard?
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…volcano making in Sunbury & Taplow courtyard?
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…sports of all sorts in the sports court?
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…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?
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…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.

DAKOTA WIFI

 

Be Part of Making the Boundary Estate a Fun Palace…

The Boundary Estate Fun Palace will be made by people who live or work on and near the Boundary Estate, Bethnal Green. What it contains, how big it is and how successful it is is up to the people who get involved, and we want everyone who’s interested to contact us. We’ve already got the support of our local councillor, John Pierce, and St. Hilda’s East are hoping to be involved and word is getting out on Twitter and Facebook and we’ll be part of the national Fun Palaces family.

So, what is a Fun Palace? Easy – it’s whatever we want it to be. We can fill our Boundary Estate courtyards and playgrounds with all manner of brilliant fun things to watch, take part in and enjoy. If you like art we can have all manner of things artistic – painting, drawing, drama, writing, poetry, comedy – it’s up to you. If you like sciences we can create laboratories, experiments, lectures, displays – whatever you want.

How do we make a Fun Palace? That’s easy too – we make it. We are a brilliant community on the Boundary Estate, we can achieve brilliant things. We’ve made an award winning community launderette on the estate that’s been run by residents for more than 23 years. We’ve made a beautiful playground on the ruins of an unloved play space. We’ve made gorgeous flower-filled planters to brighten up our courtyards. All of these things were made by residents who wanted something good for our community, we decided on them and we got them done. We can make a Fun Palace!

If you want to find out more and possibly get involved in helping make our Fun Palace in 2016 then please click on the ‘contact us’ tab at the top of the page, you’ll be kept up-to-date with news and information about meetings. We’ll be having a public meeting at the beginning of December where you can find out more.

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Hello!

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Welcome to the blog site for Boundary Estate Fun Palace. The Boundary Estate is Britain’s first council estate built in the 1890s, it has impressive architecture, wonderful open spaces, a brilliant history and a strong community. We want to create a day for all Boundary Estate residents to enjoy and remember as part of the Fun Palaces weekend next year.

Fun Palaces are a brilliant idea, first thought of in 1961 by the renowned theatre producer Joan Littlewood and the architect Cedric Price as a ‘laboratory of fun’ and ‘a university of the streets’. It was to be a temporary and movable home to the arts and sciences, open and welcoming to all. Their brilliant idea never found a home, but plans were made to revive Fun Palaces to celebrate the centenary of Joan Littlewood’s birth as described in a post by Stella Duffy, a Co-Director of Fun Palaces. Fun Palaces were held in 138 locations over the weekend of 4th & 5th October 2014, then at 142 locations over the weekend of 3rd & 4th October. If you’ve be lucky enough to have been to one you’ll know just how great they are – created and curated by people who know their neighbourhoods best, and containing the widest variety of arts, sciences and sports imaginable. You’ll get a good idea of what’s possible on this short film of some of the Fun Palaces in 2014.

The Boundary Estate has an impressive track record of community spirit which has seen residents set up and maintain an award-winning not-for-profit launderette, refurbish playgrounds, and green our courtyards with planters that are maintained to a high standard by residents- amongst many other things. A Fun Palace, with community events throughout the year building up to the main weekend of 1st & 2nd October 2016, will be another impressive event that we can work together to create. It will be our Fun Palace containing our ideas, and it will prove what a great community lives on the Boundary Estate.

Our Fun Palace can contain whatever we want – we have good, safe courtyards, green spaces and a playground that we can use. We’ve had the go-ahead to start planning from Fun Palaces. St. Hilda’s Community Centre have been approached and love the idea – they’re looking very carefully at how they can help and we hope that we’ll be able to use some of their flexible and fully accessible facilities. Councillor John Pierce has offered his support and can help ease out the communications between us, Tower Hamlets Homes and the council. We hope to hold our first public meeting in early December – we’ll post details here, on Facebook and on Twitter.

What we need now is for our neighbours to take part in creating the Fun Palace. Sign up to be kept informed of meetings and our progress via the ‘Contact Us’ button above. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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Fun Palace logo designed by Emily Medley