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

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



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!