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



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.



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.



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



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!

Fun Palace logo designed by Emily Medley