In the 50's and 60's the infamous 'Eelpiland' club, set in an old hotel on Eel Pie Island, played host to many superstars such as The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart & Eric Clapton as they started their careers back in their youth. It was one of the key venues in the British RnB explosion & a place close to the hearts of thousands of fans who frequented the place.
In 2015, with the help of local sponsors & volunteers, we ran a 5 month 'pop-up' museum all about this famous island, where we welcomed over 1200 unanimously positive visitors!
Among the items on display were photographs, memorabilia & video telling the story of Eel Pie Island. The Rolling Stones even signed & dedicated a custom photo montage for us.
We now want to get to the next stage & put down permanent roots. We have earned much support from the local council & community; Everyone agrees this museum should be an established part of Twickenham, but we need to raise more funding to help this happen. www.eelpiemuseum.co.uk
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Our borough is steeped in history and stately homes but at present we only have a small display board dedicated to one of the most exciting aspects of our heritage - Eel Pie Island. The board attracts much attention and almost daily tourists amble across the bridge to the Island looking for a taste of the musical heritage, but the hotel is long gone and there is nothing left to see. We want visitors to come to Twickenham for a musical journey, visit the museum & spend time in our town center. We have already proved that we can increase tourist traffic to Twickenham which will also create opportunities for new ventures; people who want to set up a record shop, a vintage clothing store and boat trips around the Island, all of which would have appeal to people visiting the museum. We ran a successful pop-up for 5 months last year, attracting over 1200 visitors & want to build upon what we have already achieved.
Steps to get it done:
Some words from Music Heritage UK founder, James Ketchell, following his visit to our pop-up museum
'Michele Whitby's work (for no financial reward) is remarkable and the exhibit showcases brilliantly the musical history of the island and what made it such a special place. It would be a huge shame for the work of Michele and the other volunteers to go to waste, while there remains a huge opportunity for the area to become London’s prime music heritage tourism destination.'
Some comments from our pop-up museum;
'It was great to see such a unique & well thought out selection of memorabilia from one of my hangouts in the 60's. Great memories, hope the exhibition finds a permanent home'
'Twickenham has to find a proper home for this history & this great display - it's far too important to be packed away & there is plenty more still to be told too.'
Our honorary patrons include inventor Trevor Baylis and musicians Don Craine, Ali Mackenzie, Peter French & Derek Griffiths.
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Sorry for radio silence in the past couple of months, but we have been super busy getting things ready in our new home. LOTS of decorating and renovation has been happening and we are now starting to get the displays sorted out... Local artist, Clare Box, has been doing a magnificent job of recreating the famous mural that graced the stage wall in the original Eel Pie Club. We have been offered a wonderful Clinker Built Rowing Scull, made on Eel Pie Island by George Sims, who made the boats for both the Oxford and Cambridge teams on more than one occasion - this is a really great start to our 'boatyard' section. AND, we have been offered loan of a Waistcoat & Bowler hat worn by the legendary ACKER BILK! We are hoping to be open in about a month (it seems I have been saying that since August, but things always take longer than anticipated and we want to get it RIGHT)...In the meantime here is a mock-up of how our frontage is going to look. Thanks all for your patience and support - we look forward to welcoming you through our doors really soon : )
Wow! You did it! Each and every one of you has helped us to hit our target and we are there with the final pledge that has just come in from Urban Iron, who used to be based on Eel Pie Island. You lot are brilliant! EPIM headquarters are feeling quite emotional right now - thank you so much for helping us in our quest to get this museum off the ground xxx
We are so nearly there! Only £800 away from our target thanks to all you great people who have pledged to us. But, if we don't hit that final figure we won't get anything, so please help us with this final push...any friends you know who might want to help, any businesses who may like to become a sponsor (from as little as £250) WE ONLY HAVE 2 WEEKS LEFT!