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:
- Establish and manage a permanent museum site and gift shop
- Promote the museum to a worldwide tourist market
- Encourage community & local business involevment
- Establish educational links with local schools
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:
- Work with the local council to secure a site for the museum.
- Draw upon the curating, management and retail experience of founder Michele Whitby to make it a success
- Use a team of dedicated, enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers
- Build upon our existing displays & content & seek to acquire memorabilia from key musicians
- Learn about & employ proper conservation processes for our archive.
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.