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We are planning a legacy lighting scheme to commemorate Rotherhithe's key role in the story of the Mayflower. The project will illuminate specific elements of six historic buildings. When these buildings are illuminated, the spire of St Mary's church and the chimneys of Thames Tunnel Mills and the Brunel Museum will be visible from both London Bridge and Tower Bridge, from the Thames Path, and to people travelling along the river on boats and ships at night. There will be interactive features incorporated into the lighting scheme, such as simple QR codes which will explain the history behind each of the illuminated buildings. It may also be possible to introduce colours, shapes, textures, words and historical context elements to the lighting, making it fun for children and adults alike to engage with the history of the buildings. Very few people know that the incredible Mayflower story began in Rotherhithe. We need your help to change this!
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Did you know that the Mayflower story began in Rotherhithe? This lighting scheme will serve as a permanent reminder - to current and future generations - of Rotherhithe's heritage and identity as the Mayflower's home port. The Mayflower was a well-travelled merchant ship and her captain and part-owner, Christopher Jones, lived in Rotherhithe, as did many of her crew. The Mayflower set off from Rotherhithe in July 1620 to join the Speedwell in Southampton. When the Speedwell sprang a serious leak they were forced to stop in Plymouth where passengers and provisions were crowded onto the Mayflower and she had to set off alone on her epic and arduous journey to America in September 1620. This holistic legacy lighting scheme will raise awareness of Rotherhithe's significant role in this key historical event! Once installed the illuminations will remain in place for 40+ years, and they will serve to commemorate this important but forgotten Rotherhithe story.
Steps to get it done:
Special thanks to Adam Allen-Foord for creating the visualisation.
About the space
London Borough of Southwark
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Our Rotherhithe Illuminated! legacy lighting project has been included as a Case Study in the Centre for London's "Seeing clearly : How lighting can make London a better city" report, which was launched last Wednesday 10 March. Please see the link below which we are sending to all our generous supporters. As noted in in the introduction, from the abandoned streets of early lockdown to the attentive contemplation of our neighbourhoods on our daily walks, we have experienced our common spaces in a different way during the pandemic. The step change in prioritising pedestrians across London – and the focus on safe outdoor socialising and eating - has led to much rethinking of the role and value of our public realm. As this report shows, the benefits for the environment, the wellbeing of Londoners, and the recovery of London’s businesses from the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, are waiting to be seized. https://1drv.ms/b/s!AmOJx2AefKGxiXmgoV5-Q1qITzmx?e=TlBayO To find our Case Study in the report, just scroll down to Section 3 of the Contents page – “Recommendations: what needs to change?”. Clicking on Page 37 will take you to ‘Site-specific ideas’, where you can read the Case Study text and see a couple of nice images taken during the lighting trials. It’s obviously very exciting for us that the Rotherhithe Illuminated! project is included in this very timely and thought-provoking report, as it will give us some welcome publicity which we will definitely need if we are going to be able to manage to deliver at least some elements of the overall project later on this year. Take care and stay well! Clare and the project team SE16.RI@gmail.com
Life has changed dramatically for all of us since my last post on 1st March, and I hope you are keeping well and safe. This is an end-of-year update for you and all the other 250+ people who have so generously supported the Rotherhithe Illuminated! legacy lighting scheme. When the first lockdown was announced in March we realised that we had no option but to delay the plans to install and launch the project until next summer – 2021 - so that it is ‘ready to go’ in time to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the safe return of the Mayflower to Rotherhithe in early summer 1621. We are working with our colleagues at Thames Alive on that basis, in the hope that by the time of the proposed celebration - and in conjunction with the proposed flotilla/procession from Rotherhithe to the Palace of Westminster, probably in mid-June - the social distancing requirements will have been significantly eased and we can organise a joyful commemorative event for everyone to enjoy. Applications we had submitted to other funders are all on hold for the time being, as everyone is of course focussing on Covid-related priorities. However we learned in May that our funding application to the US Embassy had been successful. This was wonderful news to receive during lockdown! The Grants Committee was very impressed with our proposal and they are looking forward to working with us. In agreement with the Embassy we will be using their grant for the installation of the lighting which will illuminate the spire and clocks of St Mary’s church and the Christopher Jones memorial. Taking account of pandemic-related considerations, they have kindly given us a window of one year from 1st September 2020 to spend the funds they have awarded us. The feasibility study which we crowdfunded for in 2018 has continued to progress very slowly since March, despite the constraints of lockdown, and it is now complete. All the necessary listed building consents have been obtained, so we are all set to go ahead with the installation, funding permitting. We are looking at only installing specific elements of the scheme, as it is likely to prove difficult to raise the approximately £70K still needed to deliver the entire project. Finally, we have been urged by the GLA and Spacehive to pitch to the Mayor of London again for a small amount of funding via the Mayor’s new Make London programme, which aims to support communities to come together and create new and impactful projects that help their neighbourhoods recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The criteria include improving public spaces, such as installing locally distinctive lighting, furniture, greening, or public art. They are encouraging projects which celebrate and strengthen the special character of an area, which make everyone in the community feel welcome and involved, and which are environmentally sustainable. We will find out by 15 March whether or not we have been successful. I will be in touch again when there is further news to report. In the meantime all good wishes to you for the festive season and for New Year 2021, and stay well! Clare and the project team SE16.RI@gmail.com
Following on from my last update, a few of us met recently with the editor of the River Thames Society’s magazine – the Thames Guardian - to talk through what is being planned in Rotherhithe during 2020. Please take a moment to copy and paste this link into your web browser and take a look at the final version of the article! https://bit.ly/2Thc3ui (sorry –clickable links aren’t possible on Spacehive). As you can see the editor has done a pretty good job. She has asked me to keep her posted on other developments being planned in Rotherhithe over the coming months so that she can flag them up in their news pages in the next issue. This article will appear in the March edition of the magazine, which went to press last Monday 24 February. The print run of the Thames Guardian is 7800, of which 5800 go to the estate agents Waterview – the magazine sponsors - for mailing to riverside properties along the length of the Thames. 2000 copies are sent to River Thames Society members who are based all along the river from the source to the sea, as well as to riparian MPs, to relevant Ministers, to various river bodies, and for distribution at events along the river. So this article represents really excellent coverage of what we are trying to achieve! Huge thanks for your continued support for this exciting legacy lighting project – more news very soon! Clare and the project team
Fantastic news - Thames Clippers have supported us with a generous donation towards the installation of this legacy lighting scheme, and the joint press announcement was released this afternoon! They also posted a brilliant piece about the project in their enewsletter which was sent out last Friday 7 February to all the 102K+ individuals on their database. There will also be a piece in the March edition of the Thames Guardian about us and about various Mayflower 400 events being planned in Rotherhithe during the course of this 400th Mayflower year. Watch this space for further exciting announcements!! Clare and the project team
Last Monday we recorded an interview with Steve Lazarus, the Founder & Host of the Your London Legacy podcast. Steve is doing a special Mayflower 400 season, and the interview with us is the fourth and final part of this mini-series. The link to the interview is www.yourlondonlegacy.com/rotherhithe - we hope you enjoy it! As you know from my recent posts we are now in the very final stages of the feasibility study, and we're still hoping to be able to fundraise enough to ensure that this legacy lighting scheme can be installed before July 2020 when the main Mayflower commemorations in Rotherhithe will take place. Fingers crossed and watch this space! In the meantime very best wishes for Christmas and for the New Year 2020, and thank you again for your generous support. Clare and the project team.
Following on from my last post, the presentation last Tuesday 29 October was a great success and was well attended – more than 40 people came along! It was clear that there is real enthusiasm out there for what we are trying to achieve with this exciting legacy lighting project. So now we will continue to work flat out on fundraising for the cost of the installation of the scheme, in the hope that it will be possible to install it in the spring before the main Mayflower 400 commemorations in Rotherhithe kick off in July next year. It was noted by attendees that the credentials of the contributors and the quality of the feasibility work has been and is very high – we are really lucky to be working with such committed and expert professionals! During the presentation it was explained why such lighting schemes are widely accepted as valuable community assets, with examples from around the country. The Rotherhithe proposal was put in the context of the Illuminated River project, for which it is in some ways an eastward extension. (As you know the Illuminated River Foundation, in conjunction with the Rothschild Foundation, have given this scheme their generous backing, as have the Mayor of London, the Port of London Authority and City Cruises). Details were given of the desired warm-white lighting effects (“see the buildings, not the lights”) and the low-profile / low-energy / low-maintenance equipment to be used. The realisation of the vision for each part of the scheme was explained using computer-generated images, and these were then demonstrated with photographs taken during lighting trials on the actual buildings and statues. There were a few specific and interesting questions raised during the Q&A at the end, but it was clear that any doubts some members of the audience had had were addressed by the material presented. Several other audience members just wanted to express their support. Everyone was reminded that key elements of three of the buildings to be illuminated will be visible from London Bridge as well as from Tower Bridge, and mention was made of the broader context of Rotherhithe’s historical links to ‘The River Thames (and the Seas Beyond)’. More localised consultations will be taking place soon to seek the necessary consents. As you know we are fundraising for the £108,000 needed for the installation of this legacy lighting scheme, and various philanthropic organisations are being approached for support. The aim is to have everything in place by July next year ready for the Mayflower 400 commemorations and then for many more years into the future. Finally, I’ve posted a pic of the softly illuminated church spire and clock, which was taken during the lighting trials on 24 September. They show you what the illuminations on this element of the lighting scheme would look like every evening after dusk for the next 30+ years. If you weren’t able to join us on Tuesday evening please do let us know at SE16.RI@gmail.com if you have any questions for us. In the meantime don’t forget that you can support us by donating via https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/rotherhithe-illuminated - every single £ will help us reach our target! Huge thanks once again for your support and your enthusiasm. Clare and the project team
Following on from my last message, the presentation event on the Rotherhithe Illuminated! legacy lighting project will take place on Tuesday 29th October at 6:30pm in Brunel’s Grand Entrance Hall, Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF. The session will be introduced by the Chair of the What’s on Rotherhithe / Our Rotherhithe community group, Richard Kalmar. This will be followed by a briefing from Sarah Khan, the conservation architect who is project managing the feasibility study for us. Then there will be a 30-minute presentation by Ryan Slessenger, our lighting engineer/designer, followed by a short presentation by Sarah Yates, the Independent Researcher and Curator who is advising us on the educational aspects and interpretation of the scheme. The session will conclude with Q&A which will be facilitated by Sarah Khan, and we will finish up with drinks and networking. If you are able to join us please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you haven’t already, so that we can make sure there is enough seating, glasses etc. Btw like all old buildings it is sometimes a bit chilly down in Brunel’s Shaft on a winter’s night, so if you are coming along please remember to wrap up warm! We really hope that you can make it and we are looking forward to seeing you on 29th October. Clare and the project team