Illuminating the two Bluecoat schoolchildren every evening would enhance the historic Old Schoolhouse building, which is located in a prominent position opposite the 18C St Mary's Church. Subtle and distinctive lighting would contribute to strengthening the special character of the area and promoting a welcoming ambiance to residents and visitors walking & cycling in the evening. The 2 figurines are very well-known and there was huge community support for their repair and restoration in 2016. Illuminating them is one module of the larger Rotherhithe Illuminated! legacy lighting project, which aims to install lighting on specific elements of 5 historic buildings in the conservation area and in the nearby riverside trees. Lighting trials on the figurines were undertaken in September 2019 as part of the Rotherhithe Illuminated! feasibility study, and were much admired. The lighting designers were able to subtly highlight the blue uniforms, the mustard stockings and the white jabots
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Illuminating the 2 figures will complement the illumination of St Mary's Church spire and the Christopher Jones memorial forming a harmonious group, which will help foster enjoyment and wellbeing for local residents and visitors on their evening stroll through the area and make the area feel safer and more sociable. It will also expand the opportunity for the very popular walking tours to operate into the evening.
Steps to get it done:
The school was founded in 1613 by Peter Hills, a Master Mariner, & Robert Bell for the education of 8 sons of impoverished local seamen. Expansion necessitated the school's move to 70 St Marychurch St. in 1797. At the first-floor window there is a stone plaque, above which are limestone figures of a boy & a girl from about 1700. They are wearing blue uniforms - which were introduced because blue was the cheapest dye available - & mustard stockings. People donated money to the school to keep it running, and this way of funding it was maintained until the early 20th century. A board in St Mary's Church across the road records the names and contributions of the benefactors. The Old Schoolhouse building is owned by the Amicable Society's School, a registered charity & is now let as offices. Visitors to the Rotherhithe Conservation area, which abuts the Thames Path and Quietway14, are invariably interested in the handsome building and the figurines.
About the space
Rotherhithe is a mixture of old & new. Parts are steeped in maritime history. The cluster of former wharfs near the Old Schoolhouse & St Mary's 17C Church are a recognised Conservation Area. People from near and far visit to explore the area and its links to 1620 & the sailing of the Mayflower,
London Borough of Southwark
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