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By WORG (What's On in Rotherhithe Group)
To illuminate the 2 figures on the facade of the listed Grade 2 Old Schoolhouse in Rotherhithe. The lighting will celebrate & strengthen the special characteristics of the local conservation area.
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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Local people creating projects that make Southwark fantastic place to live, work and relax.
We’re thrilled to share the exciting news that St Mary’s church spire+clock faces and the Christopher Jones memorial will be illuminated before Easter this year! After 6+ years and a huge number of Covid-related delays and other unexpected difficulties, the Diocese of Southwark and the US Embassy agreed to extend their respective deadlines, and our lighting designer kindly redesigned the original lighting plan at no cost to us. So a less expensive scheme now allows us to deliver this key element of the original Rotherhithe Illuminated! legacy lighting project. This historic church was always the centrepiece of the original project, as the illuminated spire will then be seen clearly at night from the river, from Tower Bridge and from London Bridge. As you know we were able to successfully deliver the illumination of another element of the scheme - the two figurines on the Old School House - in December 2021. The $10K grant from the US Embassy will cover the cost of the luminaires and other fittings. These have now been ordered but may not arrive before late March, so it’s not yet clear when the work to install the lighting at the church will begin. We hope that it will be possible to organise a celebration – including formal switch-on by the American Ambassador or one of her senior officials – soon after Easter. The long delays and negotiations have incurred unanticipated additional expenses. We therefore need to raise a further £5K to cover these unbudgeted costs, so we are hoping that some of our many enthusiastic supporters will be able to help us cover this shortfall. Contributions would be hugely welcome – as Tesco says, every little helps! I’m including the link to our JustGiving page below, as well as the details of the Rotherhithe Illuminated! bank account, in case you are able to help us. https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/rotherhithe-illuminated HSBC : What’s On Rotherhithe : 40-06-41 20254584 When we started work on this unique legacy lighting project in 2017 to celebrate Rotherhithe’s maritime heritage, we never dreamed that it would take us more than 6 long years to achieve our vision of illuminating the spire+clock faces of this beautiful and famous old church and the Christopher Jones memorial. So we are obviously overjoyed that from late spring this year, this aesthetic and subtle lighting of the church will enhance nighttime views of Rotherhithe for everyone to enjoy. Thank you so much for your support. Clare and the Rotherhithe Illuminated! project team. SE16.RI@gmail.com
The switch-on took place on 13 December - St Lucy’s Day - which is celebrated as the Festival of Lights in Scandinavia. It’s meant to bring hope and light during the darkest time of the year, and we thought that it was a really appropriate day to do the switch-on of the illumination of these two lovely figurines. So these two very special Blue Coat figurines on the Old School House in the historic St Mary’s conservation area in Rotherhithe are now illuminated every evening from dusk until 11pm, for everyone to enjoy and admire. Come and take a look one evening if you are nearby! As you can imagine it is hugely exciting for us to actually have this standalone element of the overall Rotherhithe Illuminated! legacy lighting scheme installed at long last, after more than 5 years of planning, fundraising and many pandemic-associated obstacles. Now we are working flat out in the hope that we will be able to deliver Phase 2 of the Rotherhithe Illuminated! legacy lighting project - St Mary’s spire+clock faces and Master Christopher Jones’ memorial - before 5th March 2022, the 400th anniversary of Master Jones’ burial in the churchyard in 1622. We have approximately 40% pledged so far of the £36k needed to deliver this key element of the wider RI! project, and the spire and clock faces are of course regarded as the centrepiece of the scheme, as they can be seen clearly at night from the river, from Tower Bridge and from London Bridge. Renewed thanks to all our generous supporters for helping us get this far with the project, despite all the many unexpected setbacks along the way. Best wishes from us to you for the festive season and for a happy and healthy 2022. Clare and the Rotherhithe Illuminated! project team firstname.lastname@example.org
After a very long wait we finally have some exciting news! Now that the Licence Agreement with the Amicable Society, the owner of the Old School House, has been signed off we are in a position to go ahead and organise the formal switch-on of the illumination of the two Blue Coat figurines on the Old School House. This will take place in mid-December and invitations will be sent out to everyone who has generously supported this standalone element of the wider Rotherhithe Illuminated! legacy lighting scheme. It will be hugely exciting for us to actually have one element of the project installed at long last for everyone to enjoy every evening after dusk, after more than five years of planning, fundraising and many pandemic-associated obstacles. In the meantime we are making one final push over the next couple of months, in the hope that we will be in a position to install the lighting of the church spire + clock faces and the Christopher Jones memorial in time for the 400th commemoration of Christopher Jones’ burial, which falls on Saturday 5 March 2022. The US Embassy has kindly extended the date by which we are able to draw down their grant, and this obviously makes our ambition more achievable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were able to organise a very special switch-on event on the actual date of the anniversary of Master Jones’ burial in St Mary’s churchyard in 1622??! THANK YOU to all our generous supporters for helping us get this far with the project, despite all the many unexpected setbacks along the way. Clare and the Rotherhithe Illuminated! project team email@example.com
Brilliant news, thanks everyone!
How will the money be spent?Total £4,572
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This project is enabled for overfunding. If the project hits its funding goal before the end of the campaign period, any extra funds raised will be spent (in order of priority) on:
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