Project aim - the UK's first Floating Village Hall
Our aim is to create a not-for-profit floating Village Hall for the boating and land-based community of East London to meet, learn, integrate, celebrate, share, protect each other and the local environment, and grow together.
About the project
The Village Butty (a 1923 50ft Joey Butty originally used for freight) and it's service boat will travel around East London's waterways to run regular events and workshops to improve well-being, share skills and knowledge, promote sustainable lifestyles, celebrate traditions and seasonal festivities, preserve and develop dying crafts, skills and knowldege and protect, nuture and harvest the natural surroundings. Examples range from foraging and preserving food, to traditional dance, singing and musicianship, bike maintenance, water quality testing and education, to name but a few. The Village Butty will strive to educate, inform and connect disparate groups and help realise the shared aim of preserving the waterway's beauty and everybody's right and opportunity to enjoy and protect this prescious resource.
This will help improve social cohesion, integrate transient and residential communities, reduce tensions between groups who share the river and its surroundings and reduce pollution through awareness and education.
Why are we crowdfunding?
To start we're aiming to raise a minimum of £5000 to go towards fitting out the service boat, Foxley (a 35ft narrowboat) to breast up to the butty, move it around and provide a kitchen and bar. It requires relining, a new floor, hull maintenance, and fitting out with a kitchen suitable for a full hygiene license. We will fit out the boats ourselves to cover labour costs.
Our team comprises:
Ian has been a boater for 7 years around England and has been based in London for the past 4 years. He has been a secondary school science teacher for 7 years focusing on Special Educational needs and is also a landscape and vegetable gardener and a volunteer for Organiclea. He has a keen interest in locally produced and foraged food and drink and has worked through the winter on a London based Coal boat. Ian has previously worked for SustEd on a sustainable tourism project and has recently made links with the Thames Barge Trust, who maintain Thames barges and take young people and carers on inspirational voyages.
Ian has been a trading boater in London for 3 years and was heavily involved with the highly successful Olympic Floating Market in Mile End. He is also a musician and the co-founder and organiser of the, ‘Jam on the Butty’. He has experience in all aspects of boat renovation and will be responsible for the fit out of the service boat. He has excellent people skills and is committed to the vision of the Village Butty.
Alice is responsible for filling the butty with some of Londons best musicians for, 'Jam on the Butty', which she hosts and orchestrates. Raised in the rural midlands she has been steeped in folk music, dancing, and sustainble living from an early age. She has amassed a wealth of knowledge and skills in dancing, musicianship and theatre and is passionate about local food, cooking, brewing and preserving.
Alice is a professional musician, dancer, puppeteer and regular Ceili caller. She has successfully ran the, ‘Abalino Dance Company’ for 3 years and teaches folk dancing at Cecil Sharp House and for the ‘Trad Acadamy’,currently based at Chatsworth Palace. She has many years experience in sustainable eduction through SustEd, and is a volunteer for, ‘Organiclea’. She is passionate and skilled in homebrewing cordials, wines and beer. She approaches everything with positivity and compassion and is the perfect Host for the Village.
James has been boating in London for 10 years during which time he has forged strong links with the Local residential and boating community. It is james’ initial vision of providing a public space to run next to a trading boat that drove him to purchasing the Butty 3 years ago and is responsible for converting it into a an enchanting events space for the community to enjoy. He is a proficient unicyclist of 20 years and has taught for over ten years during which time he foundered and coordinated the, ‘Hackney Hockie Cokeys’, unicycle hockey team. He is also a performer of unicycling, fire juggler and spoken word. He has a keen interest in boating traditions and local history.