ENTRY #475

Reinventing The Lodge by Kate MacTiernan, Ken Greenway, Lizzy Daish, Jessica Sutton, India Hamilton, Grace Boyle, Maisie Rowe


Shuffle has been staging cultural events on the site for three years, bringing people in and catalysing change. Its crowd-funding campaign recently raised £58,000 to renovate the existing cemetery Lodge building into a unique cultural facility.

Seeking to create a model that people can use again, the intention is:

· After three years to have in place a functioning business with local people trained and running it.

· Revenue derives from café and renting the space for evening events.

· Project is maintained by volunteer input – currently, the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park engages 3000 volunteers annually.

· 4-5 new jobs are created, sustained by project’s revenue rather than fund-raising.

· Lodge remains under local authority ownership and is leased to Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park rent-free for three years, and sub-leased to Shuffle.

The partnership with Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park sustains and channels long-term local engagement with the project. The project is protected from attempts at external capitalization by its local authority ownership and by its specificity as a historic cemetery and a nature reserve. The partnership with Shuffle – in particular the 331 donors to its recent crowd-funding campaign – gives the project a voice and a constituency that will speak out protect it from any such attempt at appropriation.

Social processes that already flow from the project are a mixture of formal and informal, structured and spontaneous. It sees individuals and groups brought together with schools, support groups and institutions such as universities.

Reinventing the Lodge is about creating a place to meet, a place to be and opportunities for things to do. To give people permission to inhabit this undervalued environment in new ways is to cultivate local pride, identity and sense of belonging – the feeling of being at home.


Kate MacTiernan – Creative Director

Architecture graduate and urbanist with a passion for space, shaping the urban environment and connecting people in meaningful ways. Kate founded Shuffle Festival in 2013.

Ken Greenway – Park Manager

Conservationist who has managed the cemetery park for thirteen years. Through the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Ken co-ordinates an extraordinary programme of events and activities and directs the efforts of the park’s 3000 volunteers.

Lizzy Daish – Director of Strategy

A geographer deeply committed to social justice and public ownership of space, Lizzy founded Shuffle with Kate MacTiernan after becoming involved with local housing organisation East London Community Land Trust.

Jessica Sutton – Design and Making

A theatre-trained designer/maker with a background in architecture and textiles. Jess is responsible for all web, graphic and structure design for Shuffle Festival.

India Hamilton – Food Programmer

A cordon bleu-trained chef, India creates delicious hearty festive food. She has programmed the food-related events for Shuffle Festival since Winter 2013.

Grace Boyle – Science Director

A chemist by training Grace directs the science programme of workshops, events, activities and lectures.

Maisie Rowe – Writer in Residence

Maisie is a landscape architect and writer. She worked in Hackney for regeneration charity Groundwork for four years and for fifteen years was an associate of Heatherwick Studio.

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