About

Illuminate Rotherhithe is a free annual five-day local festival beginning on the fourth Thursday of November. The festival moves around the peninsula settling at different venues each year.

Running alongside international preparations for the 400th commemoration of the sailing of the Mayflower to the New World in 1620, the theme of Illuminate Rotherhithe is Migration. The festival aims to involve and engage all the diverse communities living and working in Rotherhithe & Bermondsey, and to encourage our hugely talented residents and workers to participate in the events, to delve into the rich and enduring history of the area and to share their own family histories.

The first event, in 2016, took place on the night of Thanksgiving with free screenings of ‘The Pilgrims’ at Sands Films and a free concert in St Mary’s church by the David Idowu Choir, followed by a lantern procession around the church and the Christopher Jones statue. The night ended at the Brunel Museum with free food supplied by local restaurants.

In 2017 the theme was Migration with Folk as a sub-theme, and the event became a series of free events over five days beginning with lantern-making workshops in local venues, and ceilidh workshops in seven primary schools culminating in a School’s Grand Ceilidh.

A bigger lantern procession progressed through Rotherhithe followed by the Mayflower concert in St Mary’s Church in which local people performed. Other free events included workshops with the Museum of London in Docklands, film screenings, a display on Rotherhithe delftware, an evening with the Citizens of the World Choir & Local People, a Mystery Object workshop run by Canada Water Library, and a Family Ceilidh at Mayflower TRA hall.

The 2018 free events have Migration as the main theme, Women in the Centenary year of Women’s Suffrage as a sub-theme, and Rudyard Kipling’s Poem ‘The River’s Tale’ – the Thames –  as inspiration.

The festival opens on Thursday 22nd November at 5.00 pm with a free lantern procession from Mayflower Park, Lagado Mews, SE16 which arrives at St Peter and the Guardian Angels church in Paradise St, SE16 for a free variety show at 7.30 pm. A free concert with the Citizens of the World Choir and local people follows on Friday the 23rd, a free family barn dance at Mayflower TRA Hall, a 17th century comic opera on Saturday 24th, and on Sunday 25th screenings of ‘The Pilgrims’ and Ai Wei Wei’s ‘Human Flow’.

In the background: free lantern-making family and school workshops, free school ceilidh workshops, a free School’s Grand Ceilidh of 500 children, free assemblies with the Museum in Docklands, free school foreshore walks with local mudlark Thames Larker. At the Rotherhithe Picture Research Library a display of foreshore finds by mudlark Thames Larker.

2019 and 2020 will see the festival move into Bermondsey and 2020 will expand on the Native American perspective on the 1620 settlers.

Without the sterling work of Pauline Adenwalla and Jemma Bicknell, this series of events, free to all members of our community, would simply not have been born. Many thanks to Tansy Hoskins for her work on the website.

Partners and Sponsors

Photograph of Hermione the donkey from Surrey Docks Farm with a mask made of her mother Alice the donkey for Sands Films’ 2000 feature film ‘The Children’s Midsummer Night’s Dream’, with a cast of local children.

PARTNERS 2018

Bizzie Bodies

Cuming Museum

London Bubble Theatre

Mayflower Hall, Neptune Street

Museum of London in Docklands

Musica Antica Rotherhithe

Artistic Artifact group Canada Water Library

Rotherhithe & Bermondsey Choral Society

Rotherhithe Picture Research Library

Rotherhithe Seagulls

Rotherhithe Shed

St Peter and the Guardian Angels church

Sands Films

Stave Hill Ecological Park

Southwark Music Hub:   Official partner

The Ship

Surrey Docks Farm

Thames Larker

Time & Talents

What’s On in Rotherhithe Group

SPONSORS 2018

British Land for schools’ foreshore trips with Thames Larker

KFH towards the lantern workshops and procession

Neighbourhood Fund for Schools Ceilidh workshops, Schools Grand Ceilidh & Family Barn Dance

United St Saviour’s Charity for opening event Illuminate Show, St Peter’s Church

Sellar for Tales and Songs of Migration at Sands Films Theatre, use of Decathlon store meanwhile space for Schools’ Grand Ceilidh and lantern making workshops and procession

Tobin Ventures towards the lantern workshops and procession

NSET  for Mayflower summer 2019 schools light-projected drawings

PERFORMERS 2018

The Ceilidh Tree

Citizens of the World Choir

Jane Deakin & Steve Hodges

Jimmy & Sid Folk Duo

Local people

Monica Acosta Sephardic Trio

Musica Antica Rotherhithe

Rotherhithe & Bermondsey Community Choir

Sue Challis Mayflower Hall

Tricity Vogue

 

PARTNERS 2017
Bacon’s College
Canada Estate TRA
Illuminate Rotherhithe Committee

James Millar

Jamie Coomarasamy
London Bubble Theatre
Mayflower Hall, Neptune Street

Midnight Apothecary
Museum of London Docklands

Mystery Object Group CWL
Rotherhithe & Bermondsey Choral Society
Rotherhithe & Bermondsey Local History Society
Rotherhithe Picture Research Library

Rotherhithe Shed
St Mary’s Church
Sands Films

Southwark Presents

Time & Talents
Tunedin London
Watch House Deli
What’s On in Rotherhtihe Group
WISE16

SPONSORS 2017
F.A Albin & Sons
British Land
Lord Mayor of London
Sellar
Southwark Council
Southwark Music Hub
Tobin Ventures
United St Saviour’s Charity

PERFORMERS 2017

The Ceilidh Tree
Citizens of the World Choir
Jane Deakin & Steve Hodges
Jimmy & Sid
Local people
Rotherhithe & Bermondsey Choral Society
Tricity Vogue

PARTNERS 2016
Brunel Museum
Illuminate Rotherhithe Committee
Sands Films
St Mary’s Church

SPONSORS 2016
United St Saviour’s Charity