On 20th September 2019, as millions of school children, workers and trades unionists across the globe commenced a week of action for climate justice, the Active Energy project celebrated how older and younger people have come together to work for environmental change in their community.
The event was held in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, close to where the water wheel is located. It was opened by Paul Brickell, Executive Director for Regeneration and Community Partnerships at the London Legacy Development Corporation.
Following this artist Loraine Leeson outlined how the project had developed after the last twelve years and engineer Toby Borland described the mechanics of the various turbines and water wheels the team have created over this time.
Ray Gipson explained how the Geezers Club had become involved, and the importance of involving older people in the development of new technologies, since none of this would have taken place without The Geezers’ input. Pupils from Bow School, where The Geezers have recently assisted with the making of model turbines, showed their creations to the audience and spoke themselves about their concerns regarding climate change.
Philip Kyeremanteng of Canals and Rivers Trust then went on to demonstrate urgent environmental issues for our rivers, while James Hardy, Senior Manager for Energy and Climate Change at the Greater London Authority outlined policy level planning to counter climate change in London. He was then questioned on these strategies by the pupils and Geezers.
The event was closed by Bridget McKenzie from Culture Declares Emergency, who considered what can be done by each of us to support the planet at this time of climate crisis.
The Geezers are not quite finished with the project however. They will be helping with some more workshops at Bow School, and still want to pursue the idea of how renewable energy can be built into sheltered accommodation in their borough to reduce energy costs for the older population, who are often unable to heat their homes.
2-4pm Friday 20th September 2019
Loraine Leeson and The Geezers invite you to celebrate their latest venture in the Active Energy arts project. A floating water wheel has been installed close to the London Aquatics Centre in the Waterworks River to drive an aerator that will help counteract the effects of pollution on the river’s fish and wildlife. Meanwhile pupils from Bow School have constructed their own working models of turbines using designs suitable for the generation of renewable energy.
The Last Drop
5 Thornton Street, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 2AD
Close to the ArcelorMittal Orbit
Nearest tube: Stratford
Pupils at Bow School, East London have been taking part in workshops led by engineer Toby Borland as part of Loraine Leeson’s Active Energy project.
They were supported by members of The Geezers Club from AgeUK Bow, who have been a central part of this project for the last twelve years – it was their idea to find out how the River Thames and its tributaries could be used to power their community. Students from the MA Art and Social Practice at Middlesex University also assisted.
The young people’s working models will be on display at a public event to be held in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on the afternoon of Friday 20th September. Watch this space for details.
On 4th July 2019 an Active Energy floating water wheel was installed in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London.
This is the latest initiative of the Active Energy project led by artist Loraine Leeson with members of the Geezers Club from AgeUK Bow. With the help of engineer Toby Borland they have developed different schemes over a period of twelve years, which demonstrate how sustainable energy can be used to support their community.
The floating water wheel can be seen in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park between Thornton and Iron Bridge, where it has been installed to help the survival of fish and wildlife. In certain weather conditions sewage finds its way into the river, where it uses up oxygen and can cause fish to die. Lock gates along the river are raised intermittently to allow water to flow, and at these times the wheel turns, driving air into the river.
3.30 – 5pm Saturday 13th May 2017
at National Mills Weekend
For this new phase of the Active Energy project a floating water wheel is being placed in the River Lee close to an historic tidal mill. The outflow from the mill pool will turn the wheel, which will then drive an aerator to oxygenate the water and counteract the effects of pollution on the river’s fish and wildlife.
The process has been led by artist Loraine Leeson working with the Geezers, a seniors’ group based at AgeUK, and supported by the Lea Valley team of the Hydrocitizenship research initiative. Engineer Toby Borland designed and implemented the new wheel, while Thames 21’s Love the Lea has provided facilities, advice and further support. The wheel’s low-cost open source design will soon be viewable on the Active Energy web site so that others can take up the idea.
House Mill, Three Mill Lane, Bromley-by-Bow, London E3 3DU
firstname.lastname@example.org 020 8980 4626
Nearest tube: Bromley by Bow
Active Energy has received the Best Arts and Green Energy award from Regen SW. The awards were announced at an event at the Bath Assembly Rooms on 29th November 2016. This is the 13th annual awards ceremony to honour innovation in the development of green energy and the first to recognise the arts as a key player in this process.
11am-4pm Saturday 14th May 2016
To celebrate National Mills Weekend
The Geezers will be working with artist Loraine Leeson and engineer Toby Borland in front of House Mill
at the Three Mills
heritage site to construct a stream wheel for later installation in the Lower Lea. The wheel will be activated by the outflow of water from the mill and will power an aerator to help oxygenate the water and counteract the effects of pollution on the river’s fish and wildlife.
This current phase of the project is taking place as part of the Hydrocitizenship initiative.
Current project promoting citizen-led innovation led by Loraine Leeson in collaboration with The Geezers, a group of senior men in Bow East London, and engineer Toby Borland.
Join us, London Assembly Member for City & East John Biggs and Shadow International Development Minister Rushanara Ali MP at 6.30pm on Tuesday 8th October for drinks and to witness the launch of the Active Energy underwater turbine on a Thames barge close to the Houses of Parliament.
Find out more…