& Sea Exchange 2014
When our last exchange finished in 2013, Mamun promised he would be back! True to his word, he and his colleague
Salman applied for and received grants in Tower Hamlets for a short residential on the Lizard. Funding was only
confirmed in July and a visit was envisaged for August Bank Holiday week-end.
Those who know Cornwall,
know that this week-end sees the greatest demand on accommodation and we really did not think we could find anywhere
for a minibus with 15 young men aged 16-19 and 2 leaders. However, the National Trust came to the rescue as their
fantastic Penrose bunkhouse at Chyvarloe was available.
Click for Website
Not only that, Rachel Holder, National Trust Ranger for the Lizard organised a superb morning at Poltesco.
The following is from Rachel's blog.
City Teenagers meet the Cornish Coast
We were joined yesterday for a fun morning's bushcraft session at Poltesco by 16 16-19 year olds.
The teenagers are all from Tower Hamlets in London, and know each other from college and their Youth Group.
Using shave horses and draw knives
to finish hand made mallets
We've had an ongoing connection with the Youth Group, thanks to links made by the Lizard Outreach Trust who have
facilitated several City and Sea exchanges in the past. Mamun, now leader of the group, came on one of these
visits some years ago, so he wanted to give teenagers, many of whom rarely leave the city, the same chance to visit
the Lizard he had when younger.
The group stayed at our National Trust bunkhouse at Penrose, and as well as their session with us,
they spent their time in Cornwall walking the coastpath, visiting the beach, canoeing and fishing.
Our session yesterday was timed brilliantly ahead of the rain! The group had a go at fashioning
a mallet from a log, learning how to safely use a bow saw and carving axe.
Mallets were fashioned from single logs,
using saws and axes
The final smoothing of
the mallet handle was achieved using shave horses and draw knives.
Of course, a visit to the Lizard has to include an afternoon at Coverack Windsurfing Centre with
Robin and Chris.
The young people were more than willing to learn new skills in the water and also meet and
chat other people their age from the Lizard; Sid Harris,
Methodist Youth Worker helped with this aspect. View Pics HERE.
The weather was good and later we were able to sit
on the harbour eating fish and chips from the Old Lifeboat Station, now a restaurant.
This was not the first time they went into the sea - their first stop on arrival was Poldhu and
Poldhu Beach Café.
Mike Lord, Ned and Andrew hosted a visit to the current working lifeboat station at Kilcobben Cove, the Lizard.
The new lifeboat and boathouse are really impressive and being able to explore both was wonderful
(not many had visited the Tower Hamlets Lifeboat Station!). A fish lunch is a
must at Polpeor Café Lizard Point.
& Sea Exchange 2013
Azim arranged for our 7th Exchange to take place in August 2013. It was a very busy eight days.
Our group from Tower Hamlets arrived on Monday; our Lizard group travelled back to London with them on Friday,
returning to Cornwall on the following Monday. The weather was wonderful; the groups made friends quickly and easily
and really enjoyed all the activities together.
In Cornwall we were again very grateful for the input of Coverack Windsurfing, the National Trust, The Marconi Radio Station,
The Lizard Lighthouse, accommodation at the Lizard YH, food at Polpeor café.
In London we stayed at Queen Mary College
from where Mamun and Hina guided us to Tower Hill for a boat ride on the Thames to Westminster Pier;
London Eye; London Dungeons; Covent Garden; Island Gardens; Greenwich Foot Tunnel, Observatory and Park;
Cutty Sark; National Maritime Museum; Cabot Place; London Dockland and as usual on our last evening together a
first class dinner at Bengal Quays.
On another evening we had a very special Thai meal which Nutchaya’s parents
prepared for us (www.kruabynathong.co.uk)
This year’s exchange is the last; Futureversity is in the process of restructuring
and funding streams are changing.
However, we hope to keep our links with Tower Hamlets. We really appreciated the young
people’s enthusiasm, cooperation and the way they all entered into the spirit of the exchange.
We always ask them for their feed-back and reflections: here are some of the things they told us.
- "Being in London has given me more confidence to explore new places and visit on my own or with friends,
which will be a great help for university. I can’t wait to be able to go back and visit new friends I have met. "
- "It’s an amazing experience and you make friends from all sorts of backgrounds who can be totally different to your own,
then we stay in touch after the trip and organise meetings of our own. "
- "My favourite thing in London was the dungeons and having meals out experiencing new food I wouldn’t normally
bother to try; my knowledge on race and religion has now been expanded. I have also made lots of nice new friends."
- "I had an absolutely fantastic time. The leaders did a perfect job of keeping things moving and guiding us in the right direction.
They always had the right attitude and were always up for everything keeping everyone enthused and entertained. "
- "The trip was great fun. I never thought I would have the confidence to do something like this. "
- "I’ve always been a bit shy around people I don’t know but everyone on this trip has been so kind and friendly.
The one bad point was that it definitely wasn’t long enough."
- "The London young people were interesting and very, very funny. This has made me want to meet other people I would never
actually know in the first place. Thank you soooo much!!! "
- "I think the Londoners enjoyed coming down, they couldn’t believe the habits we had, such as leaving bikes unchained or houses unlocked.
London was great as you could see the Londoners fit into their environment, especially on the railway systems. "
- "I don’t want it to end! If the exchange happens again I would sign up straightaway and wouldn’t change any of it. It was really good! "
- "So nice to visit a family restaurant in which one of the London exchange students ran. It’s the kind of opportunity you would never otherwise get."
- "London was fantastic, even riding on the tube for me was really great. I will never get lost in London ever again because I have my
very own tour guides. Everything and everyone was amazing. "
- "My favourite part must have been the shopping as the London people showed us Chinatown. I even tried some quesini (black bean sweet roll).
The worst part was definitely the queuing, in Cornwall you don’t really have to do it."
- "It helped my confidence level and I met someone special who taught me to swim. "
- "The Cornwall lot were really fun to be with and we had some special and memorable moments together.
I really liked going to different (amazing ) places with different people. "
- "This residential made me the happiest person in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "
- "I can honestly say this has been the best course I have been on and probably will ever go on! "
- "It has been really fun and would love to go again. "
- "I really loved the trip to Cornwall its been the most exciting trip and week I’ve had. I would hope to go again. "
- "I really enjoyed the trip and have built steps of confidence. "
- "This was definitely the best course I’ve ever done. If possible I’d love to repeat this trip. "
Tony Roberts (Volunteer coordinator) and Jacquie Pascoe (Project volunteer).
& Sea Exchange 2012
As usual, accommodation was in the Lizard Youth Hostel, whose stunning views are always exciting for visitors from London;
the fog horn usually provokes interest and questions, but this year it wasn't heard since the week beginning 23rd July
was hot and sunny! Peter from Polpeor café provided the delicious evening buffets, which could be eaten on the lawns.
Everyone was able to be outside for speed dating - this involved listening and questioning Keith Johnson
(Fisherman and Ceramics Artist) www.craft-ceramics.co.uk,
Derek Pitman (Serpentine Turner), Jonathan Fletcher
(Fisherman and Fishmonger).
Nigel Legge (Fisherman and Lobster Pot craftsman) couldn't make it this year -
he and Jonathan had found fame as stars in Monty Halls' television programme about the inshore fishing industry
which was mainly filmed in Cadgwith Cove. Robin and Chris organised a wonderful afternoon at Coverack Windsurfing.
Everyone always finds the visit to Culdrose really exciting, fun, interesting and this year as ever Lawson
Tickell hosted the event superbly. Elle from the National Trust organised an informative walk along the coastal
path up to the Marconi Radio Club, where we were welcomed by knowledgeable volunteers.
We received a surprise invitation on Tuesday evening to visit the new Lizard Lifeboat Station
to watch the launch and preparations for a joint exercise with other lifeboats off the Manacles to search for a lost diver.
The evening became even more exciting as the young people were invited by coxswain Andrew Putt to tour the boat
(prior to launch!) and talk to the crew, the two duty doctors and back-up staff. As we watched the boat
preparing to move down the slipway, there was a most spectacular display in the water as the bright sunshine
glistened on a large shoal of mackerel leaping. Ned Nuzum, Operations Manager showed us the lockers,
kit and then gave a very interesting talk about the history of the Lizard Lifeboat, its links with 771 Squadron R.N.A.S. Culdrose.
Geoff Squibb recorded the whole of the operation to rebuild the station and install the new boat in his beautifully
illustrated book " Kilcobben Rose" www.cornishpixels.co.uk.
Because of the timing of the Olympics, a visit by a Lizard group to London was not possible. However, students
who had taken part in a previous City & Sea Exchange and some new faces were more than happy to join in and
make their visitors from Tower Hamlets feel welcome., so a very big thank you to Tegen, Emily, Jessica,
Dylan, Simon, Dan, Kieran, Rob, Dom, Nessie, Hannah, Leah, Jasmine, Lois. We are already talking with Azim
about next year; a seventh exchange in August will only be possible if we continue to receive the generous
financial support which is needed.
Tony Roberts (Project coordinator- volunteer) and Kate Sherlock (LOT trustee)
& Sea Exchange 2011
Thanks to the continued generosity of our sponsors we were able to fund our fifth exchange,
which was excellent and exciting. This year we offered another aspect of employment in a
maritime setting, namely theatre.
We watched a first class performance by The Miller Centre
of The Lion in Winter at the Minack theatre; while in Porthcurno we had a fascinating and
illuminating visit to the Cable & Wireless Telegraph Museum.
We did not neglect our
"favourites"! - there was windsurfing and water activities at Coverack, visits to RNAS Culdrose,
Marconi Centre at Polhdu, a beach clean and conservation walk at Mullion organised by National
Trust staff, who also prepared the beach barbecue. Accommodation was, as usual, at the YHA
Hostel at Lizard Point, with Polpeor Café providing delicious food. The Helford River Conservation
Trust delivered a very interesting talk at the hostel, and suggested an idea for the future, that
we could try snorkelling with them.
Ideal accommodation was again at Queen Mary College, and there were our "favourite" visits -
to the Baltic Exchange, Greenwich Observatory and Maritime Museum, Thames Barrier, Hollywood Bowl,
Canary Wharf, Tate & Lyle, Aquarium, London Eye, Thames Boat Trip, a fabulous final meal at
A new addition was a visit to Clarkson's, where we gained a fascinating insight into
"a day in the life of a broker". For some of our students this was their first
time on the London Underground, but here as throughout the exchange, Futureversity
staff help us to look after both groups very well.
& Sea Exchange 2010
(To read Azim's report of our fourth exciting and very successful exchange, please click here)
& Sea Exchange 2009
(To read a more detailed report, please click here)
(To read Tracking report - Baltic Exchange, please click here)
& Sea Exchange Summer 2008
(To read a more detailed report, please click here)
“Amazing experience, love to do it again”
“Loved every minute, super people, it was sad to end it”
“ I found out a lot about Islam which I appreciated”
“The journey home was full of chat about our Fabulous 10 days
Outside the National
Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London
August 17th 2008 was
the day that the group of 12 young people, with 2 staff, from
London arrived in Cornwall.
They arrived at Camborne station in the rain, amazed at how long
their journey had been.
The Cornish group arrived
about 6pm to meet their new friends and spend the evening at a barbecue
at the hostel.
On Monday we all travelled to Mylor Harbour where they had an excellent
presentation by Jonathan Fielding on the planning and building of the
marina and its future potential. Onwards to Falmouth where they “paired”
with each other to buy lunch.
A fascinating afternoon was spent at the Coastguard centre before time
on the beach, then later a huge meal at Roskilly’s Croust House.
Tuesday started early with a much enjoyed and appreciated visit to RNAS
Culdrose air/sea rescue squadron.
On then to Mullion Cove Hotel for lunch where the staff had prepared
a superb buffet lunch prior to us meeting with Justin Whitehouse &
Robyn Davies from the National Trust.
Robyn spoke about her successful surfing career & her role with
the Trust before Justin commenced on his talk about the coastal work
of the Trust locally. They then walked to the Marconi museum & monument
to hear of the sending of radio waves into St John’s Newfoundland.
Tuesday was indeed a very full day for at 6pm we went to Goonhilly for
a delicious supper & then had the full tour of Future World.
Wednesday started around 9am with a guided tour of the Lizard Lighthouse,
(the mist allowing us to hear the fog horn!), a walk to Kynance Cove
before eating Fish & Chips in the Lizard.
The rest of the day was another exhilarating visit, as we spent 4 hours
at Coverack windsurfing school doing various water activities &
swimming with dolphins; the latter providing a real highlight.
As this was the close of the Cornish end the whole group met for a wonderful
dinner at the Paris Hotel, Coverack to say their goodbyes until regrouping
on the Sunday in London.
The Cornwall group travelled
to London on Sunday 24th and experienced an incredible set of activities
based on the Financial side of Maritime.
Visits to the Baltic Exchange, Lloyds of London, The Tate & Lyle
Wharf at Silvertown,
The Greenwich Maritime Museum, River Trips, the London Aquarium and
the London Eye were all extremely well received by both groups.
In between all that were sumptuous meals at Tinsel Town, 2 wonderful
The interaction between the 24 youngsters was terrific from the word
go and continued throughout.
Much was learnt of different cultures and many good friends made.
The Cornish group was resident in the student halls of Queen Mary University
in the East end of London.
They loved it, each had a modern, single ensuite room and a handsome
breakfast was provided every day.
A highlight of the trip was to watch “Rich Mix”, the THSU
show of activities from the whole summer programme. It was amazing,
our exchange was the first “act”! There was a huge screen
show of Coverack looking wonderful and of all the Cornish activities.
One of the London group took the mike & described it all to a very
responsive & jealous audience. This was followed by Street dancing
groups & Bollywood dancing which was an education in itself!
The exchange was staffed
by Tony Roberts & Jacquie Pascoe for LOT, along with Jenny Cater,
Abdul Azim, Mamun & Syeda Razzak for THSU.
The mixing of two very different cultures was brilliant and the interaction
between all involved young people was a joy to behold.
A most successful & rewarding time for everyone including the staff.
This was again excellent exchange & plans are afoot for next year
For more details; Go to www.summeruni.org
City & Sea Exchange
This exciting project represents a partnership between LOT and Tower
Hamlets Summer University; 2007 was a pilot project, with the aim to
make it a regular event.
here to read the report
The report is by Abdul Azim, the THSU co-ordinator.