Tea Party on the Marks Gate estate

Last month, as part of the project ‘A Local Dialogue’ in which our artist and tea hostess Sadia Ur-Rehman has been commissioned to work with local residents on the Marks Gate estate in Barking & Dagenham, we were busy delivering a series of pop-up events and activities to engage people on the estate. We’ve been using our tea parties as a way to do this, providing a safe, creative space for people to meet, share and explore their local area. On the 27th May we had a wonderful time hosting a ‘Marks Gate’ inspired tea party at the Marks Gate Community Centre. The tea party was an opportunity for us to meet local people and hear their stories and experiences of the place that Marks Gate is today.

Alongside the tea party we had also organised a series of activities including our ‘Art is…..’ display, asking people to add their thoughts to what art was to them, it was interesting and insightful reading the responses to this extremely  important question! One guest wrote ‘Art is the Best’, well were definitely inclined to agree with this! We also captured people’s memories of the estate using a specially designed ‘Marks Gate Memories’ board, asking people to fill a memory tag with their memory and pin it to the Marks Gate Map. Last but not least, Sadia brought along the ‘Marks Gate Bunting’, a community bunting project in which people have the opportunity to design and make their own flag to add to the growing bunting. All of this whilst having tea and cake!

It was a lovely afternoon with some lovely conversations whilst creative juices were flowing. We were absolutely chuffed when local resident Pat Cambridge came in and donated 4 trios of tea cups, saucers and side plates. The trios originally belonged to her grandmother and are absolutely beautiful. Pat filled out a memory tag with us and we found out that she has lived on the estate for 58 years, that’s even before it was officially the Marks Gate estate in 1960! Here’s some photos from the day:

Photo credits: Connie Taylor Photography

Sadia’s Tea Party at the Museum of London

We’ve had a busy time at Sadia’s Tea Party of recent times, but we wanted to update you all on a very special tea party that we hosted at the Museum of London. On 29th April we delivered a bespoke tea party for the museum’s ‘Continue Creating’ programme. Continue Creating was a bi-monthly creative workshop programme run between the Museum of London and the Museum of London Docklands, for vulnerable adults. The programme culminated in our celebration tea party!

As part of the Celebration tea party, participants took part in our themed games, exploring tea in London, playing Sadia’s Tea Quiz and finally creating their own filled tea bags using loose leaf tea and a variety of spices in our ‘DIY Tea Bag’ workshop.

Here’s a small selection of photos from the day:

And here’s some lovely feedback we got from the museum:

‘Sadia delivered a bespoke tea party as part of the Museum of London’s Continue Creating programme, which caters to the museum’s vulnerable adults audiences. Sadia took care to understand the needs of this vulnerable group, supporting their engagement with her fantastic tea party format. The group had a wonderful time, and loved working with Sadia’.

We had a splendid time and particularly loved delivering our ‘DIY Tea Bag’ workshop, our guests created some interesting concoctions using cinnamon, ginger, cardamon pods, cloves, dried fruits and loose tea leaves! Lovely!