There are currently very few heritage exhibition spaces or museums in Newham and this is despite the fact that our area is home to an amazing array of inventions, fantastic maritime history and was a hotbed for social change throughout the 1800 and 1900’s.
The majority of Cody Dock’s community and arts events will be housed within a multi-function room adjacent to our café, we have however decided to also build a small but perfectly formed exhibition Pavilion that will be solely dedicated to Lea river’s rich heritage.

The concept for the pavilion is to provide a dedicated exhibition space that will enable us to display a quarterly rotating exhibition featuring material from the private and publicly owned collections based in and around Newham and showcase Cody Dock’s ever growing archive of artifacts associated with the dock and Bow Creek.

The pavilion will be constructed using two mahogany lifeboats owned by GDP that were manufactured by the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding company which was one of the leading manufacturers of ships at the end of the 19th Century, located on the banks of the Lower Lea River.

The proposed design for the gallery means that exhibitions can either be seen entirely from the outside with no need for the building to be open to the public or can be open and provide a fantastic venue where the viewer can look out over the River Lea and Cody Dock providing a dramatic backdrop for the exhibits.

One of the boats (Frederick Kitchen, RNLI ON 621) is in remarkably good condition but has been stripped of all its metal features. The other (John Ryburn, RNLI ON 565) is in very bad condition but has retained all the original brass and iron features including the original Thames Iron Works “made in Canning Town” makers plate. The Frederick Kitchen lifeboat will be refurbished, incorporating features from the John Ryburn lifeboat, and will be used as a canopy on a purpose made structure that will be walled with glazed panels to ensure maximum visibility into and out of the pavilion. By reusing the existing lifeboats the pavilion celebrates the long history of manufacturing in the Lea Valley.