Project information

The Eel of Ely 2019

Workshops, music making and carnival activities leading to a mass parade through the city on Eel Day. The project will take place over several months, bringing together young people, children, families and local residents of all ages to celebrate Ely's heritage, learn new skills and to have fun!

February 2019 - May 2019

Charity information: Babylon ARTS (operated by ADEC)

Babylon ARTS (operated by ADEC) logo
  • Need


    Ely Eel Day has been running in the city for many years to celebrate the humble Eel and it's connection to Ely. A key feature of the event is the giant eel puppet which is paraded through the streets. In 2017/18 a donation afforded repairs to the existing eel puppet, but unfortunately the puppet is getting rather old and may not be fit for action without further maintenance and repairs in 2019.


    The plan is to get local people involved in creating a new Eel spectacle as part of the parade - including designing, making, creating and animating. Artists will be involved in leading workshops. Alongside the making activities there will be music led activities and costume making to inject some more colour into the parade celebrations. We want to offer opportunities for people to have fun and get creative - whilst keeping a local tradition alive.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To engage young people in Ely in positive activities in their community


    » Workshops will take place with schools and youth settings to give young people the opportunity to get involved.

    What success will look like

    We will record the number of young people engaged in activities and invite their feedback.

    Aim 2

    To celebrate the heritage of Ely and teach people about the significance of Eels


    » Eel Day and the history of the city will be used as the theme and uniting thread that runs through the project.

    What success will look like

    We will document the project through film and photography, and invite feedback from participants, visitors and audience.

    Aim 3

    To offer opportunities for local people to learn new creative skills


    » Artist-led workshops, activities and drop in sessions will be on offer to local people.

    What success will look like

    We will document the project and participant experiences and invite feedback from those who have worked on developing new skills.

  • Impact


    The project will help to keep alive the tradition of the eel puppet and spectacle of Ely Eel Day. The workshops and participatory activities offer local people the chance to get involved and learn new skills. The intention is to skill up volunteers who will be able to take a more active role in the future of Eel Day and other community activities.


    Babylon ARTS are experienced in running artist-led community projects including full risk assessment for activities. A good project plan and links with local groups will ensure we make the right connections to generate interest and make the project as success. As for any outdoor activities we will have a inclement weather contingency plan to minimise the impact of any bad weather.


    We will send bulletin updates to donors to report on progress, but also to invite involvement in activities if they wish. In addition there will be a communications plan to support the project including press releases, social media updates and a newsletter.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £4,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,960 Artist led workshops Running 7 artist-led workshops for young people
      £940 Community activities Organising a series of 8 community activities running up to the parade including drop-in sessions
      £660 Materials Materials for workshops, community activities and construction of the puppet
      £200 Promotion Printed material to promote workshops and community engaged activities
      £240 Venue hire Contribution to venue hire (some venue use is offered in kind)
  • Background


    Rich in history, Ely was the stronghold of Hereward the Wake, home to Oliver Cromwell and is famous for its magnificent Norman cathedral. Ely is small city that has undergone rapid growth in recent years, with a significant amount of new housing development. Services have not kept pace with the rising population. Youth provision has suffered from funding cuts, and during recent years there has also been an increase in anti-social behaviour.


    Local people of all ages will have an opportunity to connect with the project. There will be workshops targets at young people and we will work with local children and youth settings to identify where and how best to run these.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Since the organisation was formed in 1994, Babylon ARTS (then ADeC) has planned, managed and delivered a wide range of community projects for the city. We have the skills, the local connection and the passion to make the project a real success.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Florence Tong

    Head of Project Delivery