Book Sprint – Friday 18th November 2011

Calling all Swandeliers – it has, literally been ONE YEAR since this madcap-open-source-swan-pedalo adventure began – on the 15th of November 2010 we paid £100 for the Swan Pedalo without a clue what we were going to do with it – and then, the following day we made the famous move into the shop unit on Renshaw Street – WOW – since that epic day this project has had the confidence to see where it goes… Continue reading


Saturday 16th of April 2011 marks the Alpha launch of the Open Source Swan Pedalo – and where better that the “gateway to the world” – Liverpool’s Albert Dock!

From Monday 18th of April until Monday 2nd of May we hope that the Swan will be open for the general public – come down and have a go!

We will be testing the Swan’s water-worthy-ness over this weekend and we hope to film a few of Liverpool’s finest musicians making some music onboard!

There were initial concerns that that the launch would faulter when security officials arrived on the scene – but after some negotiation were allowed to lower the Swan down the slope and into the water.  We each had a go until we had relayed our Swan all the way around the Albert Dock to its mooring location next to the big wheel and outside of the Echo Arena.  It is an amazingly smooth ride – and quite fast!

As is tradition, we splashed the Swan with champagne and said a few words before doing a lap of honour.  Present for this momentous occasion were Sam, Ruth, Mel, Markus, Neringa, Neil, John and our wonderful host Simon.

One thing we did not do however, was choose a name for our Swan – perhaps this is bad luck – but we hope that the people of Liverpool will choose a name in good time ;-)

Testing the Water!

Finally – we dreamt that this day would come – our opportunity has arrived to get our Open Source Swan Pedalo out onto the water!

This great news is in no small part thanks to the efforts of Simon of who got in touch with us right at the beginning to offer a mutually beneficial chance for the swan to get its feet wet.  If all goes to plan then the Open Source Swan Pedalo will be on the water for testing near the Albert Dock during Saturday and Sunday this weekend and then it will be available to the fee-paying public of Liverpool as an enjoyable and leisurely resource for two weeks after that (which includes the Royal Wedding day!)

The basic schedule is as follows:

(tonight) Friday evening 6.30pm: meeting with Simon at basecamp (Andy’s workshop) to inspect the Swan for any damage etc. and discuss the day and arrangements – then off for a sneaky pint at Kavanaghs.  If anyone wants to come along and needs a lift I can pick you up – all welcome.

Saturday morning 9am: Swan is being collected by a Man with Van (who was sourced via twitter!) and driven down to the Albert Dock – this is an all hands on deck operation.  Again – I can pick people up if need be.  Ideally we will have 6 people to lift the swan onto (and off of) the boxvan.  It would be good also if we could video this voyage.

(Our Swan will be entering the water near to where the Duckmarine goes.)

Saturday afternoon:
Sam is co-ordinating this – but the intention is that various musicians will be doing short acoustic renditions of their own songs from the Swan and we hope to share this within Liverpool Music Unconference as an alternative model for music distribution.

Sunday: (possibility for more testing – or perhaps free rides for the art-going public?)

Then: 2 weeks of Open Source Swan Pedalo operational on Albert Dock as leisure vessel for public to enjoy.

  • The Open Source Swan Pedalo will remain on the water until the end beginning of May operating as part of Simons Wowball venture – there will be a charge of £5 for 10 minutes for an adult + their children (which is pretty fair considering this is the same fee as for a single child in the wow balls)
  • Simon is only looking to recoup his costs and any surplus will go back into Swan funds for the benefit of future projects

During the 2 weeks that the Swan is operational on the water it would be desirable if people could sign up to volunteer for one half day to be on hand and support Simon’s lifeguards in operating the Swan.  This is not essential but it will mean that we have a team of people with documented experience of working with the swan – we might even do some special badges!
Fri 29th April: the Swan will be on the water for the Royal Wedding!  Any ideas how to mark this? Portraits? Bunting? A battered swan banquet?

Tues May 3rd: Open Source Swan Pedalo will leave the water

So -

Any questions?  Any suggestions?


PS: I decided against posting this news yesterday since the 14th of April is the anniversary of the sinking of Titanic.

Open-Sourcing a Swan Pedalo

John O’Shea’s talk at Ignite Liverpool explains a lot about where the Swan Pedalo is coming from and also a little about where it might be going next.

Of course – the best way to know what’s on the horizon is to follow @swanpedalo on twitter.

Presentation slides are shared below:

Thanks to Pedalo advocate Neil Morrin @defnetmedia for the invitation to speak at the Global Ignite Week Liverpool event. Cheers also to John McKerrell behind the camera on this video and to all the crew behind the scenes who made Social Media in Liverpool Week totally awesome!

Visit the Ignite Liverpool Youtube Channel to see some of the other talks from the evening (which were of a really high standard) – they are linked individually here:

this Weds 7pm @ the Ranch

Ahoy there!

This Wednesday, at our studio in Liverpool, we are hosting a one-off gathering to plot new adventures for the Open Source Swan Pedalo during 2011 – we really hope to see you there!

Time: 7pm
Date: Wednesday 9th February 2011
Location: Ranch Studio, 67-69 Victoria Street, Liverpool, UK, L1 6DL
(Google Map Link)

Suggested topics of discussion:

* Pedalo Principles
* Moving from the impossible to the possible
* Ready-made opportunities for action in the 2011 Calendar
* Can a Swan Pedalo truly be “Open Source”?

All input prior to Wednesday eve is greatly welcomed – over email, via @swanpedalo on twitter and the Open Source Swan Pedalo blog (including potential hosts, mechanical advice, new projects etc.) – we’ll present all of this stuff for everyone to consider on the evening.

All will finish for 9pm when it is suggested we retire to The Swan Inn (or perhaps The Shipping Forecast) for beverages.

*** Society of Swandeliers ***

As promised – a one-off Open Source Swan Pedalo meet-up is confirmed for Wednesday 9th February at 7pm (as part of Liverpool’s week of Social Media festivities) and the gathering will be taking place at The Ranch Studio on Victoria Street in Liverpool City Centre – L1 6DE.

The aim of this meet-up will be to HAVE FUN! generate & consolidate ideas and plan for future Swan Pedalo adventures.

As mentioned previously – if people are coming from out of town we’ll try and make arrangements to put you up – we have a couple of people confirmed from Leeds already…

We are going to gather together all of the current opportunities and suggested projects and develop a strategy for making some of this stuff happen over the course of 2011.

Until then – we salute you!

Pedalo Principles

(the Open Source Swan Pedalo taking a break at Andy’s workshop near Princes Park, Liverpool)

Over the last few weeks some important guiding principles have emerged which we hope will ensure good stewardship of the Open Source Swan Pedalo now that we have overcome the initial challenges of transporting the vessel and building a strong support network:

1.  There is no master plan, instead, the  Open Source Swan Pedalo is contingent, opportunistic and informal – this is a SEE WHERE IT GOES project…

2.  The Open Source Swan Pedalo requires hospitable HOST communities who can care for and accommodate it for fixed periods of time.

3.  It is desirable that communities and individuals wishing to host the Open Source Swan Pedalo make arrangements for it to be integrated into their projects and ACTIVITIES.

4.  Inventions, modifications, “pimping the swan” – these are all whole-heartedly encouraged BUT remember that the Open Source Swan Pedalo is for everyone – please don’t damage the swan for others.  RESPECT the SWAN.

If you have an idea for where the Open Source Swan Pedalo should go during 2011 – or if there is just something that you would like to try out just leave a comment on this blog.