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Current Projects


Museum on Wheels

Let our museum come to you

Museum on Wheels Leaflet

We are starting our new and exciting project Museum on Wheels 2016 which is showcasing the rich social history of Newham. Our Museum on Wheels project seeks to engage local residents and provide an immersive storytelling experience through the use of memorabilia, photographs and sound. The history of Newham is constantly changing. A history that can be told through localised industry and shared social experiences. However, a series of new schemes/investment and the designation as an Olympic borough have brought about a renewed sense of positive energy and opportunity in Newham for the present and for the future. Building upon Eastside Community Heritage’s previous experience in East London not only do we seek to showcase the history of Newham but to also unearth new and exciting stories you would like to share with us about this exciting borough.
If you are based in Stratford, Forest Gate or West Ham and would like the Museum on Wheels to visit your group we would certainly like to hear from you! For more details about this project please contact Joshua or Holly on 0208 553 3116, or email joshua@ech.org.uk / holly@ech.org.uk The project was awarded a grant through the TIQ Community Fund. The Fund was established by Lend Lease to support the local community around The International Quarter development at Stratford City. The Fund is managed by East End Community Foundation.


Snapshops through time

An history of the famous photographic company

Snapshots through Time Leaflet

Eastside Community Heritage have recently received a £10,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to embark on a project exploring the history of Ilford Limited, a photographic company founded in 1879 by Alfred Harman. Ilford Limited is a big name in photography, and their films and cameras are used all over the world. However their move away from Ilford in the 80’s means many people don’t realise the town of Ilford in Redbridge is the birthplace and namesake of the company. This project aims to connect local people, both young and old, with this important history which has helped to make accessible the world of photography.

Ilford Limited began life in the basement of Harman’s house in Cranbrook Road, but its success allowed it to move onto a new site in Roden Street which is today occupied by Sainsbury’s. As part of the project we will hold workshops at Sainsbury’s and in Redbridge Museum in order to share the company’s fascinating history. The business was a huge employer of local people and we hope to interview as many former employees as possible for our archive so this important heritage does not get lost. The project will also provide photography workshops in and around Ilford’ Town Centre.

We are currently looking for people to interview for this project. If you or someone you know has a story to tell about Ilford Ltd. please contact
Holly on holly@ech.org.uk or 02085533116


A Walk In The Park

South Park, Ilford

A Walk In The ParkThis project is working in partnership with South Park Users group and Redbridge Museum. South Park, Ilford has a rich and interesting local history.

The park is over 100 years old and has been an important area for leisure, natural habitat and green space for the people of Ilford throughout this time. In recent years our local Park Users Group has been instrumental in supporting the regeneration of the Park which now has ‘Green Flag’ status.

The project is recording the history of the park, delivering reminiscence session, collecting oral histories to train local volunteers in the people’s history and the environmental wildlife of the park and in the collection of oral histories.

We are in the process of developing a number of themed heritage walks and a history and nature trail for the park. We are involving 180+ school children to respect and enjoy the park by engaging them in the history and natural habitat. The project will result in a touring exhibition, walking tours, video a display in the Wildlife Education Centre.

For more information about the project, please contact Judith (office@ech.org.uk).


Voice of Leytonstonia

Sing-a-Long-a-Protest

Voice of Leytonstonia

The project is working with Woodcraft Folk’s Venturers in the London Borough of Newham will explore the local history of the use of song, music and chants as tools of the M11 Road Link protests of the early 1990s. The protests have never been fully explored by the young people of the local community.

They are keen to use the theme of sound, from folk songs and chants to house music and raves, as a vessel for exploring the innovative forms of direct action that attracted national attention to their local area. Music, equality, education and social change are central tenets of the Woodcraft Folk’s ethos, and some of the group have personal and family connections to the events. They will be trained and guided by Eastside Community Heritage to record oral histories with eyewitnesses to the protests, conduct reminiscence sessions, create a short film, website and songbook inspired by the protests and form a touring exhibition.

This will culminate in a public march through the local area while singing and playing songs inspired by the original protests. This project is funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund young roots programme.

For more information about the project, please contact Judith (office@ech.org.uk).


All Dressed Up

50 years of Fashion in Barking and Dagenham


This project is working in partnership with London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Libraries.

From factories to dance halls, the past fifty years in Barking and Dagenham have seen a huge change in the way people dress. Fashion and trends for the masses was predominantly launched in working class areas, where high fashion looks were highly desirable yet unaffordable to the general population.

Many small clothes making factories were once in this borough, providing employment and fashion ideas to the local people, in addition to the many textile home workers in the borough performing piece work for larger factories and suppliers. The project is recording oral histories for an exhibition and fashion show, documenting the oral histories.

For more information about the project, please contact Judith (office@ech.org.uk).


30 Years Of Living With HIV

30 Years of living with HIV

Working in Partnership with Positive East the project focuses on the 1980’s and on people who have been living with HIV for more than 20 years – in some cases on people who have been HIV positive for 30 years, collecting oral histories, delivering reminiscence session, school workshops and training volunteers in oral history collection and video documentary making. The arrival of HIV and AIDS in the early 1980’s led to predictions of deaths on a massive scale.

The government’s response was a national public-health campaign with a simple but apocalyptical message – don’t die of ignorance. As groups at most risk were homosexual men and intravenous drug-users, outright hostility from certain quarters was common. The seeds of the continuing stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV were sown.

30 years later, some of those people affected are still alive. Despite being told by doctors they were expected to live only for a few months or years, some survived. The interviewees will tell their powerful stories and the political struggles for better treatment, more medical treatment, better and earlier testing facilities and the struggle to treat people living with HIV without discrimination. These issues are still ongoing.

Someone who has lived with HIV for 30years has a unique story to tell which young generations can learn from. The project will result in a touring exhibition, education resources and a video documentary.

For more information about the project, please contact Judith (office@ech.org.uk).


Redbridge or London?

50 Years a Borough

Redbridge or London ‘Redbridge: London or Essex?’ which seeks to explore how people who live (or have lived) in the borough of Redbridge identify with their location. This project is in acknowledgement of the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Amalgamation of the Boroughs, which will be celebrated throughout this year.

Culturally, there has been some dispute over whether towns such as Woodford Green, South Woodford, Ilford, Barkingside, and other towns within the borough of Redbridge, are in London, or Essex. This is partly for historical reasons; the London Borough of Redbridge was created in 1965, which amalgamated Ilford with Wanstead and Woodford, and the included parts of Chigwell and Dagenham. Some people who saw this change, therefore, still feel that these areas are in Essex, rather than London.

Do you live in Redbridge? We want to record what local residents old and new think about this issue, and identify what, exactly, drives people to consider themselves as from London, or from Essex. We are eager to record life history for this project, and celebrate the Redbridge borough’s 50th anniversary by really getting to know it’s inhabitants. This project is funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund and will result in a touring exhibition and a series of historical talks.

For more information about the project, please contact Judith (office@ech.org.uk).


Hungarian Revolution

Voice of Leytonstonia

The Hungarian Culture and Heritage Society are working with ECH on an exciting new project recording the stories of Londoners of Hungarian descent, with stories and experiences of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Stories will be archived for future generations in order to preserve this important history. We are currently seeking interviewees who are willing to tell us their experiences of the revolution.

The Hungarian revolution in 1956 was a spontaneous uprising began by students in Budapest against the enforced Soviet rule in Hungary. After World War two soviet troops occupied Hungary, and elected a communist leader. On the 23rd October 1956 a group of students marched to Budapest with a list of 16 demands which they broadcast through a speaker and tried to announce on the radio.

They built up a large amount of support and the revolution attacked Russian soldiers, members of the secret police in Hungary, and smashed a statue of Stalin. After the revolution 200 000 Hungarians fled West, some into Austria but some to the UK; although immigration statistics are not accurate it is clear that England has not seen such immigration from Hungary again until recently, even after Hungary joined the EU in 2004.

For more information about the project, please contact Judith (office@ech.org.uk).


Museum on Wheels

Museum On Wheels Museum on Wheels Is coming to Forest Gate, and Stratford very soon, with mobile exhibitions, delivering mobile reminiscence sessions and lots of history games and activities details to be announced soon.

For more information about the project, please contact Judith (office@ech.org.uk).


Jewish Migration Routes: From East End to Essex

A Jewish Butcher Shop in the east end_c.1930s_Jewish Migration RoutesThis  project seeks to record the experiences of the Jewish Communities who moved east into Essex from London’s East End.

The project will record and preserve stories of older people, before working with young people from local schools in and around Redbridge to produce a resource on Jewish migration out of the East End.

This two year project will see the young people engaged in recording local stories, researching the heritage of the Jewish communities in London, and participating in workshops and conferences in partnership with COMPAS at Oxford University.

For more information about the project, please contact Judith (office@ech.org.uk).


Woodberry Down: People’s Story

Playing-on-the-Woodberry-Down-Estate_cThis Heritage Lottery Funded project, working in partnership with WDCO, seeks to record and document the experiences of the people who live, work and play in and around the Woodberry Down Estate in Hackney. A pop-up Memory Shop will soon be opening on the estate where people can participate in heritage events and activities, reminisce about their experiences, and view an ever-changing exhibition (which will be updated as new material is collected).

For more information about the project, please contact Judith (office@ech.org.uk).


The Wapping Dispute

We are collecting and recording memories of the 1986 – 87 strike against the sacking of over 5,000 print workers by News International.

The strike was pivotal for both the printing industry and the British union movement.

For audio recollections please visit the audio gallery


Hidden Heroes – Finding the Soldiers from the Empire – Hidden Stories

2000_esch_chun_p01_05This project is working in partnership with Middlesex University, working with students, volunteers and school children.

The Middlesex Regiment was one of the principal Home Counties based regiments with a long and proud tradition. In 1906 the 3rd Battalion was sent to Hong Kong and then Singapore two years later. The Battalion was sent to India in 1911 and moved to the Western Front for ten months in January 2015. The Regiment has strong links to the Empire.
The project will train 20 volunteers and 20 students to research 20-40 soldiers from the Middlesex Regiment using historical records, birth certificates, national census from 1901 and 1911, to find out where they came from and their family roots.

Our volunteer and student researchers will then be trained to research and find living relatives to undertake oral history and video interviews, to record the family stories of arrival, settlement and importantly the stories which have entered the family folklore from the Great War. The volunteers and students will disseminate the research and oral histories to the wider public through an exhibition, teaching resources, website and radio production as part of the 2014 commemoration.
This project will chart the contributions that Commonwealth soldiers made during the Great War.


Disabled Young People’s Project

Eastside has been working with young disabled people from the AbPhab youth centre in Dagenham. The group has started to learn about film-making and photography as well as researching local archives and the history of disabled workers. Over the next 6 months they will work on different themes of their choice, document their research and the development of the project.

The film material and interviews collected at a recent trip to the Museum at Docklands has been edited into a short video which was screened before Christmas. Eastside will work with the group to produce a 10-15 minute film by the end of April 2010. The apprentice filmmakers will be able to showcase their work at the East London film festival and Canary Wharf film festival.