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Current Projects

80 years playing in Leyton – In partnership with Leyton Orient

This project will record Leyton’s changing landscape over the past 80 years through the stories of Leyton Orient supporters. From World War I, when about 1,300 houses were damaged by Zeppelin raids, to the Blitz of World War II, Leyton was a primary target due to its proximity to the London Docks and Temple Mills rail yard. A thriving urban industrial area in the 1920’s, known for manufacturing neckties and the Thermos factory, Leyton suffered large-scale industrial decline in the post war years. The building in 1972 of the 20-storey tower blocks Cathall estate was closely followed by the M11 Road Campaign, instigating an era of resistance, with the Leyton Art House in Claremont. Leyton, has also known significant regeneration in the past decade in connection withthe Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Journey to Recovery – In partnership with Blenheim

Described as the ‘ultimate journey’ by one former addict, the Journey to Recovery will record the life histories of service users, and of their key workers, at R3 ETE (Education, Training and Employment) in the London Borough of Redbridge. Personal stories will be juxtaposed against the infamous practices of psychiatric internment and addiction treatments, such as lobotomy and prescribed morphine, commonly used at Claybury Hospital, in Redbridge, and St Clements Hospital in the East End.   

In light of the enduring stigma attached to drug and alcohol issues, particularly in relation to mental health, it is crucial to record and celebrate the voices of those whose journeys are still ongoing.


Appliance of Science: Women, Home and Domestic technologyAppliance of Science

Next year it will be 100 years since women over the age of 30 received the vote, an important occasion Eastside wishes to celebrate. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, Appliance of Science will tell the story of women in the home and of the impact of domestic technology. Through the history of Barking & Dagenham households, and interviews with women over the age of 60, the project will look at variations in cultures between how domestic chores are undertaken, the growth of consumer culture, and the origins of gender divide.

Three score years and ten: the Harold Wood Hospital – Celebrating 70 years of the NHS

M-F-10_1 Harold Wood Hospital 1938 - From Havering Archive

Eastside wishes to celebrate 70 years of the NHS through exploring the history of Havering’s Harold Wood Hospital (1909-2006). The project will gather the oral histories of health care professionals who worked at the Hospital and of currently active NHS professionals. Activities will include reminiscence sessions in the rehabilitation ward at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, Vox Pop Memory Cafes and multimedia workshops at local schools in order to create Open Mic material for Harold Wood Community Radio. The project will also feature a living history exhibition: ‘Hospital Ward, 1948’ using memorabilia, and oral history to recreate a historic hospital ward.

Changing Minds – In partnership with Redbridge Rainbow Community

The Changing Minds project will record the experiences of LGBT+ people living and working in the London Borough of Redbridge, and who are affected by mental health issues. Homosexuality was considered a mental illness under law until 1968, after the introduction of the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 (decriminalising same sex activity between consenting adults in England and Wales). Transsexualism was not declassified as a mental illness in England and Wales until 2002, much later than was the case for LGB people. We will interview people who were born from the 1950s until 1997 in order to gain a chronology of the issues affecting LGBT+ people, a community known to suffer disproportionally from mental health issues. The project will work with local partners to engage communities in heritage activities through events, mobile exhibitions and school workshops.

Plashet Park – Commissioned by Active Newham

Plashet Park Scans_094
Eastside is working alongside Active Newham in a Heritage Lottery funded project gathering the memories of people who lived in East Ham and visited Plashet Park at different times. 500 years ago, Plashet was a small village, and the area around East Ham, a forest; ‘Plashet’ means ‘a small clearing in a wood’. The Park was originally on the grounds of Wood House, a large manor house purchased by a local vicar and opened to the public two years later. Although long gone, Plashet Zoo and the butterfly house opened respectively in 1964 and 1991. In 1976, the Mayor of East Ham unveiled a garden for the visually impaired which was created with local pupils from Woodside Comprehensive School. The park also accommodated political rallies, as for example on the 11th May, 1985, when a peaceful march of over 2000 people protesting against racist police treatment ended in Plashet Park.

Talking Sport – Funded by Inspiring Communities Fund


The project is working on the Olympic park to record stories of people playing and involved in sports activities as well as memories of the 2012 Olympic Games. The project will train young people to use multimedia tools to document older people’s memories of sport, producing a short history film on the subject as we seek to encourage youth to engage with wellbeing and fitness in their local area.

Folk of forest gate

Folk of forest gate is a local history project we have been running since the beginning of 2017. We have been interviewing local people to collect their stories and memories about leisure in Forest Gate. We have gathered some great memories of pubs, clubs, cinemas, shops, galleries, parks, snooker halls, and skating rinks.