An exhibition in Leytonstone celebrates its most famous son, writes Anthony Fernandes
One of the world’s finest and most instantly recognisable directors, Sir Alfred Hitchcock, made more than 50 films.
Yet remarkably, the story of his local roots remains largely unexplored. Save for the mosaic gallery at Leytonstone Underground Station and a mural or two, relatively little commemorates his connection to his hometown. He was born at 517 Leytonstone High Road, which is today a petrol station and vacant Chicken Shack, where there is an incorrectly dated plaque on the wall.
To help do more to celebrate the famous film director’s local roots, this month a curated collection of Hitchcock related books, photographs and film stills is on show at Leytonstone Library, until Thursday 13th September.
It is part of the annual Hitchcock Appreciation Month, an initiative from the Here’s To Hitchcock group and The Alfred Hitchcock of Leytonstone Society; locally-driven projects which aim to “preserve, promote and progress” his legacy.
The wider aim is to help reposition Leytonstone and Waltham Forest as a cultural destination, utilising Hitchcock’s iconic, global cultural impact. We seek to collaborate with organisations such as Vestry House Museum, McGuffin Society, Hitchcock’s Home, Leytonstone Pop Up Film Club, Magik Lantern, Shake The High Road, Stone Space, and Creative Bloc, to help promote and harness the talents, cultural capital and resources within the borough.
Our ambitions include (but are not limited to) the creation of a social enterprise-based creative hub and community centre with adjoining museum, art house cinema with media training and employment opportunities, walking tours, and eventually perhaps even a themed hotel to host visitors if a local heritage trail were to become reality.
We have been fortunate enough to be able to host screenings and talks with the help of local sponsors such as The Birds Pub, Leytonstone Festival, and residents. We are looking to increase activities during 2019 for the London Borough of Culture celebrations, to help inform and ensure a successful Hitchcock Film Festival and other events.
Our modest initiative is currently self-funded, however we are looking at a revenue model which could include crowd-funding, to help us operate and develop our next projects. Anyone wishing to volunteer, learn more, or help with funding, is welcome to get in touch.
For more information on Here’s To Hitchcock:
Call 07904 323 198
For more information on The Alfred Hitchcock of Leytonstone Society: