Lottery grant will boost local history project
Residents living in homes built by the Warner family are being asked to help build a new public archive on the history of the famous estate.
Waltham Forest-based arts organisation Rendezvous Projects has been awarded £34,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help celebrate and commemorate the social history of the Warner Estate, an area of housing built in the late 19th Century that is famed for its distinctive design and high-quality workmanship.
Developed with volunteers from the community, the project will record the memories of people who lived in the properties when it was run by the Warner Estate, and include them in a new archive, along with scanned photographs and other material. A new smartphone app, allowing people to explore important local heritage as they walk around the area, will also be created.
Commenting on the award, project manager Lucy Harrison said: “We are delighted to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund for this important part of the project.
“This will build on support from Arts Council England and local businesses for an exhibition at Vestry House Museum, and we are confident the project will support longstanding locals, recent arrivals and visitors to the area in exploring this important part of the borough’s heritage.”
Terraced houses built by the Warner Company, found across Walthamstow and Highams Park, often bear the mark ‘W’ and feature bold red brick, gables, recessed porches, and tiled roofs. They are said to provide an important example of how a private company built affordable and good quality housing.
The Warner Estate project will eventually create a comprehensive public archive for the Vestry House Museum in Walthamstow, where an exhibition is due to take place from October 2016 until January 2017. It will provide training in heritage research, photography and oral history interviews for a group of volunteers who will also help to develop the smartphone app.
Further input will come from The Mill, Walthamstow Historical Society, Leyton and Leytonstone Historical Society and Waltham Forest College.
Rendezvous Projects want to hear from long-term Warner Estate residents who would be willing to take part in oral history interviews and to share their old photographs of the properties. They also want to hear from Waltham Forest residents who would like to volunteer for the project in terms of carrying out oral history interviews and photographing Warner streets.