London’s working class heritage is in the spotlight as Historic England announces funding for community-led projects through its Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working Class Histories.
Eight projects across London will receive grants from the scheme which focuses on heritage that links people to overlooked historic places, with a particular interest in recognising and celebrating working class histories.
Lambeth will be investigating two landmarks linked by a shared history of Second World War bomb damage.
Led by Studio Voltaire, a not–for–profit arts organisation, this project will support and engage young people and residents, to share their stories and collaborate with artists, community historians and each other.
They have secured a grant of £25,000.
Another project will focus on the origins of the slaughterhouse girls who worked in the Cattle Markets in Deptford at the end of the 19th century.
More than 500 women were employed in these offal yards, including Grade II listed Olympia Convoy’s Wharf.
Fiercely independent, they had a reputation for raucous behaviour, and were nicknamed the ‘gut girls’.
Led by Capture Art & Creative Projects Ltd, in partnership with The Albany and Deptford Library, this project, which was granted £11,000 will work with young people in Deptford to produce arts and crafts, and photography.
This content will be available online and locally to help bring the hidden working-class history of the area to life for local communities.
A nearby project exploring and illuminating stories of the Blue, a community in South Bermondsey, was granted £25,000 and will unearth and tell the stories of unheard voices and histories from this former dockland area and centre for food production.
It will present and showcase the untold multicultural picture of the area’s industrial and commercial history, and the contributions of Irish migrants and the Windrush generation, to more recent migration.
This project will provide intergenerational volunteering opportunities, particularly for isolated older and younger people, and will culminate in an exhibition and festival events at the Blue.
The projects were selected from more than 500 nation-wide applications and are among 57 successful bids being announced.
Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “These community-led projects demonstrate that heritage is all around us and accessible to everyone. They will highlight that wherever people live they are surrounded by historic buildings, landscapes and streets, industrial and coastal heritage that can help bring communities together.
“Heritage should be for everyone. But not everyone’s stories are told and not everyone’s history is remembered. Historic England’s Everyday Heritage Grants aim to address this imbalance by engaging with the widest possible range of heritage.”
Pictured top: Rectory Grove & Gardens in Wandsworth circa 1980 Picture: Spectacle Media