Youngsters take part in Great Fire commemoration

One of the children works on her design

One of the children works on her design - Credit: Archant

Creative primary school children from three schools in the borough this week joined hundreds of others from across London to put together an art project for the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London.

The panels that will adorn the final piece, based on the children's designs

The panels that will adorn the final piece, based on the children's designs - Credit: Archant

Youngsters from Southwold Primary School in Detmold Road, and New Regent’s College Primary School in Ickburgh Road, both Clapton, as well as Orchard Primary School in Holcroft Road, Hackney, learned all about the Great Fire during term time.

They were then asked to make drawings illustrating their hopes for London.

These included thoughtful wishes, such as “5p houses” and “less pollution in London”.

Also featured were slightly less selfless options such as “more Minecraft games” and the utilitarian “hovercars”.

One of the drawings done by the children

One of the drawings done by the children - Credit: Archant


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After being transformed into laser-cut decorative panels, the drawings will adorn the sides of a 120-metre-long sculpture of restoration London.

The artwork will then be set alight and floated on the River Thames in a dramatic retelling of the Great Fire of 1666 – this time, of course, with a level of health and safety somewhat lacking 350 years ago.

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And this isn’t the only way young people are being encouraged to get involved in the celebrations. Those aged 16 to 24 who are not in education, employment or training will be given the opportunity to get qualifications by taking part in the construction of the final piece.

It’s due to be set alight on the Thames to mark the end of the London’s Burning festival on September 4.

“The Great Fire of London is a story that has tremendous contemporary resonance,” said Helen Marriage, director of Artichoke, the company behind the celebrations.

“Hundreds of young Londoners will play a role in making London’s Burning a reality and share in a journey that explores the lasting impact of the Great Fire on this global city through the imagination of artists, thinkers and writers.”

To learn more about the London’s Burning festival, visitartichoke.uk.com/events/londons_burning.html

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