Mocked up East End funeral on Haggerston Estate represents complexity of regeneration

The mock funeral on the Haggerston Estate, photo credit Briony Campbell

The mock funeral on the Haggerston Estate, photo credit Briony Campbell - Credit: Archant

A mocked up traditional East End funeral procession paraded around Haggerston on Saturday, as part of an artistic project about regeneration.

Travelling from the old Haggerston estate to the new one, singer Olivia Chaney led the parade, performing the cockney classic “If it wasn’t for the ‘ouses in between” and was followed by a donkey-drawn cart and a scaffolding sculpture carried aloft by pallbearers.

People born on the estate in the 1940s had taken part as well as babies just born there recently, and the group passed from the old estate, Samuel House, into the new estate, the City Mills, which will retain the names of some of the old blocks as street names, like Lovelace House which will become Lovelace Street.

Artist and organiser, Andrea Zimmerman, said the event had been “crazy and wonderful”.

Julia Vandermark was in the procession, whose grandparents were among the first residents to move to the estate from slum clearance programmes in the early 1930’s.

Ms Zimmerman said: Her grandfather was not allowed to keep his animals, not even his dog, so he committed suicide in his new flat.

“It is an important story in the film we are making about the estate, as we are trying to think through a more complex notion of “progress”, which always sees redevelopment as being better, whereas it is so much more complex.”