Museum event celebrates Hackney’s heritage

Projects show how the past shaped present-day Hackney.

The generation gap was bridged with a special event at Hackney Museum this week focussing on two special projects which draw on the experiences and ancestry of young and old to tell the history of Hackney.

Schoolchildren, pensioners, academics, history buffs, councillors and even celebrated author, Catherine Johnson, gathered at the museum in Reading Lane on Wednesday evening where an exhibition featuring one of the projects, “Putting on the Blitz,” is being held.

The brainchild of local history magazine, TimeLine, it uses the memories of old folk who lived through the wartime bombing in the Blitz to contribute to a history archive which can be used as a educational resource pack in schools.

Funded with a �3,320 grant from Grassroots Grants and Hackney Council Voluntary Services, it has already proved a success in engaging pupils to learn about the past.

As part of the project, a special writing and painting competition for adults and children was held and attending Wednesday’s event was the junior winner of the writing competition, 10-year-old Isabel Linden, and the winner of the art competition, nine-year-old Chloe Moore,.

Isabel lives in Parkholme Road, Dalston and attends our Lady and St Joseph’s primary School in Tottenham Road, De Beauvoir.

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Chloe won the art prize with a painting of St Paul’s Cathedral which remarkably survived the German air raids. She lives on the Woodberry Down Estate and attends St Thomas Abney primary school in Fairholt Road, Stoke Newington.

The event also included the launch by TimeLine of its “Where in the World Project”

which is a colour-coded visual presentation of Hackney’s diversity and heritage using charts, maps and spreadsheets.

Funded with a �10,000 Awards for All Lottery grant, it puts Hackney at the centre of a world map and enables children or residents to trace and research their own family histories to find out where in the world their parents and grandparents were born.

Camilla Loewe, Editor/ Co-ordinator of TimeLine, said:”

“Hackney is the perfect place for our Where in the World project. It is exciting that so many people have used it to find out more about their own family histories, and to celebrate the amazingly diverse heritage of Hackney at the same time. We think it is popular because it is so simple to use and always creates a completely unique kaleidoscope for the people taking part.”

*To read Isabel Linden’s winning story, which so impressed the judges, get next week’s Hackney Gazette.