WE: The Ex-Warner Estate in Waltham Forest
The Ex-Warner Project in Waltham Forest
Exploring the social history of the estate through new photography, archive material and oral histories.
Artists Lucy Harrison and Katherine Green
collaborated on a project that surveys the former
Warner Estate in the suburbs of East London.
A major heritage project by Rendezvous Project CIC, 2014 – 2016.
The Warner Estate in Waltham Forest consists of three distinct areas of housing development, spanning 1880s until the 1950s. Built for the working classes, these well-designed and well-built flats and houses are a distinct character within the area and have helped shape a community. Generations of families have rented these properties and Lucy and Katherine have sought to capture their history.
The project is in two parts. The first, in 2014 was funded by an Arts Development grant from Waltham Forest Council along with sponsorship from the Stow Brothers Estate Agents, and included an exhibition in the former Warner rent office for Lloyd Park, the publication of a book, a series of community events and the collection of archive material, much of which is available on the project website.
Exhibition in the former rent office
The first stage was in collaboration with local writer Kirstin Sibley and Walthamstow Historical Society. It documented the current diversity of owners and tenants of the properties.
During the course of this project, many older residents came forward – many of who had lived in these properties their entire lives and were second of third generation tenants. It became apparent that there was a need to develop a second phase to the project where the artists focused on collecting the memories of these older residents.
Vestry House Museum exhibition
The second part of this project, 2016, is funded by Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund. The artists have engaged volunteers to help with the work of gathering hundreds of memories, documents and photographs from these older residents.
The exhibition at Vestry House Museum, was accompanied by walks, talks and an updated second edition of the accompanying publication WE. In February 2017, a new walking tour app was launched with guided walks, oral histories and archive material, it can be downloaded free from the App Store or Google Play, just search for ‘Ex Warner Project
The app contains three walking tours of different areas of the Ex Warner Estate in Leyton and Walthamstow. It includes historical details, photos and oral history extracts. Available from Google Play and iTunes.
Limited edition publication
An 80-page full-colour limited edition publication about the Ex-Warner housing estate in Waltham Forest. The book contains extracts of oral histories, archive and contemporary photography and a map of the area. It’s £12 and available online from the Rendezvous Projects shop.