Spotlight on East End’s social housing as part of Story of London Festival

PUBLISHED: 15:51 24 September 2010

Bethnal Green's cranbrook Estate in 1969

Bethnal Green's cranbrook Estate in 1969


THE East End’s social housing will come under the spotlight in a series of events exploring the borough’s heritage and culture as part of a London-wide festival.

The Story of London celebrates the capital both as a place of heritage and as a cutting-edge city of change and new ideas.

Tower Hamlets has seen the pioneering development of social housing since its inception through the work of Victorian philanthropists and successive governments.

As part of the festival, which runs from October 1-10, the Local History Library and Archives in Bancroft Road, Mile End, will be holding four free events focusing on the history of social housing.

The events will include two guided walks around East End estates, a talk and debate on the history of social housing with Guardian journalist Lynsey Hanley, CEO of Tower Hamlets Community Housing Mike Tyrrell and Marcel Baettig from Bow Arts Trust, and the premiere of documentary 14th Floor at Rochelle School in Arnold Circus.

The film by Shane Davey charts the development of social housing in the East End using rarely seen imagery from the archive collections and interviews with former and current residents, architects, artists and historians.

Earlier this year Mr Davey won the 28 Day Feature Film Challenge: Best Film Award with The Horror of the Dolls, a chilling movie set in Poplar’s Balfron Tower.

The premiere of 14th Floor will be at the Rochelle School, the former school which served the first Old Nichol slum and later the Boundary Estate and is now a gallery, at 6.30pm on Thursday, October 7.

To book a place on any of the events contact Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives on 020 7364 1290 or email

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