WE: The Ex-Warner Estate in Waltham Forest
A major arts and heritage project exploring the social history and continuing importance of the Warner Estate in Waltham Forest, London by artists Lucy Harrison and Katherine Green / Rendezvous Projects CIC.
“Warner” properties were built in the borough from the late nineteenth century until the mid-twentieth century, with many of the properties taking the form of distinctive red brick self-contained flats.
The project includes photography, oral history, exhibitions, a publication and forthcoming mobile phone app, as well as walks, talks and events for local people. A call out for photographs of the properties in different eras has resulted in a collection of around 100 images from 1902 to the present day, and the Warner Estate’s archive, now owned by Walthamstow Historical Society, has also been explored in detail. A new stage funded by Heritage Lottery Fund is involving volunteers in carrying out interviews, photographing the Warner streets and researching aspects of the Estate.
The project has taken place in several stages.
Stage 1 (2014): The first stage of the project took place in 2014, 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 this website. The first stage was in collaboration with local writer Kirstin Sibley and Walthamstow Historical Society. The project focussed on capturing previously unrecorded social history and aimed to document the current residents of ex Warner properties, including long-term renters, new renters, those who recently purchased or who had purchased directly from the Warners.
Through stage 1, as the wealth of material from the longer-term older residents surfaced, we applied to Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund to capture and preserve more of this history.
Stage 2 (2016): The project is now in its second stage, which includes a new call out for participants and archive material, an exhibition at Vestry House Museum (29 October 2016 – 19 February 2017), and a second edition of the book. The exhibition is funded by a grant from Arts Council England, with sponsorship from local businesses the Stow Brothers and London Lofts and Construction.
Stage 3 (2017): A mobile phone app walking tour is being developed to document the history of the area and allow members of the public to take part in historic walks of the area. The app will include oral histories, guided tours and archive material. The app is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund as part of a new phase managed by Rendezvous Projects CIC, of which Lucy and Katherine are both directors. A group of local volunteers are carrying out oral history interviews, photographing the streets and will be assisting with the development of the mobile phone app.