Launch of Woodberry Down: The People’s Story book and exhibition

After a lot of hard work, the day has finally arrived! We’d like to invite everyone who is interested in our Woodberry Down project to join us on Wednesday 13 May for the launch of our book and exhibition about life on the estate since it opened in 1948.

The launch will be at the new(ish!) community centre down by the reservoirs – the Redmond Centre, Kayani Avenue, London, N4 2HF.


If you can come along, please do join us to browse our exhibition, pick up a copy of our book and see the unveiling of the ‘memory quilt’ that young people on the estate have been working on for months.

invite  copy 2

Drinks and nibbles will be provided.

Hope to see you there!

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Video clip of Woodberry Down Comprehensive School from 1963

A video clip of Woodberry Down Comprehensive School from 1963 showing various staff members, sports day and the last day.

Even for those of us that didn’t go to the school it gives a glimpse of just how special the school was. And for those of you watching it that did go to the school, it must bring back a lot of memories.

You might have to adjust your screen brightness, but it is definitely worth it!

Thanks to John Warrick for sharing this.


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Growing up on Woodberry Down: the early years

The first families moved into flats on the new Woodberry Down estate in the summer of 1948. For children born or moving in in the very early years it was an exciting place to grow up, with lots of outside space and nearby facilities.

Many people have kindly shared their photos with us to reproduce in the book that we are currently putting together, but we thought we’d give you a sneak preview of some of the ones we’ve been given recently.

Click on the photos to enlarge them and see captions.


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January 21, 2015 · 16:41

A video about life on Woodberry Down

Take a look at Elaine Gosnel’s photos of Woodberry Down over the years and hear her stories about her life on Woodberry Down.

Elaine’s parents moved to Woodberry Down in 1955, and Elaine has lived on the estate ever since she was born. Today four generations of her family have lived on the estate.


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Help us create The People’s Story of Woodberry Down!

2014_esch_wdps_p02_002We’ve got lots of opportunities to get involved in Woodberry Down: The People’s Story. If you’re interested in getting involved in a local organization, finding out more about the history of Woodberry Down or just getting some experience of heritage work then this is an opportunity for you!

Can you help?

Right now, we’re looking for Turkish, Kurdish and Cypriot Turkish speaking volunteers to help collect stories, photos and memories with the Turkish-speaking communities on Woodberry Down. You will carry out interviews with Turkish-speaking residents and translate and transcribe them into English. Full training will be given.

In case you don’t about us yet – we’re running an oral history project called Woodberry Down: The People’s Story to help create and celebrate the history of the Woodberry Down Estate and all the residents and different communities that have lived on Woodberry Down over the years. We’re collecting local people’s photographs, memorabilia and stories about Woodberry Down Estate, and sharing them through exhibitions, events and a book about the area.

When you can get involved:

The project is based in the Woodberry Down Memory Shop, a pop-up local heritage center on Seven Sisters Road, run by WDCO (Woodberry Down Community Organisation and ECH (Eastside Community Heritage). The Memory Shop is open every Wednesdays and Fridays from 11am-6pm. We’re flexible around volunteer’s needs but we would like someone who can volunteer for at least one or two days to carry out interviews and to attend a full day of training.

What you will get:

This is a great opportunity to get to know the local community’s history and to develop skills in Interviewing, Translation, Transcribing and History. Full oral history training will be given and you will be given lunch expenses.

Sounds good?

Contact Kitty Webster if you want to know more or if you think you can help.

Email or call 020 8553 3116.

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Black History Month at the Woodberry Down Memory Shop

Last week saw record numbers of attendees to the Woodberry Down Memory Shop to watch the HAIRitage Film, produced by one of our trainees at Eastside Community Heritage, Emily Richards.

The HAIRitage film explores the politics of Black hair in identity as a part of 2014 Black History Month. Being screened in the Gallery at Barking Learning Centre, with further viewings at Woodberry Down all week. With enigmatic discussions about women’s hair and the kind of products that women have used to style their hair.

Bringing together the communities of Woodberry Down, the HAIRitage event created a lively debated around the role of hair and heritage. Especially with women comparing their tips and different opinions around controversial processes including hair relaxers and ‘weaves’. Black History Month at Woodberry Down saw the Memory shop transformed into a pop-up arts and crafts work shop and cinema bringing heritage alive.

If you’re interested in being involved with Woodberry Down The People’s Story Project there are lots of ways that you can contribute. We hold drop in sessions every week on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays, with more events to come. Why not pop in a share your story over a cup of tea? We’d love to hear from you. Come along and tell us what makes Woodberry Down special to you.

You can watch our HAIRitage film online on Eastside Community Heritage Youtube Channel and join the discussion!

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Kicking off Black History Month events in our Memory Shop

On Monday 27 October we had a brilliant day in the memory shop with lots of people dropping in for our Black History Month events.

In the morning we showed our new short film ‘Hairitage’ – looking at the politics behind Black hair. This kicked off a really interesting discussion about how women feel about their hair and why. What are the cultural and historical expectations placed on women with Black hair? Are there good role models and black celebrities who celebrate their natural hair?

In the afternoon we had lots of fun in our arts and crafts workshops. Even the sun joined us as families and children dropped in to get creative and make their own paper snakes and carnival masks to take home.

Click on a photo below to bring up as a full screen slideshow…

We hope you can come along to our next events!

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Celebrating Black History Month at Woodberry Down

As part of Black History Month we have organised lots of Hair-itage events exploring the roots of black & mixed women’s hair.

hairitage photo

There will lots going on in our Woodberry Down Memory Shop, including:

  • a photo exhibition
  • hair stylist demonstrations
  • free *Bodyshop* samples give-aways
  • film screenings of our in-house short film exploring the culture of Black Hair
  • free refreshments
  • storytelling and art workshops for children (perfect for half-term!)

All events are on Monday 27th October, Wednesday 29th and Friday 31st October between 11am-5pm. Just see the programme below or email office to find out more information.

Monday 27th October:
HAIRitage Reminiscence Session and Film Screening, 11-12 & 2-3pm
Storytime & Art Workshop, 3-5pm

Wednesday 29th October:
HAIRitage Reminiscence Session and Film Screening, 11-12pm & 2-3pm
Storytime & Art Workshop, 3-5pm

Friday 31st October:
HAIRitage Reminiscence Session and Film Screening, 11-12 & 2-3pm
Storytime & Art Workshop, 3-5pm

We hope you can come along and please spread the word!

Correct Date A4 Programme

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New events in our Memory Shop from October 2014 – March 2015

winter events flyer WDWe’re excited to say that we have extended our programme of drop-in sessions and reminiscence sessions up until  March 2015.  If you haven’t yet come in to our Memory Shop then now is the perfect opportunity.

Why not drop-in to see our current exhibition on Monday 2pm-6pm, or on a Wednesday or Friday from 11am-6pm, and have a friendly chat with us about your connection to Woodberry Down?

Or you can also come along to one of our reminiscence sessions on a Wednesday and Friday at 2pm-3pm, where we’ll bring along lots of old photos and share our stories of life on Woodberry Down – with free tea, coffee and biscuits.

If you want more information you can email Kitty on  or Judith on

We hope you can come along – and please share with any friends or family that you think might be interested.

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We want to hear from you!

We want to make sure that everyone who wants to can get involved in this project. If you are currently a resident of Woodberry Down, or you lived here in the past, then we’d love to hear from you. Perhaps you want to share your experiences of living on Woodberry Down, or you want to show us some old pictures? You can get in touch by emailing or calling 020 8553 3116. Everyone has something important to say so we want to hear from as many people as possible. This project isn’t called ‘The People’s Story’ for nothing!

Christening party on Woodberry Down, 1956

Christening party on Woodberry Down, 1956

After a busy summer in the Memory Shop things have quietened down a bit recently. We’ve now done some 25 interviews with past and current residents of Woodberry Down, and have heard some fascinating stories. The memories that people have shared with us have given us a real insight into life on the estate over the past 60 years. And the photos we’ve seen have given us a snapshot of how things have changed since the estate was first built in the late 1940s. But there is still time to get involved, so do get in touch if you want to find out more.

Woodberry Down in 2014

Woodberry Down in 2014

And don’t forget that our Memory Shop is open every Wednesday and Friday, from 11am-6pm. So if you can, do drop in to say hello and see the pop up exhibition of life on Woodberry Down in the 1950s we’ve got up.

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