Part of the task of writing a blog like Isle of Dogs Life is to undertake a great deal of research and to read many of the fascinating stories associated with the Isle of Dogs. It is through the stories of people’s experiences that allows you to gather insights about the past.
Recently I was made aware of a project that seeks to develop people’s storytelling skills by helping them to get know their community; its history, its achievements and the issues that matter most to people.
The project has been developed by Queen Mary, University of London as a leadership development program for people who live, work, or study in the E14 postcode of Tower Hamlets. The program was open for everyone regardless of ages, nationalities, cultures and backgrounds.
Part of the project was to produce a book of some of the stories the group had gathered. The book is titled E14: Our Stories (Stories of hope from an East London Postcode). The launch of this book celebrating the achievements and local heroes of communities from the E14 postcode of Tower Hamlets will take on Saturday 30th May at George Green’s School from 12-1:30pm.
The launch is an opportunity to learn about the project, meet some local heroes and enjoy food and drink from different cultures. There will also be copies of the book available to take away on the day.
The scope of the project includes the personal development of the participants but looks at ways to make positive change in the local community.
It is remarkable the way that the interest in local history and history in general has grown in recent years. There is many reasons for this, however you usually find in times of rapid changes there is a tendency to look back to make sense of where we are going. Looking into a history of a particular location also tends to give you a sense of perspective, for those who think times on the Island are bad now, may want to read about the Distress of the 1860s or the experiences of those who survived the Blitz.
It is also worth remembering that Charles Dickens wrote about his visit to the Isle of Dogs, Joseph Conrad wrote about the docks, more recently Peter Ackroyd and Iain Sinclair have featured the area, the E14 group are following a long tradition of storytellers to want to tell the story of this fascinating piece of East London.
If you would like to find out more about the book and the project, why not attend the launch on Saturday 30th May from 12-1:30pm at George Green’s School, Manchester Road, Isle of Dogs, E14 3DW