14th floor - story of london festival 2010

Anna B. Sexton co-designed the 14th Floor programme with Tamsin Bookey, Heritage Manager at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives. The six month programme was funded by HLF as part of Story of London Festival 2010.

Community outreach sessions took place in the summer 2010 with archive open days introducing a wide range of local Tower Hamlets residents to boundary maps, housing scheme brochures and newspaper articles about housing from mid-Victorian times to modern day.

Volunteers took the lead in co-designing a series of heritage walks around key social housing estates across Tower Hamlets with senior archivist Malcolm Barr-Hamilton. A resource postcard pack was designed using archive images and local artistssuch as Ollie Harrop and Steph Gillespie photography.

Shane Davey, filmmaker, was commission to direct with volunteers a documentary on the history of social housing in Tower Hamlets. '14th Floor' charts the development of social housing in the borough of Tower Hamlets from the Victorian period to the present day.

Residents past and present, housing officers, local artists, architects and historians all contributed their memories to the documentary, which also makes use of rarely seen historic images from the council's archive collections.

The film premiere took place at Rochelle School as part of Story of London Festival in partnership with Time Out and Mayor of London. The screening and panel Debate featuring Lindsey Hanley, Marcel Baettig, Marc Francis and Mike Tyrell were a sell out.


Watch the trailer for 14th Floor film


Major achievements during the project:

14th Floor documentary film selected for East London Film Festival 2011

14th Floor documentary film shown as part of UCL Migration Week - Cities Methodologies 2011

Over 50 people gained access to the archive during the course of the project

Over 500 people gained secondary access to the project and the partners through project blog, online and print articles, launch event, panel debate and walking tours

500 commemorative postcard packs distributed during the life of the project to a wide range of individuals and partners


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Key Facts: 

Client: Bow Arts Trust - An arts educational charity based in East London. Offer artists studios, an education programme and run a contemporary art gallery called The Nunnery.

Tower Hamlets Libraries & Archives is a facility provided by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to enable members of the public to consult books and records in their collection. It is located at Bancroft Road Library.

Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) distributes a share of the income from the National Lottery to projects aimed at preserving and making accessible the nation's heritage.

Story of London Festival a month of cultural events intended to celebrate centuries of the London's history

Venue: Various locations across Tower Hamlets, East London

When: June - Nov 2010