WE: The Ex-Warner Estate in Waltham Forest

WE: The ex-Warner Estate in Waltham Forest

About the project

A major arts and heritage project exploring the social history and continuing importance of the Warner Estate in Waltham Forest, London, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England.

“Warner” properties were built in the 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 was initiated by artists Lucy Harrison and Katherine Green in 2014. Following research about current residents of the estate, in 2014 an exhibition took place in the former Warner rent office on Brettenham Road E17, including archival and new photographs, documents and oral history recordings, funded by Waltham Forest Council.

In 2016 a second stage was initiated, managed by Rendezvous Projects. This stage expanded the initial research with a group of volunteers who carried out further oral history interviews, archive research and contributed to community events, and a programme of collecting photographs from current and former Warner residents. An exhibition (funded by Arts Council England and local business sponsorship) took place for six months at Vestry House Museum, providing a context and venue for many of the peripheral events, and a mobile phone app was produced and launched in 2017. The app, along with the events and volunteer programme, were funded by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Limited edition publication

An 80-page full-colour limited edition publication about the Ex-Warner housing estate in Waltham Forest. The book contains extracts of oral histories, archive and contemporary photography and a map of the area.

Free App

The app contains three walking tours of different areas of the Ex Warner Estate in Leyton and Walthamstow. It includes historical details, photos and oral history extracts. 

Hand holding a smartphone showing the app
1970s street party scene

Project outcomes:

An exhibition at Vestry House Museum visited by 12,661 visitors. A free app giving a walking tour of the area.  We recruited 31 volunteers whose experience included learning photography, conducting oral history interviews, managing events & marketing; 4 free memory sharing events in local community spaces; training for 12 volunteers in oral history; over 40 oral history interviews conducted by volunteers and artists; training for 12 volunteers in photography; training in archive research for 6 volunteerstraining in architectural heritage for 3 volunteersled historical walks for 19 volunteers; run 2 public ‘Research your Warner Home’ workshops at Vestry House Museum, attended by 44 people; given 2 free artists talks for 70 people; held 2 free tea parties with 160 attendees.

Project funding: