Colin Grainger

Celebrating Newham’s heritage and history 2017

We are delighted to reveal the events so far confirmed for this year’s celebration of Newham’s heritage.

The Museum for Newham Group is working with Newham Council and with a number of local individuals, groups, and organisations to bring a variety of events for all ages as part of the Newham Heritage Week  and Newham Heritage Festival a2017.

As a number of people have been getting in touch asking for details of the events we are published the confirmed events today. Details of more events follow as they are given to us.

Group spokesman Kevin Jenkins said the festival follows on from last year’s very successful inaugural Heritage Awareness Week. This year’s event is longer.

Kevin said: “We are aiming to ensure that the event involves the widest cross-section of organisations and individuals as possible, to ensure the celebrations offers something of interest for all Newham’s residents. The festival will offer a mix of borough wide activities and events and Heritage-related events, activities, exhibitions, trails etc. organised by groups and individuals across the whole borough.”
So here’s what we have so far.

The House Mill, Three Mills Lane, Bow, E3 3DU.

From October 21 to October 28. The Miller’s House, Three Mills Lane, Bow, E3 3DU. A grade one listed house mill .

Saturday October 21 and Sunday October 22: 11am – 5pm . Community Weekend Open Mill . During this weekend we invite everyone to join us to discover more about the heritage of House Mill, and its place within Newham.   There will also be opportunity to find out about the exciting volunteer programme.   The weekend include: Guided tours of the Grade I listed House Mill.  Visit four of the floors of House Mill with one of our trained volunteer guides.  You will learn of House Mill’s history and the Trust’s plans for its future which will restore the heritage machinery to working order, develop hydro-electricity using the wheels, broaden activities to include a vibrant activity hub for Newham.   These plans already include an art gallery, event space, wedding ceremony and reception venue, so come and share them with us!

The Story of House Mill and Bread. Come and hear about the story of bread, and the role that the House Mill site has played in making it, for nearly 800 years!  House Mill was built in 1776, and it sits on Three Mills Island in the River Lea, at Bromley by Bow.  We will also explain why the River Lea is so important for the people of London.    There is also an opportunity to make your own sample of flour, using a traditional “Quern” or set of grinding stones.

Storytelling and Sharing Stories:  2 to 4pm.  House Mill Resident Storyteller Shamim Azad, a Bangladeshi-born British bilingual poet, storyteller and writer will be with us for this unique event.   Shamim is part of the East End storytelling group, which invites local residents to join in sharing some of the stories brought together by the East End’s rich, diverse history of immigration.   We invite Newham and Tower Hamlet’s older residents (50+) to hear Shamim’s stories and to tell your own.

Tea and Biscuits in the garden, with the House Mill Team!    Visit the House Mill walled riverside garden, enjoy refreshments, and talk with our volunteers about their work at House Mill, and the exciting volunteer programme.  Also hear about our Friends’ group, and the other ways in which House Mill is extending its outreach into the local communities

Talk:  Saturday October 21 only: 4 to 5pm. From Gin and Vice to Tea and Temperance .

A talk by Eleanor Bloom, a senior volunteer at House Mill, a registered City Guide and member of London Historians.   Eleanor will talk and present the story of this important episode in London’s social history, during which we will be pleased to offer tea and biscuits; but not gin and vice!

Talk:  Sunday October 22  only:  4 to 5pm.  Talk on history of House Mill, and plans for its future restoration  . A talk by a House Mill Trustee to learn about this heritage site; dating back to the Domesday Book, and leading to the future restoration, which will see the building once again working; to grind grain and to make electricity using the power of the tide!      Refreshments will be served

Wednesday October 25,  6.30 to 8pm  Guided Tours of House Mill, with gin tasting
Join us at House Mill to tour this spectacular Grade I listed building, to learn about its role in the 18thC “Gin Craze” and to sample a range of London Gins.
There is a  charge of £10 per person for this Event.
Please note that owing to space restrictions within the heritage building, this Event is limited.
To reserve a place please email:

Tuesday October 24 and Thursday October 26, 2pm. Guided Walk led by Gordon Joly, for Remembering Three Mills Group. A walk from House Mill to Abbey, Gardens, via Three Mills Green, Abbey Mills Pumping Station, and return. £3 charge, to include a copy of the R3M publications “Three Mill Lane and Beyond!

Target Audience: All ages for the Community weekend and the tours. Not suitable for small children, and unaccompanied children cannot be admitted. All ages for the community weekend, and the Story of Bread flour making activity. Over 18’s only for the evening tours and gin tasting.  (Saturday 21 and Wednesday 25). Over 50’s for the Story telling session.  (Saturday and Sunday). Email     Phone (020) 8980 4626 or  07968 063017


Wednesday October 18 from 6.30pm. History Club Royal Docks Learning and Activity Centre, Albert Road, North Woolwich, E16 2JB. (020) 7476 1666. Dine and chat. Admission/donation £1.

Guest Speaker: Graham Hill, historian and author. Curious Stories Around odd Victorian Jobs, plus local topic discussion: Legends, Mysteries, Ghost Stories of London’s East End.

Thursday  October 19 2pm to 3.30pm approx; Tuesday October 24 2pm to 3.30pm approx; Thursday October 26 2pm to 3.30pm approx. Remembering Three Mills Walks.

Starting Point:The House Mill, Three Mill Lane, E3 3DU. No pre-booking required.

Details: A walk from the House Mill to Three Mils Green, Abbey Mill Pumping Station, Abbey Lane and Abbey Gardens. Local history and recollections from the “Remembering Three Mills” group. History of Abbey Mills Pumping Station, Northern Outfall Sewer. History of Abbey Gardens (past ten years) and the Stratford Langthorne Abbey (12th Century).

Contact Details for Further Information: Gordon Joly  Website:

Sunday  October 22 at 11am and Wednesday October 25 at 2pm. Forest Gate Historic Walking Tour. Starting Point: Outside Durning Hall, Earlham Grove, Forest Gate. No pre-booking required. Details: This informal tour wanders down two of Forest Gate’s principal roads (Woodgrange and Upton Lane), with over a dozen brief stops. These will embrace over 30 buildings and sites (churches, schools, pubs, venues, houses and parks), whose occupants (philanthropists, politicians, entertainers, scientists, sportsmen and women and land owners) have shaped the history of the district. The tour will last approximately one hour and be led by John Walker, who runs the

local history website/blog. For further details, contact John on 07954 153305.



Saturday October 21. Abbey Mills Pumping Station, Gay Road, Stratford, E15 2RW

Opened in 1868 the pumping station is commonly known as The Cathedral of the Sewer. Open for guided tours on Saturday October 21- pre-booking essential. For further details and booking information contact Kevin Jenkins at



Saturday October 21. Brick Lane Music Hall, 443, North Woolwich Road, Silvertown, E16 2DA. Housed in the converted St Mark Church (circa 1862), the home of British Music Hall. Open for a guided tour and discussion on the history of British Music Hall on Saturday 21st October at 11am – pre-booking essential. For further details and booking information contact Kevin Jenkins at

Saturday October 21 and Sunday October 22: Sylvia’s Corner, 97 Aldworth Road, Stratford, E15 4DN.

Discovering Stratford Village 1890-1990

A small exhibition in the heart of Stratford. The exhibition will be located in a former corner shop. Its windows will be covered with life size residents’ photographs while inside recorded oral histories from local residents will be heard. This exhibition is part of Discovering Stratford Village 1890-1990: Working Lives, Working Communities, researching the working lives of past and current residents through archive research and oral history collection, ‘Stratford Village’ covers about eight streets to the south of the Olympic Park site in London, bordered by Romford Road, West Ham Lane and Vicarage Lane. The late Victorian two up two down houses of the area were built between 1894 and 1896, and Census data show previous residents worked in a wide variety of trades and local industries, many of which no longer exist. This exhibition will unlock stories behind doors, bringing to the foreground the narrative of an evolving community captured through its daily working life, from the past to the present day. Discovering Stratford Village 1890-1990 will be charting and celebrating the economic and social history of the area, ensuring its heritage will not be forgotten. The exhibition will be open on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 October, from 11am to 4pm (details tbc) at Sylvia’s Corner, 97 Aldworth Road, Stratford, E15 4DN.

Further Details – Matilde (

From October 21 to Saturday October 28 inclusive. Arc Young People’s Heritage Festival. Ambition, Aspire, Achieve’s Terence Brown Arc In The Park, Hermit Road Park, Bethell Avenue, Canning Town.E16, 4JT.

A wide range of childrens’ activities including workshops, heritage games afternoons, painting murals celebrating Newham heritage. Between Monday October 2 and Saturday  October 28 inclusive. Further information and booking details:


Monday October 23, the Disability, Arts, Culture and Human Rights group are staging Together 2017 Disability History Month Festival launch event and open workshops for disabled people. This has been programmed to take place as part of Newham Heritage Awareness Festival on Monday 23 October at Vicarage Lane Community Centre, Govier Close, Stratford E15 4HW

Monday 23 October 2017: 11am sees an Open Dance Workshop with Anjali dance company. 2pm is their Festival launch event with the world premiere of a dance solo by Lauren Payne of Anjali dance company, currently touring internationally with Genius. Further details:

  • Lauren Payne

The following  events are part of  LBN Heritage week

Monday October 23 North Woolwich Public Library, 5 Pier Rd, North Woolwich, London E16 2LJ. Launch of Tate Lives Exhibition in conjunction with Coffee Morning events. 11am to 11:30am: Andrew Christy – Photographing change on the King George V Dock; 11:30-12:30pm: Tate Lives exhibition launch and video screening of a short documentary on the Tate Institute.

Monday, October 23 to Saturday, October 28: Tate Lives Exhibition will be on display at North Woolwich Public Library, 5 Pier Rd, North Woolwich, London E16 2LJ.



Open during the Festival –

Forest Gate Arts hosts The Upper Cut Club Memorabilia and Photograph Exhibition.

The exhibition is about Forest Gate’s historic music venue, “The Upper Cut Club,” where everybody who was anybody came to play. Legend has it that Jimi Hendrix even created “Purple Haze” at the venue.

See photographs, memorabilia, interviews from persons who attended the club and much more.

Forest Gate Arts, 13, Upton Lane, Forest Gate, E7 9PA. Exhibition of photographs and memorabilia related to the Uppercut Club, Woodgrange Road, in 1967. Open during the week at Forest Gate. Arts 13 Upton Lane, E7 9PA. Further details from:


Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm during the festival. Local Heritage Books.

Newham Bookshop, 745, Barking Road, Upton Park, E13. 9ER. The largest range of local heritage books in London. Special display and supporting materials throughout the week –             Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm. Further details – Vivian Archer at (020) 8552 9993 or email

Wednesday October 25. Ambition, Aspire, Achieve’s Terence Brown Arc In The Park, Hermit Road Park, Bethell Avenue, Canning Town.E16, 4JT. Facilitated by the On The Record Group. 11am to 5pm. Pop Up Museum of Childcare. Do you have a favourite toy from your childhood? A special family photograph or the first pair of shoes you taught your youngster to tie themselves? Bring something     that has a special story and share it with others in a pop up museum and browse what other people have brought. Get talking to people of all ages about bringing up children in Newham past and present. Please feel free to drop in. Refreshments provided.


  • We are still awaiting details from various organisations. Over the next week and beyond, we anticipate details coming from a number of contributors. We will post these as and when they get in touch.  As this is already a long post, please see the Museum for Newham Facebook pages and the 15 other heritage Facebook groups in Newham and Newham Council’s website on for various updates
  •  The full programme of events under the umbrella of Newham Council has now been revealed and is available on the link above. We have also published all 36 pages of the guide prepared by Newham Council on the Museum for Newham group Facebook pages and 20 other history and heritage Facebook pages in the Newham area.
  • The Museum for Newham group would like to clarify a matter. We have been made aware that there may have been some confusion between the titles Newham Heritage Week and Newham Heritage Festival following posts on various sites. As far as we are concerned, they are the same thing. The celebration of our history and heritage is special. The celebration begins today and lasts until October 29.
    The only reason our group suggested the name festival was that the events we lined up last for 12 days( ie longer than a week).
    We are fully supportive and indeed are taking part in events coming under the umbrella of the London Borough of Newham (LBN), and have been working together with them and a wide range of other organisations in Newham and elsewhere. LBN have a launch event on Saturday and there are a wide range of events for everyone. You can find events by scrolling down this site and also there is a link here:



Pictures@ Colin Grainger

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This article was written on 26 Sep 2017, and is filed under Heritage, Museum for Newham, Museum for Newham Group, Newham.

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