The last time I was in Wood Street properly (and I mean really properly, like beef stew at Bonito's properly, as opposed to just passing through) was the final day of our show A Night at the Pictures. With half of the market crumbling around us, we left with a heavy heart.
The sense of community we felt from working in this area was phenomenal. The welcome we received by each of the market shop owners, the schools we visited, the residents and staff at Alliston house, the people that we met in the streets, shops, plaza, in the pub, down Hoe Street, in the market, in the local community meetings and to each and everyone one of you that came to see our show, I can only say thank you. Working in (and with) Wood Street has been a complete insight into just how diverse this community really is and how much they really feel strongly about their area.. their home.
So when AE17 got in touch with us and told us about the project they were doing, it sounded incredible. They're the ones that created Dolly the Trolley. Actively asking a community what they want their area to be and what it means to them is a rare opportunity! Particularly when we currently live in a landscape filled with re-developments and more housing at unaffordable prices and all at the cost of the local communities. Businesses are torn down, flats are erected, schools are full. AE17 seem to be a group of like minded, passionate individuals that care about Walthamstow from the bottom up and want to encourage it to grow positively and inspirationally through your views.
So this Saturday at 2pm, students from the UEL architecture course will be building something special for the people of Wood Street down on the plaza. The idea of creating something for the community to enjoy, to take home with, to broaden how they see and use the space and that is a direct response to what they have said, suggested and want, sounds like an incredibly exciting project!
Having sat in on their presentation of what they were going to build, it was clear that they had a gained a very definite and positive idea of what the community was like after spending just one day in the plaza. A testament to the people in the area and to the power of creating opportunities for play in a public space. As a theatre maker, fun-lover and member of this community, I cannot wait to see what’s in store for Saturday!
So come, play, be inspired, have your say.. We will see you there!