News

Summer Tours round up

Thank you to all who took part in our local walking tours.

Saira, of Living London, retold the tales of the generation who founded the Brent Central Mosque, who found friends and work at The Crown, and who built lives in London. We discovered the forgotten stories of migrants who helped build new schools for their children, and of the men and women who made sure everyone got to work on time.

Ashford Place thanks Abdul Rauf at Central Mosque of Brent, The Clayton Crown Hotel, and especially Deborah at Metroline Cricklewood Bus Garage.

 

A group of people in a park watching a young performer
Attendees enjoying an open-air performance as part of the walking tour

 

A self-directed tour will be available to download from the Ashford Place website, where a permanent exhibition of the Generations of Learning project will be published.

Also coming soon is the short film based on interviews with the pioneering post-war generation.

Stories were taken from the interviews and transformed into short scripts, which were performed by young actors from the 360 Arts school. By drawing out the universal stories – of leaving family and over-coming struggles in a new country – and putting the Elders’ words onto young mouths, we hope their experiences will inspire new generations.

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Performances were filmed during the summer tours and during rehearsals and the final cut is currently being edited by talented young film maker Erin Hopkins.

We are grateful for the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and lottery players in bringing this project to life.

 

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Young woman standing in a park performing lines
Event, News

Young & Old stories

Tomorrow’s heritage tour, Sunday 19 August, will include special performances from young actors who will bring to life some of the stories of Elders who migrated to Cricklewood and have shared their stories with us during the Generations of Learning project. They have been hard at work rehearsing and we are surely in for a treat.

NOTE: We will be taking photos and filming the young performers. We will be checking whether people are happy to be included and avoiding those who are camera shy, but do be aware filming will be taking place. Next week’s tour, on Saturday 25, will be film free!

Led by the talented and engaging Saira Niazi of Living London, the tours start at 11am at Willesden Green tube station and end in Gladstone Park at 2pm. This tour is not suitable for small children, due to the distance (about 2.5 miles). Please wear comfortable shoes, bring sunscreen and carry an umbrella, and bring water & a picnic lunch if you’d like to stick around after the tour.

Booking is not essential but places are limited to 20 people. To reserve a place, use the form on the website here.

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Save the Date!

Keep an eye out for the memory sharing sessions hosted by the Nomad Scouts at venues around the local area:

Friday 31 August @ The Cafe, Ashford Place, 60 Ashford Road NW2 6TU
Saturday 15 September @ The Costantine Club, 43-47 Dudden Hill Lane, NW10 2ET
Saturday 29 September @ The Crown Hotel, 142 Cricklewood Broadway NW2 3ED

More details coming soon, but these fun afternoon events will be an opportunity to come and meet new people and share memories of Cricklewood.

Memory sharing events are free, with tea and cake provided!

Photo of a messy table with arts and crafts supplies and paints
Event, News

Come Young, Come Old!

The Generations of Learning summer programme launches next week, celebrating the stories collected during our Cricklewood migration heritage project.

Come along to one of the FREE events and celebrate your local story.

Get Messy!

Join us for family arts & craft fun in the new café at Ashford Place, decorating memory boxes and sharing stories. Drop in on:

Wednesday 8 August, 11am – 1pm, Community Café, 60 Ashford Road NW2 6TU

Photo of a messy table with arts and crafts supplies and paints

Get Walking!

Come and explore the hidden stories of the Pakistani and Irish communities in and around Cricklewood. Tours are led by LivingLondon and start at 11am at Willesden Green tube station, ending in Gladstone Park at 2pm

Saturday 11 August | Sunday 19 August | Saturday 25 August

[Booking not essential but places are limited to 20 people per tour. Reserve a spot at: www.golheritage.com/events ]

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Get Talking!

Enjoy some fun with the Nomad Scouts. Swap stories in a memory-sharing speed date, put your memories on the map. From 2pm-4pm, including free refreshments

Friday 31 August @ Community Cafe, Ashford Place, 60 Ashford Road NW2 6TU

Saturday 15 September @ Learie Constantine Centre, 43-47 Dudden Hill Lane, NW10 2ET

Saturday 29 September @ The Crown Hotel, 142 Cricklewood Broadway NW2 3ED

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Get Inspired!

We are currently working with young actors from 360Arts on performances based on the Elders stories.

We are planning pop-up performances around Cricklewood in the coming months, so watch this space!

 

Events are free and all ages & backgrounds are welcome – the tour may not be suitable for small children. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

 

News

Inspiring heritage

Our graphic art display, inspired by the words of the Elders we have interviewed so far, is now up at Willesden Green Library.

Visible to all entering the library building, the bright banners share the positive message of inclusion and community, celebrating the contribution of migrants to the local area.

“This is our community | This is our culture | This is our heritage | These are our stories”
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A full exhibition, exploring the stories of the Irish and Pakistani communities and the universal experiences of settling in London, will be travelling to local community venues in the coming months.

Anyone interested in taking part in the project or learning more about the exhibition, please get in touch.

Nomad logo showing a Camel and 'NOMAD ESU'
News

Scouting out memories

Generations of Learning is delighted to announce a new collaboration with the 37th Willesden Scout Group, The Nomads.

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Led by Nick, Noura, and Valentina, the Neasden-based group have taken on the challenge of planning and delivering memory sharing events over the summer.

Exciting and creative ideas are already emerging, with a speed-dating style social to give Elders and youngers the chance to share memories and stories about migration in the local area. There is even talk of a magician…

The FREE events are being planned for Friday 31 August and Saturday 15 & 29 September, so watch this space for more exciting details.

Newspaper clipping with photo of young scoutIn the meantime, archive research completed by members of the local history society uncovered a story from 1965 of a young Scout from Neasden, John O’Shaunessy, who was awarded a Queen’s Scout Badge. The article, from the Willesden Chronicle of 1 January, reveals that the local Scouts work with Elders goes back some way, noting that the Scouts had been hosting an Old Age Pensioners dinner when John was presented with his award.

Do you know John? We would love to hear from you!

News

Memories Made!

Thanks to everyone who came to share fun and memories at the Cricklewood Garden Festival.

And well done to everyone on the Town Team committee for putting together an great day celebrating the town green.

As well as sharing the heritage of Irish and Pakistani communities in Cricklewood, we heard stories from people who’ve come from around the world to live in NW2.

We made beautiful bags with people from:

Bulgaria | Sudan | Pakistan | Japan | Ireland | Morocco | Algeria | China | Australia | Dominica | Costa Rica | Jamaica | England | Eritrea | The Philippines | Nigeria | Bangladesh

Check out some of their creative designs:

Keep an eye out for more events details of Events over the summer. Our project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, so our events are FREE.

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News

OLOG Artists

This week Sorcha, the project lead, and Alistair Lambert, the project artist were invited to talk at Our Lady of Grace junior school in Dollis Hill.

With the amazing assistance of Margaret O’Mullane, teacher and talented artist in her own right, and the support of the school staff, pupils have been working over the past few weeks to create an artwork for the project.

Sorcha gave a short presentation at the school assembly to update everyone on the project, and Alistair excitingly unveiled the almost-finished Migration sculpture.

 

The artwork will be premiered at our Summer exhibition, which will travel to community venues around the area. Info will be posted on our Events page.

Our Lady of Grace recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. The school grew to accommodate the children of migrants, including many Irish who came to the area in the 1960s. Local tradition tells that many Irish men were involved in the construction of new school buildings.

If you were one of the men involved in construction work, or have a story about the early days of the school, please get in touch. Call Sorcha on 0208 208 8590.

 

 

WWI style recruiting poster, with picture of soldier pointing and the caption 'Your heritage project needs you'
News, Volunteer

Remember memorabilia

April was a month of doing on the project.

We have been busy filming, recording, and photographing Elders telling their stories with the project.

These stories will be presented in an exhibition, travelling around Cricklewood and Brent over the Summer. They will also be collected into a formal archive that will become a resource for future generations.

The archive will be made up of audio recordings of the Elders sharing their memories.

We are also hoping to collect photos and memorabilia relating to the Irish and Pakistani communities in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

Do you have anything you could share with us?

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Perhaps this is an old photograph, or a newspaper clipping. Maybe you have an old ticket to a dance at the Galtymore or to the showing of a Bollywood hit at the State cinema.

If you have a programme from a sporting event, such as when the Pakistan cricket team visited London, or the Gaelic football was played at Wembley in 1965, we would love to see it.

You might even have held on to your tickets or boarding passes when you first came to the UK – if so, you’ve done a better job that the government might have done!

If you would be willing to give, loan, or let us take copies of your memorabilia, this will help us preserve and share the stories of the post-war migration generation.

Please get in touch with us below.

We are continuing to record the stories of Pakistani and Irish migrants who have memories of the Cricklewood area in the 1950s and 1960s, so drop us a line if you’d like to talk.

 

Outdoor sign with welcome written in many different languages
Migration History, News

The Art of Migration

As we continue with work to record the oral histories of the Elder generation of migrants, we are also working with the younger generation to celebrate immigration.

One project is bringing together a local artist, Alistair Lambert, with primary school pupils to create a new artwork on the theme of migration stories. The piece will feature in our travelling exhibition over the Summer.

Outdoor sign with welcome written in many different languages
The Welcome sign at Our Lady of Grace junior school Dollis Hill

Our Lady of Grace junior school in Dollis Hill welcomes children from many different backgrounds, to create a friendly and encouraging learning environment. This children are part of the continuing story of migration to the British isles.

The story stretches back some 2,000 years, to the times of the Romans. Then, people from across the empire – from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East – settled and built lives in Britannia, alongside the ancient Britons.

Some 1.500 years ago, waves of Germanic peoples, the Saxons, came to England, integrating with the British. And 500 years later, Normans from France established themselves in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. The 1600s brought French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution and then Dutch merchants, accompanying the new king, William of Orange. Many modern English families also have Dutch and French heritage as a result of these migrations.

The 19th century welcomed significant new communities of Irish people, Jews from Eastern Europe, and Italians. Smaller communities from India (which then included the area that would become Pakistan), Africa, and Yemen grew around the ports, especially Hull and Cardiff, as the growth of the British Empire increased global sea trade. The cultural diversity of the port cities of Glasgow and London reflect the diversity of the empire.

In the 20th century Irish migration continued to grow, even after independence in 1922. And in the years after the end of the Second World War in 1945, thousands were invited to come and help Britain rebuild, especially from countries in the West Indies, India, Pakistan.

The children at Our Lady of Grace include the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of these settlers, alongside children who have arrived more recently from Eastern Europe, South America, and Africa. And many children have mixed heritage, as blended families share Irish, English, African, and European roots. They are the latest chapter in the on-going story of Britain.

We can’t wait to what wonderful art they create.

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Event, News

No trifle matter…

Last week the Generations of Learning project was lucky enough to be invited to speak to the ladies group at the Pakistani Community Centre in Willesden.

Many of those present had stories of coming to the Cricklewood area to join husbands who’d come in the 1960s.

In the 1950s and 1960s, it was common for young Irish men and women to come on their own, or with friends or siblings to being their new life in London. Many couples recall meeting and falling in love in the youth clubs and dance halls, with the popular refrain being that many marriages were started in the Galtymore.

For the Pakistani men, many of whom expected to return home, they often left their families in Pakistani, often only reuniting with them after several years. While their children and husbands were able to more easily integrate into their new lives, through work and school, it wasn’t as easy for the women when they arrived in London.

 

Image of a bowl of trifleComing together as a group to learn English and study the Quran was an important way to build a sense of community. The ladies remembered cooking together for events at the PCC was a chance to share jokes and news, and they still come together every week to share a meal. In a perfect blend of their old homes in Pakistan and their new home in Britain, we were treated to a delicious dahl and homemade trifle.

We will be interviewing some of the ladies and discovering more of their stories in the coming weeks.We will also be holding an informal reminiscence session at the PCC on 23 March. Visit our Events page for more details.

If you are part of the Irish or Pakistani community and have a story to share of coming to Cricklewood, please drop us a line below.