Archive for the ‘Project information’ Category

Staff and service users at St Hilda’s East have been treated like film stars over the past few days. A dedicated team of 9 young people have been framing their shots and choosing their footage of the activities that St Hilda’s East offers today, with the help of community filmmakers Digital:Works.

We’ve been filming the Older People’s Project at their Computer Club, their Keep Fit sessions, and an old-fashioned sing-along; we’ve filmed the Women’s Group at a barbecue and the children in the Creche; and we’ve filmed the toddlers at their Soft Play sessions.

Our team includes young people from the youth project here at St Hilda’s East and a volunteer from Cheltenham Ladies College, all of whom have been refining their directorial skills over the past few days. We’ve learned not to shoot people with their backs to the light, how to use a tripod, and that filming children is as hard as everyone says it is!

The film that we’ve made will be shown in the late autumn.


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On Sunday 18th, Dan, Anna, Li-Anne, and some other helpful people put together a stall for our project at the Friends of Arnold Circus Picnic.It was a great event, with lots of people, good food and sunshine. It also gave us some useful contacts! One woman recognised her mother in a photo from the 1960s; one man recognised lots of his friends from playschemes in the early 1980s; and we were able to tell local people all about our project.

We had audio-files for people to listen to, including this story from Jaida, who has lived in the area all her life and who was giving a cookery demonstration on Sunday on the bandstand:

and this one from Eileen, telling us about the stalls that used to be in the area:

Li-Anne took these great photos, which show people looking through our photos and adding their memories to the ‘memory tree’:

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It’s been a while since we updated this page but in the mean time, our team of volunteers has been very busy. 11 interviews have been carried out with people from Cheltenham to Cambridge Heath Road. It has been wonderful hearing stories about St Hilda’s and the bandstand.

Jean, who came to dances here in the 1950s, told us about her childhood growing up in Brick Lane. “You could walk down the street and you know everyone”, she said. Jean’s children went on holiday through St Hilda’s when they were young and her mother came to different projects all her life. “They were lovely, the people that worked here”, said Jean.

People coming for interviews have been bringing along relatives as well, which has been brilliant. Edward came to speak to us and brought his mother Lilian, who is in her 90s and had some great stories to tell. And Joan, who grew up on the Boundary Estate and still comes to our Older People’s Project, brought her sister Eileen from Catford to take part.
We are still looking for contributors and would love to hear from anyone with a story to tell about St Hilda’s in the past.

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This project started partly because of the piles of documents and photos that we already had within St Hilda’s. We have boxes and boxes of photos, annual reports, minutes and official records dating back to the opening of St Hilda’s in 1887 and many other related documents and items.

They are all interesting: opening a folder at random might show you a scullery-maid’s schedule from 1937, or details and photos from a trip to Southend in 1988, or notes from a 1967 training course on social work with families.

Over the next few months, we will be creating an archive here in St Hilda’s East Community Centre. The archive will be open to the public and it will contain all of these annual reports, photos, documents and pictures relating to St Hilda’s East and the Boundary Estate.

We will also try to put as much as we can on this website. Any other photos that we can scan are very welcome – please contact us using the ‘comments’ below.

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Over the next ten months, a ‘Community Memories’ team will be gathering oral history interviews, collecting photos and other artefacts, making a film, writing a booklet, and holding a series of events and workshops. We want to celebrate the unique role that St Hilda’s East Community Centre has played in the life of the Boundary Estate and beyond since it was started in 1889.

This blog will keep people updated on our progress and hopefully allow us to share the photos, recordings and information that we gather.Over time, we will add pages around different themes.

If you want more information or would like to take part in our ‘community memories’ project, please contact us using the comments form or by emailing anna@sthildas.org.uk.

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