History project needs memories of Newham’s female workers

12:26 27 August 2014

Are you a woman who worked in Newham’s docks, shops or offices? Maybe you had a job at Tate & Lyle’s factory in Silvertown?

If the answer to either of those questions is Yes, then a history project wants to hear from you.

Eastside Community Heritage is working on a oral history project focusing on the experiences of women’s work, equality in the workplace and the closure of the docks in south Newham, in particular Plaistow, West Ham, Silvertown and Custom House. This project is being run in conjunction with Ape Media.

Paul Beard, from Eastside Community Heritage, said: “From the factories to the docks, shop work to offices. Newham’s economic history was once as equally as diverse and varied as the population it housed. In post-war economic boom tales of people being able to leave a job in the morning and being hired somewhere else in the afternoon are now that of the history books.

“With a focus on female work and women in work, we are interested in the ladies who worked in East London and worked towards equality. From the Tate & Lyle Factory in Silvertown to the office ladies of the Co-op in Maryland, we are interested in your experiences of working in South Newham. If you or somebody you know has a story about working in Newham we are eager to hear from you.”

Pamela Board, who worked for the Co-op, said: “Yeah, with the Co-op it always seemed as if it was a long term job. You were lucky to, you know, they used to say you’re lucky to get into the Co-op. And if you, if you went after another job it stood you in good stead if you’d had training at the Co-op.”

For more information contact Paul Beard at

Eastside Community Heritage was established in 1993 as part of the Stratford City Challenge community history project. Over the years the organisation has worked on numerous projects documenting the lives of people who live and work in east London. It created the East London Peoples Archive which now holds over 2000 oral histories, thousands of photographs and video material all preserved and archived for public benefit.


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