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Community Links life-president Kevin Jenkins wants a Newham museum

PUBLISHED: 10:06 12 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:06 12 August 2015

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Newham’s heritage is deep and rich and it has often been so influential in shaping our national heritage too, especially in respect of the growth and development of the working class along with the wider labour movement.

It is a long and proud heritage, but I fear that there is a real danger of this being lost to today’s and future generations of those living in Newham.

Although there are a number of quality heritage initiatives locally, they are usually focused on specific buildings, artefact or collection. Sadly, since the council closed the Passmore Edwards Museum in the eighties, Newham has no overall Newham museum.

Spread around the borough are artefacts, archives and collections including many of the original exhibits from the Passmore Edwards Museum and the Recorder archive. Sadly, although well looked after, they are usually in buildings with little or no public access.

What Newham needs is a modern interactive hands-on museum that is both an education and leisure resource that brings the past alive so that future generations can continue to celebrate, enjoy and learn lessons from Newham’s past.

Regardless of the current austere times, Newham will be experiencing the greatest ever period of change in its history over the next 20 years. It has never been more important to protect and share our past.

The value of such a facility to Newham’s future will far outweigh the initial costs of establishing the facility.

Given the levels of private and public investment into Newham over the next 20 years, surely the money can be found to give Newham the museum its history deserves.

If you are interested in any way in a museum for Newham then contact me c/o the Recorder, then I will invite you to a museum for Newham brainstorm session in September. More from Kevin


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