Newham Heritage Month events to explore London 2012

James King

James King is "excited" by this year's Newham Heritage Month programme - Credit: Francesco Maiorino

This year's Newham Heritage Month includes a number of events themed on London 2012 to mark the tenth anniversary since the Games were held.

The programme, which runs throughout June, will explore the build-up to the Games, the Olympics and Paralympics themselves and their legacy.

It is the third Newham Heritage Month, which is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

There are 57 free events being hosted at 27 venues across the borough and the offerings have been created by arts, heritage and community groups.

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

'What London 2012 means to us' is the theme for this year's Newham Heritage Month - Credit: Ken Mears

They include fashion shows, graffiti workshops, live poetry and model-making.

James King, programme manager for Newham Heritage Month, told the Recorder: "A big part of what Newham Heritage Month is about is offering a chance to groups, who may not have previously engaged in heritage work, the chance to test the waters and have an opportunity to develop new skills and new experiences.

"We've got a real mix of different groups taking part. It's very exciting."

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James said a lot of the impact of London 2012 had been felt in Newham.

"What this year's festival really sets itself apart from other celebrations of the Olympics is we're really having a critical look at the impact of the Olympics on people's lives," he added.

One such example is a play created by The Call Outs - a theatre company formed in 2020 at the University of East London.

Soeren Wellens, Anna-Rosina Bunk and Charlie Marshall's production The Shadows of the Olympics is set in a pub near the Clays Lane Estate and examines the community who lived there.

Soeren Wellens, Anna-Rosina Bunk and Charlie Marshall are the team behind The Call Outs

Soeren Wellens, Anna-Rosina Bunk and Charlie Marshall are the team behind The Call Outs - Credit: Kyle Leaning

The estate was demolished to make way for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

They interviewed people who used to live on the estate as part of preparation for the play, Anna-Rosina said.

Soeren added: "With the Olympics, there is always a negative side which is the displacement of people because large capitals like London need to make space for the athletes and the facilities if they don't have them yet.

"Immediately we thought this is something we would like to talk about."

It is being performed at Timber Lodge Cafe in the Olympic Park from Friday, June 17 to Sunday, June 19 from 7-8pm and 6-7pm.

Other events include former Recorder editor Colin Grainger reliving what it was like to cover the Games in an online talk with broadcaster Marieta Evans on June 7 from 6pm.

For more information on any of the programme, visit newhamheritagemonth.org/events.

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