Shoreditch Town Hall celebrates £10,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant
Shoreditch Town Hall announces today that it has received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Sharing Heritage grant to support More Light, More Power: 150 Years of Shoreditch Town Hall, a project to celebrate the building’s 150th anniversary.
To mark the occasion, Shoreditch Town Hall will produce a commemorative publication to document the former civic building’s rich history: from its roots in 19th century progressive politics, to its role in East London working class culture as a music hall and boxing venue; from community-led campaigns to save the building, to its contemporary usage as an arts and events space.
The project will also include a temporary exhibition of photos and materials in a number of spaces inside the building, as well as permanent displays to help people understand and appreciate its heritage.
Despite the architectural and historical importance of Shoreditch Town Hall, there is currently no single place or publication where the buildings story is available. Although some key moments in the life of the Town Hall are on record, there are many significant gaps in knowledge and few photographs of people using and enjoying the space.
A team of staff and volunteers from Shoreditch Town Hall will therefore go out into the community in the coming months, working with project coordinator Brona O’Toole to meet local people, carry out a selection of interviews and document stories or memories of the building over the years. We will also research and compile information from a range of archives and public sources, as well as personal collections.
Director Nick Giles said: “It has been our ambition for some time now to produce a more comprehensive history of the Town Hall, so that we can better celebrate what is a unique, landmark building, its colourful history and the role it has played in people’s lives over the past one hundred and fifty years. Thanks to this support from the Heritage Lottery Fund we will now be able to achieve this, and importantly for us, run a project that will enable us to go out into the community and work with a diverse team of volunteers.”
Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “HLF support will recognise the historical and architectural importance of Shoreditch Town Hall in celebration of the building’s 150th anniversary. Thanks to National Lottery players, communities will be able to mark this special occasion with a project exploring and preserving the local history of the Town Hall, leading to a commemorative publication and exhibition at the heart of Shoreditch.”
If you would like to volunteer or have a story or memory of the Town Hall, if your family or friends have been involved with the building in the past – especially if you have photographs or documents – we would love to hear from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Brona O’Toole at Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LT.
A Meet and Greet will be on Thursday 15 September (2.00pm-5.00pm) where we will introduce the project to those who want to be interviewed and meet a few potential volunteers.
Volunteer training will be Monday 19 September (2.00pm-5.00pm) with interviews to follow later in the week.
On completion of the project in December 2016 archive materials, our history publication and links to information on wider local history will be made available from on a newly launched history section of www.shoreditchtownhall.com.