‘Born and Bred- Stories of Holloway Road’: Book, Exhibition & Website

Posted on 11/09/2012 by

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What bonds us to a certain place? Born and Bred – Stories of Holloway Road is an oral history project that focuses on the cultural heritage of Holloway Road in Islington. Through photography, illustration and oral history, Born and Bred captures the living memories of people who live or work in the area and were born and bred in London.

BORN AND BRED is an oral history project that focuses on the cultural heritage of Holloway Road in Islington. Through photography, illustration and oral history, Born and Bred captures the living memories of people who live or work in the area and were born and bred in London. http://www.storiesofhollowayroad.com

Since September 2011, a team of 21 trained volunteers has interviewed and photographed 46 people aged between 11-86 years. George Bartlett never forgot meeting John Lennon on the Holloway Road. June Dove will always remember sheltering aged 16 in the Arsenal tube station during an air raid and Clare Furey recalls squirting cinemagoers with her water pistol as a 7-year-old girl in the Holloway Odeon.

The interviews begin in Canonbury and follow the Holloway Road up to its most northern tip in Archway meeting a varied group of people all linked by the area. Mathew Dickinson’s floral business has been based in Highbury for 10 years, his flowers have decorated Selfridges, Harrods and Buckingham Palace; while Laurence Evans, has been volunteering at Second Chance charity shop in Archway for 4 years and enjoys having a tea and chat with the regular shoppers.

Alongside edited interview extracts, the book also presents high quality images of the participants, illustrations of buildings including Whittington Park Community Centre, Michael’s Fruiters and The Old Mother Red Cap pub, plus unique insights into local small businesses, institutions and archives including Holloway Prison, the Arsenal Museum, Women’s Library and Irish in Britain Archive.

The Born and Bred – Stories of Holloway Road cover image is ‘Elizabeth from Beautiful at 639 Holloway Road’ from esteemed Vue photographer Dylan Collard.

Collard says: “I have always been intrigued by local life around my home in North London and the shopkeepers in particular caught my eye. They are the ones who give our High Streets real soul and personality.”

The audio files on the website will offer the opportunity to hear extended versions of people’s fascinating stories and find out more about Holloway Road past and present. Born and Bred – Stories of Holloway Road has been produced by Rowan Arts, an arts charity based in North London and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Born and Bred builds on a previous project Making Inroads http://www.makinginroads.org/

Sadly George Bartlett died shortly after being interviewed for this project. All the staff and volunteers at Rowan Arts pass on their deepest sympathies to George’s family and friends.

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