Rowan Arts – posters and oral histories

While looking for stories about Chats Palace and the old Homerton Library, we discovered the old Fire Station in Holloway, North London – the home of an arts charity Rowan Arts.
In collaboration with London Metropolitan Archives, Rowan Arts is running a Poster Design Competition to promote the LMA film collection – deadline Monday 15 October

Last month Rowan Arts launched their Born and Bred project and organised a very informative training with an oral historian Verusca Calabria who shared her skills in how to record and preserve the histories and traditions of families and communities.

Born and Bred is an intriguing oral history and photography project which tells the stories of 51 Londoners who live on or around Holloway Road in Islington. The Rowan Arts exhibition, on display in an old fire station until the end of the year, features photographs of local characters alongside written down extracts from interviews which tell their individual stories.

© Isabelle Gressel

For many, Holloway Road is a bustling thoroughfare, the start of the A1 ‘The Great North Road’ out of London – for these people it is their home. Those participating in the project range from local business owners to elder residents who remember how it was during World War II.

Ellie Rowsell and Sadie Cleary (pictured) met as three year olds and grew up around the area. Today they play in a band together – – that performs regularly at local pub The Florin. Another participant, the late George Bartlett, remembers meeting John Lennon on Holloway Road, who had ventured there in a white Rolls Royce to get his hair cut.

You can listen to the interviews and read short interview extracts on the project website as well as pick up a free copy of the project book, which contains all of the information in the exhibition as well as additional material about Holloway Road from 84 Mayton Street, N7 6QT.