“I [Alan Rossiter] came to Hackney to work on Hackney Marsh Adventure Playground which is down at Daubeney Fields, next to Kingsmead Estate, in 1972. It wasn’t too long before we came up with the idea of doing a firework show on Daubeney Fields, which took off great, where you had a cabaret event and the fireworks as a backdrop.
Culturally we were part and parcel of the alternative arts scene of the time, begun with people like Joan Littlewood. People were thinking right, what is my art about? it should be about engaging with people. How do we do that?
So one of the key things was celebration. Another was engagement. When we went on to do the Fun Festivals we would set up meetings in each of the areas like Clapton Park Estate. The number of people involved at that level was quite extrordinary, that’s where we first got in touch with people like Brian Walker, an incredible character…”