The Civic Street Survey is a new photographic project being led by artist Verity-Jane Keefe as part of The Mobile Museum.
We have visited and photographically surveyed 12 streets from 12 housing estates across Barking and Dagenham, as part of the wider Fifty Years a Borough Heritage Lottery Funded project which is being delivered by Barking & Dagenham's Archives and Local Studies Services in partnership with Valence House Museum.
The work produced was exhibited in March 2016 as part of a touring exhibition - an addition to The Mobile Museum's expanding collection and will feature in a publication celebrating the everyday brilliance of Barking and Dagenham.
The streets are as follows:
Valence Avenue : Becontree Estate
Rose Lane: Marks Gate
Whiting Avenue : Whiting Avenue
Julia Gardens : Scrattons Farm
Bastable Avenue : Thames View
Kershaw & Uvedale Road : Heath Park
Wellington Drive : The Leys
Harts Lane : Harts Lane
Gasoigne Road : Gascoigne Estate
Goresbrook Road : Goresbrook Village
Keir Hardie Way : Keir Hardie
Ibscott Close : Ibscott
For more details of the Fifty Years a Borough Project, look here.
Egbert Smart, 1907 - 1999 worked at Dagenham Public Libraries, Branch Librarian at Wantz and then at Rectory. He helped establish Dagenham Libraries as pioneering cultural and communty hubs. A talented photographer and film-maker, he was involved in the Dagenham Co-operative Film Society. He was also, perhaps most importantly, the Borough Photographer from 1951.
Documenting the everyday, events, streets, people and place, the photographs he took offer a vivd portrait of Barking and Dagenham over the last fifty plus years.
The Mass Observation Archive and project is an inavaluable historic resource and research platform that aims to create an "anthropology of ourselves" by recording everyday life in Britain.
In this spirit of both Egbert Smart and MO, participants will become new borough photographers, recording the contemporary landscape of the borough in the fiftieth anniversary year by recording everyday life, and both archiving and exhibiting the resulting work.
No previous photography experience needed, just an enthusiasm for the local area and a desire to participate in this evolving archive.
The Civic Street Survey is funded via the Heritage Lottery Fund, and is commissioned in partnership with London Borough of Barking and Dagenham's archives as part of the wider 50 Years a Borough Project.