Walk: Exploring Leytonstone’s connection to the Slave Trade

FREE EVENT: in conjunction with Leytonstone Festival 2019. A Freedom Walk in Leytonstone: Leytonstone’s connections to the TransAtlantic Slave Trade and its struggles for a multi-ethnic, multi-faith community.

What did the Buxton family, William Wilberforce and others have in common with the slave trade’s abolition and history. Horace Waller missionary and campaigner once lived at the Leytonstone Vicarage (now Matalan) where Abdullah Susi and a former child slave, James Chuma once lived for a spell in 1874. What mission were they engaged on? “Remembering Slavery and it’s legacy 1807 – 2007” author, writer and academic Peter Ashan (himself a child of Empire and Windrush) will lead this enlightening journey of exploration and discovery. Part of the Leytonstone Festival

Meet in St John’s Church forecourt , E11 1HH. Two minutes walk from Leytonstone Tube and bus station

Route takes us to Leytonstone House and Quaker House (Bushwood)

NB https://vestryhousemuseum.org.uk/windrush/

With thanks also to https://www.stjohns-leytonstone.org.uk/

Picture Credit : The Leyton and Leytonstone Historical Society

NB : Participants are solely responsible for their own safety during the event

For Team FORA
A A Fernandes

Lea Marshes

FORA visit to Lea Marshes

On a beautiful autumn afternoon FORA members were treated to an informal guided walk to Lea Marshes. Our three experts chipped in with insights into different aspects of the marsh lands which adjoin the river. Claire Weiss, John Rogers and David Boote led us on a journey through time and space as we explored human activities in the Lea Valley from pre-history to the present. The Lea was an important route for people in prehistoric times as well as roman, medieval and the modern era.  The talks ranged from Viking river boats to the struggles of A. V. Roe, a pioneer of aircraft design who used the marshes for experimental flights from 1909. 

The  growth of suburban London in the late Victorian era led to a renewed importance for the marsh lands. Being a floodplain the land retained much of it’s natural heritage in both animal and plant life. It also became increasingly important to the growing urban population as an open space offering an antidote to the urban sprawl. Local people have fought over generations to retain the marshlands for public enjoyment in the face of waves of developers seeking to encroach upon the land for profit. This struggle continues to this day and several areas of marsh are currently under threat of development.      

If you would like to find out more see:-

David Boote Leyton and Leytonstone Historical Society and Waltham Forest Walks

Claire Weiss Save Lea Marsh

John Rogers The Lost Byway

Lea Marshes

Viking Riverboat Waterworks Nature Reserve

Lea Valley Park – Nature Reserves and Open Spaces

Historical Walk in Leytonstone

FORA members and friends were treated to a fascinating guided walk by Dr Neil Houghton of Walthamstow Historical Society on Saturday 21st May. Neil set the group the challenge of spotting the subtle differences in architecture which enable us to date houses and identify their original purpose. We learned about the wealthy families who lived in the area before the building of the Victorian terraced housing seen today. Characters such as two governors of the bank of England and an extremely rich slave trader lived in this part of Leytonstone. We identified the boundary between the forest royal hunting ground and land on which commoners had grazing rights during the medieval period. We heard of the four thousand year old flint tools found along the streams running through the area. We listened to the rich history surrounding the procurement and building of St Andrew’s church. Neil provided us with maps and information and helped us to become ‘eagle eyed’ field historians.

Some members of FORA have four legs

Some members of FORA have four legs

Participants gave very positive feedback on the event and on behalf of all I would like to thank Dr. Neil Houghton for his time, energy, entertaining delivery and thorough knowledge of his subject.