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Waterloo Sights and Sounds: new local history project

An intergenerational community project to explore local history and heritage in Waterloo launches this month thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Social enterprise Coin Street Community Builders received the lottery funding for Waterloo Sights and Sounds which will investigate and document changes to the urban and social landscape using photographs, oral histories, audio description and soundscape.

"There will be a variety of talks, walks and workshops looking at archaeology, architecture and community involvement in the area," said Laura Reynolds, community programmes manager at Coin Street.

"Using digital media as our main exploration tools, we aim to reach people of all ages and backgrounds, creating accessible, interactive resources for all."

Launching on Wednesday 9 January with a steering group meeting at the Coin Street neighbourhood centre, Waterloo Sights and Sounds will be centred on community involvement, with participants given the opportunity to help plan, develop and deliver activities from the start.

The project culminates in an interactive exhibition in the autumn which will showcase research, information, memories and soundscapes aimed at everyone from children through to older people.

Selected resources will be collated for use in local primary and secondary schools; findings will also be shared with the Imperial War Museum and Morley College as well as local libraries and archives.

Laura added: "We're thrilled to receive this grant a focus on heritage is particularly important to our local community because Waterloo is a rapidly changing area with a rich and varied history, and many large- scale developments are planned for the near future.

"Like many areas of central London, it retains original buildings from historical eras including churches, factories, schools and the riverside. Exploring these will develop understanding of the processes of urban change, creating a platform for information- sharing and debate, informing future developments through knowledge of the past and how it can be recognised and used to shape the future."

Waterloo Sights and Sounds follows Coin Street's previous lottery-funded Living Memory heritage project. Participants were keen to carry on exploring the history of SE1. Jennifer Holroyd said: "I found Living Memory a wonderful way of getting to know about local history, contributing to the community and meeting new people of all ages."

Other Waterloo Sights and Sounds activities this month include a photography workshop and a visit to the Southwark Local History Library.

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