take me to the river
west silverton trail
Asta trail
north woolwich
precious places
ports of call

Precious Places

A glimpse into some of the personal meanings that lie behind public space

The Precious Places trail will take you to places in South Newham that you may otherwise never come across. Locations have been chosen because of their special meanings to local residents and are based on memories and associations crossing time and space. Each location has been celebrated with a plaque, to be discovered in locations as diverse as parks and walkways, the sites of past community celebrations, Newham's secret beach on the River Thames, a hairdressing salon linked to Lithuania, a launderette (which is also a local meeting place) City Airport and the Woolwich Ferry linking the north and south banks of the capital beyond London's bridges.
A list of the plaque locations and maps to help you find them can be downloaded here

Click on the plaques on the map below to discover why each place is precious.
Use the arrows to move around the map, or click and drag the mouse to find other precious places.

View Larger Map

The plaques have been created by artist Loraine Leeson of cSPACE and are linked to an exhibition she has created with local residents for display in St. John's Community Centre, North Woolwich. Through a series of montaged panels participants have signified their connections to this narrow strip of land between the docks and river, which for decades has formed a virtually unchanging backdrop to a community undergoing transformation. Some residents have lived in this area all their lives and remember working docks and thriving industry, while others have settled here, or are just passing through, bringing knowledge and experience from all over the world. In this last outpost of the London Docklands largely overlooked in the redevelopment of the 1980's, regeneration has finally taken a hold. Major new business, residential and tourist developments are beginning to transform the physical environment, while new incoming communities are rapidly changing the demography of the area. The collective life experiences of its inhabitants create local and global associations with place that help to form this neighbourhood's unique and changing identity. Precious Places is a snapshot in time and space creating a glimpse into unexpected meanings that lie behind the public spaces of this extraordinary area.



Examples of the Precious Places plaques


precious places

Panels created in the Precious Places workshop

A collaboration between cSPACE, London East Research Institute and St. John's Community Centre, North Woolwich.

Funded by Awards for All, Royal Docks Trust and London Borough of Newham.




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