Broadwater Farm Exhibition @ Bruce Castle Museum, Tottenham

By Lindsey Last edited 88 months ago
Broadwater Farm Exhibition @ Bruce Castle Museum, Tottenham

Heroes and Homemakers, an exhibition about the history of the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham, has been enhanced and moved to Bruce Castle Museum as 'Broadwater Farm: the story of a community 1967-2010'

Coverage of the London riots this week inevitably provoked comparison with the Broadwater Farm riots of 1985. But back then trouble erupted over the relationship between the community and the police, underlined by all sorts of inequalities, and tragically it resulted in the death of a police officer.

Local MP, David Lammy, was quick to dismiss such comparisons, describing the unrest in Tottenham last weekend as, "an attack on Tottenham, on people, ordinary people, shopkeepers, women, children".

Broadwater Farm has come a long way in 25 years. These days it is a model of social housing and home to an amazing story about a community that fought against the odds to rebuild itself. The Heroes and Homemakers exhibition about the 40 year history of the estate opened in its community centre last November and has recently moved to Lordship Lane's Bruce Castle Museum.

The exhibition is bigger than before and now includes large black and white pictures taken around the time of the 1985 trouble by Nigel Norie, a photographer and youth worker on the estate since 1983. There's also video material from before the riots of the newly formed youth association and of young people breakdancing during the youth association festival of 1984. You can also see a moving home video of the opening of the Garden of Remembrance for all those who suffered in October 1985.

The motivation behind this week's violence and looting across London may not yet be clear and the authorities' focus is stil very much on restoring order and processing those arrested for criminality through weary courts. But what Broadwater Farm's story tells us is that if you look seriously at the underlying issues and have the commitment to address them, you can turn lives and communities around.

If you can't get to Tottenham to take in the exhibition, have a look round

Broadwater Farm: the story of a community 1967 - 2010 is on at Bruce Castle Museum until March 2012. Currently in the first floor gallery, the exhibition will be moved to the main gallery in October. Find the museum on Lordship Lane, N17 8NU. Free admission

NB The Tower at Bruce Castle Museum is classed as 'Best Mystery' in the Top Ten Things To Do In The Borough of Haringey.

Last Updated 12 August 2011