Over the next few months in Barking and Dagenham, the Everyday Futures public programme, in partnership with London Borough of Barking and Dagenham’s Valence House Archives & Local Studies are presenting the opportunity to celebrate our rich artistic and cultural history, with a number of different events.

This is a programme funded by the Lottery Fund and made up of local artists and residents. This project is a combination of past work from Barking and Dagenham’s Archives and Local Studies Centre, home to thousands of newly digitised and authentic artistic materials, and Verity-Jane Keefe’s contemporary efforts to make maps, audio tours and walks within the borough. As part of the ongoing process and discussion, the community has been invited to a number of events that are taking place this summer.

This Wednesday 1st August from 6:30pm, there will be an opportunity to experience a film screening of a series of films from the 1940s and 1960s, kept by the Dagenham Co-Operative Film Society, and promoted by late local icon Egbert E. Smart. These films will be shown, alongside more recent works by locally-based artist Verity-Jane Walker, in the Rectory Road Social Club (former Rectory Library). This event is free and open to all.

This leads in to the ‘Eggy Celebration Day’ on 22nd August, which is again another opportunity to formally celebrate the life and work of Egbert E. Smart. Smart was a local artist, librarian and Barking and Dagenham borough photographer. His work makes up a large proportion of Barking and Dagenham’s local artistic archives.

Valence House Archives and Local Studies Centre are hosting the Eggy Celebration Day on 22nd August from 2pm-8pm, with different activities ranging from archive tours, film screenings, quizzes, food and drink and many more exciting events.

Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham commented: “this is a fantastic opportunity for residents to learn more about the boroughs artistic and cultural heritage. It will also be a chance for people to meet other members of the community with similar interests. I hope that people will take this chance to attend the events.”