A SHORT film starring the residents of Erith’s Larner Road estate had its world premiere yesterday.
There may not have been a red carpet but the crowds flocked to the screening, which marked the official opening of the estate’s community rooms.
News Shopper reported in June last year how poet Luke Wright penned a 1,700-word poem celebrating life on the tower block estate.
Local filmmaker Dan Eycott has since transformed the poem into an eight-minute film, which features Larner Road homeowners acting out the characters featured in the verses.
Bexley Council’s cabinet member for economic development and regeneration, Councillor Linda Bailey, was on hand to welcome the crowds as the community rooms were opened.
The opening event showcased some of the activities and events the community rooms will host, including an after school club, craft sessions and coffee mornings.
Jeanette Marsand, who is arranging the after school club, said: “Lots of the kids living here go to different schools so they don’t have much chance to socialise.
“I’m finding out what they want from the after school club so that we can give them somewhere to kick back and socialise together.”
Rosemary White, who is organising a craft club, added: “With money being tight for everyone at the moment, the craft club will show everyone how to ‘make do and mend’.
“We’ll be offering something for every age group and are planning to cover everything from sewing on a button to dressmaking, knitting and crochet.”
The community rooms will be used throughout the £100m regeneration of the Larner Road estate, which got the go ahead from Bexley Council’s planning committee last December.
Taking five-years to complete, the regeneration will replace the five tower blocks with between 550 and 622 new homes, with work expected to begin next month.
Orbit South’s director of neighbourhood services Jackie Andrews, who cut the community centre ribbon, said: “Larner Road already has a great sense of community but the new rooms will provide a much needed shared space for residents to use, meet and get information throughout the area’s regeneration.
“Local people really hold the key to the future of the community rooms and in fact some of the activities will be run by people who live here.
“It’s important that residents keep letting us know what they would like to use the centre for.”
To read News Shopper's previous story about the Ballad of Larner Road - and to read the poem - click here.