Video: 'The Ballad of Larner Road' film premiere pulls in the Erith crowds

News Shopper: Jackie Andrews, Orbit South's director of neighborhoods with resident Rosemary White and Cllr Linda Bailey Jackie Andrews, Orbit South's director of neighborhoods with resident Rosemary White and Cllr Linda Bailey

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.

Comments (1)

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1:08am Mon 4 Mar 13

pamela8 says...

I will be glad to see larner road pulled down..I lived there in the 70,s, it has nothing but bad memories for me.I was trapped on the 11th floor with two children and a violent husband..Also there were two suicides while i lived there and a murder..At night you could hear screams from different flats,but you never knew which flat it came from,I suppose others thought that when I screamed.I still can,t stand to look at larner road,I get flashbacks...I hope the people that have moved out are now having better normal lives..its not right to put someone in a high rise not with kids anyway..
I will be glad to see larner road pulled down..I lived there in the 70,s, it has nothing but bad memories for me.I was trapped on the 11th floor with two children and a violent husband..Also there were two suicides while i lived there and a murder..At night you could hear screams from different flats,but you never knew which flat it came from,I suppose others thought that when I screamed.[Thank God for the local police they helped me so much]I still can,t stand to look at larner road,I get flashbacks...I hope the people that have moved out are now having better normal lives..its not right to put someone in a high rise not with kids anyway.. pamela8

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