Editor’s comment: Share your stories for culture bid

PUBLISHED: 08:00 18 November 2017

Jessie J takes to the stage for Girl Effect Live, a festival to celebrate the power of girls in overcoming global poverty.

Jessie J takes to the stage for Girl Effect Live, a festival to celebrate the power of girls in overcoming global poverty.


Havering has thrown its hat into the ring for the Mayor of London’s Borough of Culture initiative and residents can play a part.

We know we’re up against some stiff competition. Neighbouring Redbridge announced their bid in early October. Barking and Dagenham made its pitch this week.

But this is a chance for us to feel positive about our borough. It’s easy to complain, but this is something to get excited about.

As council leader Roger Ramsey says, being chosen as the London Borough of Culture for 2020 would bring £1million to spend on arts and heritage.

It could create a legacy and put Havering on the map.

People already come into the borough for the shows at Queen’s and Brookside theatres, and for the night-time economy in Romford.

We have the National Trust’s Rainham Hall and our own arts centre at Fairkytes.

And Havering has produced stars like drum and bass pioneer Andy C, EastEnders actress Kylie Babbington, pop singers Rochelle Humes, Jesy Nelson and Jessie J.

The Tate art galleries, Shakespeare Globe theatre and Film London have all said they would help out with projects in the winning borough.

To ensure the bid gets as wide a a range of views as possible, Havering Council is urging residents to share their memories of the borough.

Where did you hang out as a teenager?

What memories do you have of being a child in Havering?

Challenge your relatives and friends to share their stories as well at #StoriesofmyYouth.

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