Time Truck in Hackney (c) MOLA

Building communities on heritage

Magnus Copps

It’s almost a year since we launched the Time Truck, a pop-up mobile event/exhibition space designed to maximise the impact of development-led archaeology to communities and businesses alike. In this blog, we take a look at how the Time Truck has worked to support developers on some high profile residential schemes:

QEII Olympic Park

October 2016 saw the Truck visit the Olympic Park in partnership with International Quarter London, who recognise the immense value of telling the story of archaeology in the Park.

Aboard the Truck, members of the local community were able to learn about how the surrounding area has evolved not only since the 2012 games, but over the last 5,000 years, with hands on activities and fascinating artefacts. For many, young and old alike, this helped put into perspective just how vastly the area has changed, and contextualise this next phase of change as part of that wider story.

You can read more here

Earl’s Court

The Time Truck visited Earl’s Court several times during 2016, to engage with local communities and help people understand the work that is taking place on Capco’s new residential scheme.  The heritage of the area provided very accessible and wide-ranging content for our events delivered at the Earls Court Project Rooms- a dynamic space open to the public for consultation, exhibitions and community events related to the Earls Court development.

The sessions and activities illustrated the change and evolution of the area.  Looking at a range of land uses, including the important role the area has in providing fruit and vegetables to the growing city before the land was developed, helped people understand that the site has served different needs over different times, with the current development providing crucial additional housing for the area.

Find out more about the project here

The Stage

The Time Truck has most recently taken centre stage at Hackney Town Hall as part of the extensive engagement programme around MOLA’s excavations of The Curtain Theatre on the development of The Stage, on behalf of Cain Hoy Investments and Galliard Homes. The Stage has put heritage and unlocking its legacy at the heart of the development and recognise that connecting people with their past inevitably creates better and more profitable places.

Education sessions with local primary school children and opportunities for the public to step on board helped people of all ages to discover Shakespeare and engage with his work at the theatre by examining finds and learning how the theatre may have influenced the plays he wrote. The mobile nature of the Time Truck meant that discoveries and activities could be take from the development site, in the prosperous area adjacent to the City of London, to the community at the heart of the borough.

You can read more here

Following such success, we look forward to taking the Truck outside of London and helping to connect communities with their past and stories unlocked from large residential greenfield sites. This journey will begin with a series of events in Northamptonshire from June 14th-17th.

If you would like to discuss how the Time truck might bring benefit to a residential scheme, please get in touch with Magnus Copps, Development & Community Project Officer, mcopps@mola.org.uk

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