Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Private tour of Ilford's pre-historic remains at Natural History Museum, inspires children to learn more about our heritage

The East  Ilford Betterment Partnership has outlined a funding application with the Heritage Lottery Fund, that if successful will see the installation of a life-size replica of the Mammoth skull found locally, in our town centre.  The project which is being supported by Redbridge Museum will include a series of children's and adults workshops on our pleistociene mammalian past.

Gerrard Greene from Redbridge Vision visited the Natural History Museum on Tuesday last week and met with a curator to discuss the potential loan of some of the existing fossilized bones stored in their archives.  These would be used as part of a exhibition of the Ilford of over 100,000 years ago, at a time when the area was a savannah and huge mammals roamed the land in more tropical heat.

On Tuesday 27th August a group of children visited the museum's hidden archives, as part of a private tour with Senior Paleontologist Adrian Lister - to stimulate an interest with our local heritage.  The participants included Hannah Chowdhry, Tatiana Ngeze and Tanisha Ngeze.  The children were able to access bones found at a number of excavations from 1864 that illustrated the range and size of animals that once lived here.  Fossilized remains of elephants, lions, cattle, rhinos and of course mammoths surprised and excited the young visitors.  The children later visited the actual skull labelled "Ilford Mammoth" maintained in the main central foyer of the Natural History Museum and the replica found in the Mammals section of the Museum exhibition areas.

Hannah Chowdhry (9 years) said;

"Touching the bones was very exciting, the fossils were surprisingly tough, from the way they looked I thought they would be much more brittle. The size of the animal's was terrifying!"

Tatiana Ngeze (9 years) said;

"I felt like a VIP, we did not have to queue for the museum and got to see the private archives which most members of the public never get to see.  I was so pleased to see our town with a picture mentioned by the replica skull in the mammals section of the museum." 

Wilson Chowdhry said;

"We are in the process of completing our main application with the help of Redbridge Museum and hope to submit it by September this year.  If our application is successful the project will be undertaken throughout 2014 celebrating the 150th anniversary of Sir Antonio Brady's excavation, that led to the finding of the famous skull."

The EIBP is calling for local people to complete their on-line questionnaire that will assist them with their funding application.  It can be found using this link:

Children feel a lions tooth found in Ilford.

Tatiana Ngeze holding a Mammoth's tooth.

Hannah Chowdhry holding a Mammoth tooth.

Children held an elephant tusk, found in Ilford.

The actual Mammoth skull found in Ilford is one of the NHM's most prized assets.  A replica would be installed in our town centre if our funding application is successful.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Local children breathe fresh life into Redbridge Peace monument!

Redbridge Peace monument with new mosaic inserts.

A local art feature received a facelift this week after new mosaics were installed into it's base.

Children of Clementswood Ward attending our recent mosaic art workshops, created peace designs that have now been incorporated into the Redbridge Peace monument.

The monument which was installed in Ilford by the East Ilford Betterment Partnership in 2011, is based at the location of the fatal stabbing of Teenager Kashif Mahmood in 2005, at the Winston Way Roundabout.  

Children aged between 5 - 10 years, created images of butterfly, doves, snails, stars and other images, following the theme of peace hope and unity.

Community leaders inspired the creations through a series of 5 minute seminars before each class.  A public display of some of the Mosiac designs can be viewed at Redbridge Central Library.

 Sania Satwat Chair of the EIBP said:

"It is hoped that the designs will inspire future generations to recognise the importance of diversity in the borough and the value of life."

Friday, 2 August 2013

Redbridge "Love has no Colour" Mosaic Art Workshops a great success!

Today the EIBP completed our Mosaic Art Workshops focused on stimulating Cultural and religious awareness and peace amongst children in East Ilford.   In total 42 Children aged between 5 and 11 enjoyed learning about the historic art of mosaics.  Our Surveys indicated that 100% of children felt they had gained more confidence in art and had gained new transferable skills, that they were more aware of the principles of other local faiths, that they had made new friends and that they had learned that all faiths were equally important.  

The wonderful pieces of art that included flowers, snails, people and trees (representing life), patterns and spirals, Om Symbol, Khlasa Symbol, Crosses (representing diversity), crosses, doves, rainbows and fish (representing peace), were described as "of a high  calibre"  Gary Drostle the artist responsible for the workshops said; "The children of East ilford are very talented and ever so well behaved, it was a pleasure to work with them, they taught me a few things about mosaic patterns too!"

Hannah Chowdhry a young participant (9 years) said; "When I started I thought it was going to be difficult, the teacher made it very easy for us to create our images."

Tatyana Ngeze (8 years) said; "It was so much fun I wish we could do it again, I made lots of new friends"

Simran Sangha (9 years) said;  "Usually holidays can be boring, this was so exciting and I learnt a new skill."

Pastor Bryon from the Apostolic Church, Ilford based on Connaught Road was one of five community faith leaders that talked about the principles of his faith. The leaders provided images to inspire the artwork created by children.  He said;

"I was grateful to be invited to get involved with this project, initiatives like this develop better understandings in communities and can be the start of lifelong friendships."

Chairman of the Hindu Human Rights Group, Ranbir Singh said; "Classes like this engage with young people, open their minds and allow them to contribute to wider society." 

There were also talks from Danny O'Brien of Anti-knife UK and the local police team.

The Artwork will be displayed In Redbridge Central Library on the 1st floor foyer from this week until January 2014.

We hope to bring similar classes to our centre in the future that are focused on concepts of peace hope and unity and will lead to new mosaics being installed into the base of our local Peace Monument.

Our thanks to Church Urban Fund for their grant towards this project.

Children busy in designing their artwork.

 Children deep in concentration.

local children of different origins shared time together.  

Some practised on plates before making their final designs.

Support form teachers ensured a high quality of artwork and many new transferable skills.

Children even used tools to shape their own tiles.

Children learnt the need for good preparation

Children represented a broad spectrum of faiths.

100% of participants said they learnt new skills.

Children exhibited great concentration and were very methodical and neat.

The sun.

A flower

A cross

A star

A mountain

A person.

A tree.

A flower.

A snail

Pastor Bryon describing concepts of peace within Christianity.  

Children eager to respond to questions.

Taking pride in their work.

Images provided by guests speakers inspired the artwork.

Sheer joy expressed by children.

                                                        Children worked well together.