The History Detectives

The History Detectives is a mobile phone ‘app’ and digital artwork exploring the industrial heritage in and around the Lee Navigation, created by young people in Enfield, in collaboration with digital media artists sdna. The project is being delivered as part of the Hinterlands Arts Programme conceived by Canal & River Trust and is supported by The Enfield Society, RSA Trust, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and the Canal & River Trust. The Enfield Society contributed £4,000.

Over the past six months 20 young people aged between 11 and 14 from Enact Youth Club and Orchardside School, Bullsmoor Lane, have visited key heritage sites and museums including Wright’s Flour Mill in Ponders End, the site of the former Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield Island Village and the Markfield Beam Engine Museum in Tottenham. Through these visits they have collected sounds and images from each of these sites and reimagined these through art, animation and digital media workshops. They have developed their story-telling and oral history skills through training sessions led by oral historian Laura Owen and collected living memories from older members of their local community and people who have worked in industries featured in the app.

The project has allowed participants to produce playful and compelling visual and audio content for the app, which will be launched at a special event at Enact Youth Club, Enfield Island Village, at 4pm on 3rd May 2022. All are welcome.

The app has been made freely available and is designed to be used during visits to the canal and heritage sites featured, as well as being used from a desktop computer.

Both Enact Community and Orchardside School felt that History Detectives participants could be creative, try something new, learn new skills, learn about the history of their local area. The young people developed skills including interviewing skills, questioning skills and how to engage and work together in a group. They also developed creative skills including sound design, stop-frame animation, scale drawing and painting.

The intergenerational nature of the programme helped to build relation-ships between younger and older members of the community.

“It was a great opportunity for these young people to experience something they never have. It opened their eyes to history, especially where they live”

Enact Community Centre
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