Grandad’s Island: from Page to Pavement

Souvenir Roadshow: Your Untold Stories


“I care about collecting things because they trigger memories, which are precious, I feel like losing them will lose the memory. They are sentimental because someone has given them to me as a friend, a relative, some of whom have passed away and I feel losing them is like feeling the loss of that person.” anonymous.

The Souvenir Roadshow: Your Untold Stories is a collection of memories evoked by resident’s, from the London Borough of Waltham Forest, precious objects and things they’ve held dear. We were lucky enough to find out why these objects were important to people, where they came from and who they had received them from. It’s been wonderful to share these moments with people.

The final collection of stories is exhibited at Leyton Library, Leyton High Road, from 4th-13th October 2019.

The process

Working with artists Liz Griffiths and Amanda Rojder NBAM met with several community groups in September, to meet people where they already concregate. We also offered 2 open public drop-in sessions where anyone could come along, take part for free,  and tell us about their objects. We did a lot of outreach around the borough in order to get a diverse range of responses.

Particpants were offered the choices of conveying their story audibly, in writing or creating a visiual depiction. All materials were provided. Some participants chose to do all 3 elements. We were interested in offering a dynamic exhibition for the audience to apprecriate in different ways and to try to be inclusive of everyone’s communication needs.

Drop-in workshop at One Hoe Street

Stories were collected from people aged from 4 years old all the way up to 80 years old.


Audio Recording of Stories

9 people chose to share their stories audibly. Click on the Record Numbers below to hear their stories.

Record Number 1

Royal Shakespeare Company Membership Card

Record Number 2

Volunteer AppreciationPlaque

Record Number 3

Photograph of a young man

Record Number 4

IMG-20190913-WA0017 (3)

Record Number 5 


Record Number 6

IMG-20190913-WA0019 (2)

Record Number 7

Mountain Rock

Record Number 8

Volcanic Ash Black Cat

Record Number 9



Art Work

Below are some of the pieces of art that people created in response to their object. We collected 38 stories in total. The full display of art can been seen at the exhibition.



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Most people who took part did not want to part with their precious objects so we photographed them to include with the collection instead.




This project was commissioned by Artillery as part of ‘Grandad’s Island: from Page to Pavement‘ their Borough of Culture project.

Grandad’s Island is a picture book written and illustred by Benji Davies which has inspired a range of public engagement and artist projects to happen all over Waltham Forest.