Project documenting the history of London is looking for Barking and Dagenham volunteers

The project documents the layers of London history using an interactive map Picture: Layers of Londo

The project documents the layers of London history using an interactive map Picture: Layers of London - Credit: Archant

Archiving project Layers of London are looking for volunteers in Barking and Dagenham.

The project began two and a half years ago as a way for historians and geographers to explore the history of London.

Memories and photos compiled from interviews are uploaded onto an interactive map, which documents how the city has changed and what no longer exists.

After last month’s launch of the website, which is still in the testing stage, the project is looking for more volunteers to help conduct and record interviews and upload pictures.

Lesley Hawes, founder of Barking and Dagenham based charity DABD, has worked closely with the project in documenting memories from her own charity’s users.

She said: “Most of us that come from Barking and Dagenham came from somewhere else.

“People came from the north, from the south, from the countryside, but all of us have lots of photos and memories of our parents and grandparents and unless we write them down, they’ll get lost.”

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The project began in Barking and Dagenham, but with Heritage Lottery Funding has expanded to the rest of the city. It hopes to eventually create a comprehensive resource to map the history of every London borough.

“There are so many things that have changed over the years that it’s good to record as you go along,” Leslie added.

“It’s good to celebrate what Barking once was, what it is and what it’s going to become next. The type of houses have changed, the type of people have changed, and unless we record this stuff now, we’ll lose it all in the area.”

Volunteers are needed to work on a flexible basis – drop-in events will be held monthly for people to provide stories, and volunteers would ideally be able to attend to help upload pictures and type up stories.

They would be based in the borough at either Barking Library, Valence House or Eastbury House, with training taking place at Senate House.

Amy Todd, from the Layers of London project, said: “It’s a great way to meet people from the borough and hear some really interesting stories.

“Volunteers would need to be comfortable chatting to people and ideally have good IT skills.”

To apply, contact Amy on