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cross stitch
Woodburning, pyrography, Forest Gate
childhood, memories, heritage
embroidery, Forest Gate
Handcrafted doll toy

Explore this site to hear from Newham's crafters about their crafting memories, heritage and community. From machinists in the Rag Trade to avid lockdown hobbyists, listen to their stories and see their craftwork to find out more about how  crafting is a part of our heritage.

Close Knit is an Eastside Community Heritage project, made from oral history interviews with local people. The oral histories featured in this website are stored in our Hidden Histories archive, which serves to uncover and celebrate the hidden histories of East Londoners.


"My mum was of a generation where if you wanted a jumper, you had to knit it ‘cause you know she came from a very poor background (...) growing up in the 40s and 50s, if you wanted something, you made it."


"When I was fifteen I had to go to work and I went on my birthday (...) and I went into the rag trade.  My mum told me to go in the rag trade. She said 'You’ll never want for money or you can always put your hand to it. Earn money by doing the rag trade'".


"Crafting is therapeutic, it’s good for the mind (...) It helps you to look within, and it’s just a joyful thing to do. It’s a wonderful thing to do. Everyone should do it."

Eastside Community Heritage

Eastside Community Heritage is one of the nation's leading community heritage organisations. Our mission is to uncover the hidden histories of East London - we persuade ordinary people that their stories are worth telling.


Our Hidden Histories Archive contains over 4,000 digitalised oral histories and approximately 40,000 digital photographs from people who have often been side-lined by history - our archive preserves  histories from working class communities, from the economically disadvantaged, from immigrant communities and from disabled people. 

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