Woolwich goes epic with its own street poem

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A joint community effort has provided Woolwich in South London with its own epic poem, broadcast to it is streets via a poetry trail and a big screen.

A brightly coloured stream of verse adorns a dozen buildings including the Royal Arsenal Gatehouse, Woolwich Arsenal Station and the Woolwich Centre Library.

Woolwich Speaks celebrates the area’s street life and explores its past and present. Written by 23-year-old local poet Rasheeda Paige-Muir who interviewed residents, community leaders, young people and business owners, the poem was commissioned by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, of which Woolwich is a part. It was produced by the social art practice Applied Live Art Studios and the trail, which will run until September 5, also launches the Woolwich High Streets Heritage Action Zone, supported by Historic England.

"Woolwich Speaks is just one project which contributes to our ongoing multi-million-pound investment in Woolwich town centre” said Denise Scott-McDonald, deputy leader of Greenwich Council. “We're restoring empty buildings, building a new leisure centre, refurbishing the Tramshed theatre and getting ready for Woolwich Works, our new creative district, which opens in September. It's really important that projects like this are community-led, so I'm glad that the poem and film showcase local talent."

A film of the poem has been made by Joe Watkins starring Woolwich secondary school students, and featuring local landmarks as well as archive footage. It is being shown on the Woolwich Big Screen throughout August, and will be available online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-7ORRWcAws.

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