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Gunnersbury Park Museum looks back online at industry and manufacturing in Ealing and Hounslow

Gunnersbury Park Museum has launched an online exhibition that looks back at the large factories and businesses that were once part of Ealing and Hounslow, their rise and eventual fall.

Temples of Industry: How the Decline of Heavy Industry Shaped West London features the factories that manufactured everything from bus and commercial vehicle manufacturer AEC Southall through to windscreen wiper company Trico.

To create the exhibition, which features archive footage and photographs, Gunnersbury Park Museum also spoke to former employees at three factories: A.E.C Southall, Trico Folberth and Firestone on the Great West Road.  It also said it is keen to record more memories and stories from people who worked in the local factories between 1970 – 1990 and to email collections@visitgunnersbury.org to find out more about getting involved.

The exhibition is supported by a grant from Historic England’s Everyday Heritage fund.

Ellie Djerir, head of Heritage & Museum Services at Gunnersbury Park Museum said: “We are thrilled to have been able to bring this project to life, thanks to Everyday Heritage funding from Historic England. The team have been able to add objects, stories and archive material to Gunnersbury’s ‘Great West Road’ collections, giving us a clearer picture of how the decline of manufacturing industry in the area impacted people and communities.”

Ms Djerir added: “The project also gave us the opportunity to work with our neighbours Protégé and we’d like to thank the young people involved for their creativity, thoughtfulness and skill in making their excellent film on this subject. This work is far from over – we are still looking to hear from people who worked in local factories during the 1970s – 1990s and intend to continue to update the online exhibition as we discover more stories.”

Sean Curran, head of inclusion, Historic England commented: “Historic England’s Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working Class Histories are aimed at unlocking the stories that help bring our local places to life through creative and community driven projects. Our country’s heritage is at its most vibrant when the communities of those places have the agency to tell their stories in their own ways, and Temples of Industry is a great example of how people’s pride of place can be enriched through uncovering everyday stories of extraordinary people and places.”

To view Temples of Industry: How the Decline of Heavy Industry Shaped West London, click here.

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