On Saturday 26 September, over 60 people, including people living at Erith Park, local residents and partners delivering the large scale regeneration of Erith Park, hosted a community celebration to showcase the history and heritage of the neighbourhood.
At the event, guests were able to view the brand new Erith Park Story video, see the unveiling of the new geology board and take part in a Walk the Talk tour. The new street names were announced, with residents, project partners and representatives of the families who have been chosen to have streets and apartment blocks named after them present to mark the occasion.
Debbie Williams is the great, great granddaughter of G H Gunning, who Gunning Place was named after. G H Gunning was an Erith builder and philanthropist, and built some of the older houses around Erith Park. He also donated land for the first Erith Hospital. Debbie attended the event and said; “It was a lovely day, a nice tribute to my great, great grandfather and the other families whose relatives have streets named after them. We are so proud to have a lasting tribute to my grandfather and all that he did for Erith.”
Councillor Teresa O’Neill OBE, the Leader of Bexley Borough Council said; “I am very proud to have joined local people in celebrating their move into their new homes, the transformation of their area and the strength of their community.
“I really enjoyed hearing about the history of the area and sharing the stories of the families whose names have been given to Erith Park’s new streets and apartment blocks.
“Improving the old estate is the result of years of planning, hard work and a real partnership. The project shows just how much can be achieved when everyone works together.”
Andy Hobart, Managing Director of Wates Living Space, said; “The street party was a great opportunity for all with a stake in Erith Park’s past, present and future to celebrate how much has been achieved since work started in 2013 transform the former Larner Road estate. Wates Living Space has worked in partnership with Orbit and local residents at every stage of this development to ensure that it really reflects the community’s rich local history, their needs and ambitions. This has enabled us to create a place where people are proud to call home and we are proud to be a part of Erith’s legacy. I look forward to continuing to visit Erith Park as we enter phase two of the development.”
Vivien Knibbs, Executive Director of Orbit South commented: “Erith Park is Orbit’s flagship regeneration scheme and something we’ve been working to deliver since the 1990’s. We are delighted to officially welcome residents into their new homes and to celebrate all that’s unique and interesting about the Erith Park community. After consultation with local people and residents, we found out so much more about the local history and we are proud to now share that with the wider community both today and in the years to come.”