British Empire Walks

British Empire Walks – a new heritage walks project by Brick Lane Circle

Date and time
Mon, 22 Jan 2024 18:30 – 20:30 GMT

Idea Store Whitechapel, 321 Whitechapel Road London E1 1BU

Do you want to learn more about the connections of local places in London with the global British Empire?

Do you want to become a heritage guide and take people on educational tours around places in London with strong associations with the British Empire?

Do you want to collect heritage stories from research and community interviews to develop powerful narratives for your walking tours?

Do you want to explore developing hybrid and fully immersive virtual tours to create new experiences around heritage walks?

If the answers are yes, please come to the Project launch on Monday, 22 January 2024, 6.30 – 8.30 pm, Idea Store Whitechapel, 321 Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1BU

For more details, please email

In the UK, there is a growing interest in learning about heritage and understanding the historical connections of peoples and places. Heritage walks are tools for learning about the past through visiting important historical sites and locations.

This project will recruit ten individuals from East London’s diverse communities and provide them with training and visits to heritage institutions. The outcome will be the production of walking tour packs with details of their subject focus, a map, stops and narratives. In addition, there will be practical walking tours training to enable participants to develop experience and confidence in running their tours independently. They will also be introduced to virtual heritage walking tours using 360-degree cameras to generate immersive experiences.

Participants will be encouraged to consider British Empire themes, for example, East India Docks and the Trans-Atlantic slavery, Limehouse China Town and the late 19th Century and early 20th Century Asian and Bengali lascar seamen experiences in the East End. British Newspaper Archives and British History Online have fascinating stories linked to the British Empire, including lascar funerals, lascar deaths in police custody, and many other incredible stories that could be incorporated into the walks.

In addition, the participants will be taken on visits to Tower Hamlets Local History and Archives, Old Matthias Community Centre, British Library, National Maritime Museum (Royal Museums Greenwich), Victoria & Albert Museum and the Imperial War History Museum. They will also collect stories from the community to develop their narratives for the walks.

A ten-half-day training programme will be organised, including with invited guests who run history walks to share their experiences, insights and advice for our participants. The training will consist of theoretical perspectives and purpose of heritage walks; how to make narratives and delivery interesting; preparation of heritage packs and marketing; practical experience of delivery under supervision.

This will be followed by producing final packs and the participants’ public delivery of several heritage walks. A major project completion celebration will be organised to share the outcomes with the wider public and to promote the walks.

Reserve a spot…

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