Dr Jeannette Baxter is leading a 2-year community research project on social housing history and heritage in Norwich – Mile Cross 100!

Across 2022-2023, Jeannette will be collaborating with The Common Lot Theatre Company on this new community research heritage project, which celebrates the centenary of England’s oldest purpose-built social housing estate.

The Mile Cross estate in Norwich is now one of the most economically deprived areas in the country, commonly associated with child poverty, crime and drugs, but that isn’t the entire story. In 1923, Mile Cross was the first purpose built social housing estate in the country and an important part of Norwich’s proud housing heritage.

MILE CROSS 100 will support the Mile Cross community to actively research and celebrate their 100-year history in collaborative and creative formats. The citizen research or Story Finding will be used to underpin a wide range of creative response – music, song, theatre, art and craft, food and fun, culminating in ten free participatory, outdoor shows across Norwich locations.

Community Story Finding:

Jeannette is working with more than 40 members of the community as ‘Story Finders’ who will work together, and with support from Heritage Professionals, to gather diverse stories (interviews, vox pops, family heritage) and find out factual information about Mile Cross, its diverse groups & communities, and its 100-year history.

Research into Creative Practice & Activity:

Working with local artists, performers, photographers, songwriters and craftivists, the Story Finders will transform their research into fantastic activities and events, including:

● Interactive Website and Community Displays

●A Free Outdoor Show (including our partners schools)

● A Mass Making Camp

● A Community pageant/procession

● A Book of Themed Maps (Dec 23)

‘MILE CROSS 100’ is a multi-partner project and will involve 1000s of community participants. It is funded by the National Heritage Lottery.