Over the years Roman Road has lost its distinguishing landmarks and historical buildings resulting in a loss of identity and sense of place, and with it, civic pride. Reclaiming our heritage and culture is essential to help create a sense of belonging and to attract destination visitors.
Some of our work has included the following:
Creating a unique brand for the high street
One of our earliest projects was to create a logo for Roman Road, one that reflected our history and was modern enough to be be used effectively on today’s social media sites.
- The clean, strong font – Ultra – is inspired by fonts from the twentieth century, when Roman Road was in its heyday.
- The graphical clothes label in the ‘ribbon’ logo – used on the website and to head official documents – references the long history of fashion trade of Roman Road Market.
- The ring of dots around the ‘stamp’ logo – used for merchandise and print ‘branding’ – references the pearly queens and kings of the East End.
- The square ‘Ro.Rd.’ design – used for social media icons – is derivative of a makers mark, referencing Bow’s manufacturing past.
Raising the profile of the East London Suffragettes
Very few people know that Roman Road and Bow are the heartland of Sylvia Pankhurst and the East London Federation of Suffragettes. The Suffragettes printed leaflets at Arbers, delivered leaflets on Roman Road Market and fought with police at Bow Baths, all on Roman Road. Within a hundred metres of Roman Road are the sites of the the ELFS’s first toy factory and creche on Norman Grove, the Mothers Arms pub on St Stephen’s Road, and the Suffragettte’s headquarters on Old Ford Road. There is enormous potential to increase destination visitors by raising the profile of the East London Suffragettes and their strong links to the area.
Creating a repository of photos & memories
Two years ago, a search on the web for images of Roman Road returned zero results. A search of images at the local archive library returned very little too. Overshadowed by the bigger trade centres of neighbouring hamlets Whitechapel, Spitalfields, Isle of Dogs and Limehouse, Bow is poorly documented. As the older generation disappears, so too the opportunity to discover and save photos and memories of our past. So we launched a Facebook group called Living in Bow, inviting past and present residents to share personal photos and memories of Bow.
Heritage trail map & tours
We have worked with artists from local Chisenhale Gallery to design a heritage trail map that would encourage local residents and visitors alike to explore Bow and discover its history and heritage. Our heritage trail map is distributed for free at Roman Road Festival and in local shops and cafes. The hertiage trail map is the basis of several guided history tours that we organise Roman Road Festival. The Suffragettes tour sells out within days.