Sadie Kempner as Amy Johnson in 'Flying from Brent' visit to
Northview Primary School November 2021
Regular readers of your blog will know my interest in the local history of our area, from early to more modern times. The current “Being Brent” series of projects, organised by Brent Museum & Archives with funding from the National Lottery's Heritage Wellbeing Fund, has produced excellent opportunities for residents to discover more about our heritage, but these have not always been well publicised. That’s why I’m writing to share some now.
“Flying from Brent”, sharing the inspiring story of Amy Johnson with both schools and adults, was the work of Wembley-based author Amanda Epe. Her short video film, starring actress Sadie Kempner as Amy, is now available, and I’d encourage anyone to view it, perhaps with children or grandchildren over the coming holiday period: https://youtu.be/96P0aPz2FgM
Amanda and Sadie have been to at least two local Primary Schools this autumn, to share Amy’s story with the children and use it as a basis for creative writing. Amanda also organised a walk for adults in September, visiting places in Kingsbury where Amy lived and worked before her famous solo flight to Australia in 1930. It’s been my privilege to work with Amanda, to create a permanent self-guided walk document, “In Amy Johnson’s Footsteps”, based on that walk. Anyone can now follow it, and discover more about Amy along the way, by downloading the walk from the Brent Archives website, at: https://www.brent.gov.uk/media/16419753/in-amy-johnsons-footsteps.pdf
Another “Being Brent” project, which groups of local residents have already been able to enjoy, is “Brent Heritage Tours”. Their free guided walks, led by qualified local history enthusiasts, will continue next February and March, covering Queens Park, Willesden High Road and the Welsh Harp. There will also be free online talks about these areas in January. For details, go to: https://brent-heritage.co.uk/
If you have not already seen it, I would also recommend another recent video film from “Being Brent”, called “Being Alive”, which captures the diversity that makes our community so strong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYbeAoyBKbY
These are not the only gems on offer from “Being Brent”, and you can find out more from their website. Best wishes,