The Wornington Word: A People’s History part 3

Over the last couple of months, we’ve had guest blog posts from Natasha, founder of The Wornington Word – an oral history project. If you missed them, you can check out the first blog post by Natasha here and the second one here.

Over to Natasha to tell us how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the project…

We should have been buying rum for our  party at Venture Centre.  We should have been framing the  award winning portraits of Wornington Green estate and it’s residents taken by Kevin Percival. We should been hearing the gentle tinkling of the steel pans played by Glissando. But the party to end our 20 month Wornington Word oral history project  had to be cancelled. Covid and the lockdown hit.  Life as we knew it stopped. And so did the ever present and ongoing demolition and building work.

Peace descended onto Wornington Green.  I noticed the birdsong. The lack of airplane noise. The family of foxes who played inside Venture Centre’s playground at night. Neighbours taking the time to chat to each other from balconies and windows. Baby pigeons hatching on a nest beneath my window. I relaxed. Until early one morning when I was shaken out of bed by the dreaded noise of the chain saw. Tree surgeons were hacking off the branches around the  nest! The whole estate was in uproar. We didn’t want beautiful lush green trees pollarded now!  In the middle of a pandemic. We wanted to enjoy the verdant leaves and the sounds of birdsong. Many of us rang the council. Some tweeted. Others sent emails. And we stopped them.

Skypower’s drone

In June, a pleasant hum filled our ears as we watched a small spidery machine containing a tiny camera hover across Althone Gardens. After its postponement in April, our long anticipated booking of SkyPower – a drone film company – had become possible . We gathered around the operators  monitor to see a birds-eye view of red brick Wornington Green and the new white buildings of Portobello Square that will eventually replace the estate.

Constantine Gras (cinematographer), Russ (editor), Neil from SkyPower and Natasha. Photo taken by Jay Hirano

We could not have our party. But we could attend, in masks, a live screening of our documentary about Wornington’s residents, with the drone footage, at The Portobello Film Festival.   And a week later we paraded around in the t-shirts we were awarded as part of the prize for winning Best UK Documentary.

Footage from the drone which used as a still in the film

You can watch our film, The Wornington Word: A Peoples History of The Wornington Green Estate on our project website.

Here are some of the reviews we’ve received, please let us know what you think too.

Wonderful film – very moving and bittersweet.

Thanks to everyone who took part ❤💛💚

What marvellous portrayals through special community strength, a unique archive for future generations x

Rich stories beautifully put together.
Essential viewing for anyone who has a connection with North Kensington.


May we say – thanks again to Natasha for this fantastic series about the project. To learn more do visit the Wornington Word’s website 


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