Our River Lea Poetry Trail is a community heritage project proposed to connect Angel Edmonton to Meridian Water, and the River Lea beyond.

It was one of 13 projects to be successfully funded by the Stories of Enfield grant, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  The project concluded in Autumn 2022.

The Project
A Connective Poetry Trail

October 2022
Keith’s poetry reading at the concluding celebration of the Stories of Enfield project at the Culture Palace in Enfield Town.  As part of the project’s legacy, we published 'Book of Rhymes' - a collection of Keith's poems which touchingly capture his life growing up in Upper Edmonton in humorous detail.

September 2022
Photos from the launch of the poetry trail. A big thank you to those who attended and for your support, we received some wonderful feedback.

August 2022

November 2021 
Upper Edmonton is an area with a rich history that is on the cusp of major regenerative change.  The area contains a rich mix of diverse communities, from voices of the elderly who have lived in the area all their lives, to multicultural communities who have made their homes here in the past decades. Following the development of Meridian Water, the Joyce and Snells estate and the Upton Road area, Upper Edmonton will welcome even more new residents to the area.  To residents old and new, we wish to provide a glimpse into what life was like in Upper Edmonton in days gone by and how strongly it was and hopefully still can be influenced by nature and the River Lea, especially given the hard urban environment of the area.

The project seeks to explore the significance and impact of the River Lea to life in Upper Edmonton, through the memories of local poet Keith Mowatt, via a new poetry trail connecting Fore Street with Meridian Water.  The selected poem is ‘Our River Lea’, which reflects on his lived experiences around the River Lea, and musings on the future of life following the redevelopment of Meridian Water.  The poem joyfully and tenderly explores a variety of themes, evoking imagery from the area’s industrial past, fishing on the river, a changing of the seasons and climate, as well as nightlife and nature, offering a colourful portrait of life by the River Lea and a questioning, but optimistic window to the future.

Following our engagement event on 13th November 2021 held at Raynham Primary School, with your input the trail route has been updated to include Alston Road, birthplace and home of the poem’s creator Keith Mowatt.

The engagement event was held as part of the REACT November residents meeting and featured a presentation of the project, Q&A and a live recital of the poem by Keith Mowatt. 

We had lots of great conversations where you told us:
  • The trail route should be changed to include Alston Road, the birthplace and home of Keith Mowatt.
  • It would be great if local schools could become involved with the project.
  • You loved the idea of painted murals as part of the trail, though this pay be challenging in terms of seeking permissions.
  • If the trail could extend through the Meridian Water development, which is currently partly under construction.