Life on the Andover Estate: an Oral History Project

The project will shine a light on previously unheard narratives and perspectives of the Estate in Islington.

Date: 6 February 2023

Professor John Gabriel and Dr Alya Khan from the School of Social Sciences and Professions and Centre for Life Writing and Oral History are in the early stages of a major oral history project, entitled ‘Life on the Andover Estate’.

The project, which is funded by Islington Council, is supported by local councillors in Finsbury Park who want to give residents an opportunity to talk about life on the estate from their point of view as part of their commitment to inclusion and equality. 

Oral History 

“Much has been written about the estate (often in negative terms) by academics, journalists and politicians, but much less attention has been given to allowing residents to speak for themselves," commented Dr Khan.  

The methodological approach taken by Professor Gabriel and Dr Khan for the project is oral history which is a method associated with enriching the understanding of the past through interviews with participants invariably overlooked and invisible from the historical record. 

The aim of the project is to interview around 50 residents and invite them to talk about their memories of the estate and how it’s changed, to hear the views of adults of all ages and backgrounds. The London Met pair will explore residents experiences of the current cost of living crisis and perceptions of national and locally provided services including housing, health, education, and leisure.  

Creative Projects 

Professor Gabriel hopes that the interview recordings will inspire other creative projects across the Andover Estate. “We hope these will emerge from discussions with Andover estate residents but are likely to include photography, filmmaking, podcasts, verbatim theatre, storytelling, dance and drumming and craft-related projects.”  


In addition, the sound recordings will be archived in the University’s oral history archive and become a part of the history of the area, as well as inform policies and practices designed to benefit residents on the estate.  

Interviews will start in late November 2022 and will be completed in Spring 2023. The academics aim to celebrate the project with a series of events, performances, and exhibitions over the summer of 2023. 

The Andover Estate