Enfield’s industrial past, present and future celebrated in borough-wide festival

Factory workers making cabinets at the Ediswan Factory in Ponders End

An extensive programme celebrating Enfield’s industrial heritage will launch this July at Dugdale Arts Centre, showcasing the borough’s modern identity through the creative arts.

The Festival of Industry, funded by the Arts Council’s Place Partnership initiative, officially opens on 21 July and will comprise ‘Industrial Evolution’ – an exhibition celebrating Enfield’s past innovations, live music, interactive theatre performance, food, and an opportunity to learn more about the dynamic programme of events scheduled between July 2023 and March 2024.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member, Cllr Chinelo Anyanwu, said: “Enfield is known for its industrial past, notably in manufacturing and electrical engineering. We are keen to celebrate this heritage but to also explore our future industries which include our creative sector and how this can shape neighbourhoods and provide jobs, skills and training.”

The Festival will offer opportunities for everyone to explore the borough’s past and future identity through specialist art commissions, workshops, open studios, exhibitions, skills sharing and public artworks. There will be an immersive museum exhibition and a community theatre project co-produced with local people.

The Festival of Industry will be delivered in collaboration with Enfield’s creative sector and in partnership with Dugdale Arts Centre, the borough’s flagship arts hub.

Enfield has a long history connected with industry, particularly in the fields of mechanical and electrical engineering in Ponders End and Brimsdown.

The New River was an impressive feat of engineering, bringing drinking water from Hertfordshire into the City of London. The River is still in use.

Today, Metaswitch, a cloud communications software developer owned by Microsoft, is based in Enfield Town.

For full details of the programme of events, please go to Dugdale Art Centre’s website or if you would like to get involved, email the Festival of Industry Cultural Producer, maureen.mckarkiel@enfield.gov.uk

  1. United Flexible Metal Tubing factory, 1914 (©Enfield Local Studies and Archive)
  2. Ediswan’s cabinet shop floor, 1914 (©Enfield Local Studies and Archive)
  3. Yellow truck made by Matchbox (©Enfield Museum)

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