Bonus Track: Doing it Ourselves

Hear the story of the First Neighbourhood Co-operative Nursery: a unique, parent-led childcare project based in Walthamstow from the late 1970s to early 1990s. We talk to Eva Turner, who recorded the history of the nursery in 2019, and play clips of oral history interviews with other parents and workers. All the sounds of children playing and singing are taken from film footage of the nursery in the 1980s.

The First Neighbourhood Co-operative Nursery

In the late 1970s, a group of parents and toddlers came together to create a place to play and meet at Harmony Hall, Walthamstow. After years of organising a drop-in playgroup, lots of fun, laughter and hard work, a unique childcare project was born. The First Neighbourhood Co-operative Nursery opened on Verulam Avenue in 1986. It was run by parents and paid staff, who worked together to provide high quality childcare and education for their children.

Doing it Ourselves: the First Neighbourhood Co-operative Nursery was an oral history project run by On the Record and Eva Turner from 2018 -19. The project culminated in an exhibition held at The Mill Community Centre in Walthamstow, and in 2020 won the Women's History Network Community Prize. To consult the full archive please visit Bishopsgate Institute.


Produced by Tania Aubeelack

Sound design by Rosa Schling

Interview with Eva Turner by Tania Aubeelack

Oral history interviews by Eva Turner and Linda Mezaks

Doing it Ourselves was funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Thank you to everyone who shared their stories and Bishopsgate Institute, the home of the Doing it Ourselves archive.