THE WAY They Came project is a living history venture about the events and experiences which bought people to live in Harlow. Michael Casey is producing 70 films to celebrate Harlow’s 70th birthday focussing on the diversity of the residents.
Michael was born at home in Spencer’s Croft in Harlow in 1961. His father had come from County Clare in Northern Ireland to take up work in the glass factory. Whilst interviewing people for his films Michael has found that like his own parents many people came to Harlow for work attracted by the offer of council housing in the town.
The creation of Harlow as a new town was the result of recommendations from the 1947 New Towns Act aiming to relieve the overcrowding in post war London.
Michael Casey works a journalist in the town and feels it is a town of opportunity. He is very grateful to his Harlow education at St Marks School, which won him a university place and embedded an attitude of curiosity. He feels his social record of Harlow is a way of ‘giving something back’. His films are very diverse and introduce us to characters from many different backgrounds and cultures.
Although Michael moved away for a period he returned in 2006 and now lives in the town with his wife. He is regular runner in the weekly park run and will take part in his 100th run this weekend, which will be the 30th anniversary of his first London Marathon. Running is a skill he developed in his teenage years as a school boy in Harlow taking advantage of the open spaces.
The Why They Came Project is backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is a partnership between Harlow Museum and YourHarlow,com