Breaking the links

Throughout October, Merton will host a number of events to celebrate Black History Month and commerate the abolition of the slave trade.

Events will include Sea of Hands, a community arts and heritage project aimed at children, young people and families, taking place at New Horizons Centre, Pollards Hills, during half-term week (22 October – 26 October). The event explores the transatlantic slave trade and its legacy using dance, music and art.
There will also be sessions at Morden Library on 22 October entitled Local Heroes: William Wilberforce. These informal sessions will use items from the Local Studies collection to give people an insight into the life of William Wilberforce, who lived at Lauriston House in Wimbledon.
Black History Month events are organised by a partnership of voluntary organisations and London Borough of Merton.

For more information about the different activities taking place in Merton, please visit the Breaking the Links website http://www.merton.gov.uk/leisure/events/blackhistory
Alternatively you can pick up copies of the Breaking the Links bookletfrom your local library or by contacting the Arts Development Officer on 020 8545 4197 or e-mail your name and address to arts@merton.gov.uk

Notes to Editor

Merton commemorated the abolition at the Celebrating Freedom event on 23 August 2007, UNESCO’s international day for remembering slavery and its abolition.

Merton was home to a number of people who campaigned against slavery, including William Wilberforce MP, who lived in Lauriston House on Southside, Wimbledon for some time before becoming active in the abolition campaign. He was responsible for the passing of the Abolition of the Slave Trade bill, after many years of trying to convince Parliament.

Another of Merton’s abolitionists was Henry Hoare, who lived in Mitcham Grove from 1786, and also owned Mitcham Hall.