A programme of art, culture and new infrastructure to reimagine the future of the UK’s biggest council housing estate


Jimmy Lee

A Portrait of Woodward

Woodward Road

September 2023

This photography project captures a portrait of the community surrounding the old Woodward Library as it's refurbished through Be First's Woodward Road housing scheme.

The photographs of local residents and shopkeepers were taken by the talented photography students of Barking & Dagenham College. Professional photographer Jimmy Lee, who grew up nearby on Ellerton Road, delivered five portrait photography workshops for the students.

Woodward Library was the first purpose built library on the Becontree Estate, opened to the public on 7th October 1935. The community surrounding the library has changed as residents from different cultural backgrounds have settled in the area. The students’ photographs celebrate the diversity of this community today.

Woodward Road

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Jimmy Lee is professional photographer based in East London.

Thank you to the students of Barking & Dagenham College, their photography tutor David Bennett, Jimmy Lee, and Be First for funding the printed boards.