Throughout August and September 2014, the original Riverside Studios had to be cleared of its entire contents prior to redevelopment. This was a huge task which involved the careful dismantling of equipment, the boxing-up of countless items, and a regular supply of skips!
All in all, some fifty rooms plus our three studio spaces and cinema required emptying. One room on the first floor was the Archive. This was a dusty, leaky storeroom piled high with boxes, files and ledgers full of long-neglected material. I was one of those responsible for physically removing the items from that space and, during the process, gained a thrilling insight into Riverside’s history as an arts centre. There was a poster for Riverside's opening festival in 1976, production photographs from performances by the Black Theatre Co-operative, a taped press conference with Yoko Ono, (1990), studio signage for Top of the Pops (2007), and countless more treasures besides. The value of the collection was immediately obvious.
With care, the archive material was transported from Crisp Road to the third floor of our temporary offices next to Charing Cross Hospital. Within a couple of months, the idea was floated within our development team to ‘do something’ with our archive. At that point we weren’t sure what. The decision came down to two options; depositing our collection with the National Archives or retaining it and finding ways to share it. In March 2015, recognising its benefit to Riverside Trust, our board of trustees decided that we should keep hold of our archive material and encouraged fundraising to ensure that it formed part of our future offering. This is the story of how we are achieving our goal.
Daniel Thurman, Projects Manager
March 2016 - November 2017
September 2018 - February 2019
August 2019 - July 2021
November 2021 - May 2022
June 2022 - July 2022
August 2022 - September 2022
October - December 2022
January - March 2023 (Part One)
January - March 2023 (Part Two)
October - November 2023