Acme Studios — #31 Part One: Leytonstone Houses 1982-1994

Supporting Artists since 1972

#31 Part One: Leytonstone Houses 1982-1994

50 stories from The Acme Archive

Since 1982 Acme, at that time called “Acme Housing Association” had been renting houses from The Department of Transport in the Leytonstone area, and in Archway Road for considerably longer. For decades before Acme took over the management of these 88 houses on roads such as Dyers Hall Rd, Grove Green Rd, Fillebrook Rd, Colville Rd, Claremont Rd, etc, a contentious M11 link road had been proposed which would cut through rows of Victorian terraces and green areas.

The empty houses Acme took over and managed on behalf of The Department of Transport were to be used as short-life housing, Acme’s role was repairing these derelict buildings, occupying and maintaining them, with funds raised from rents. A housing stock that would otherwise be left empty, becoming vandalised and unsafe to the environmental hazard.

In 1990 Roger Kite who at the time was the Housing Manager wrote “Acme’s purposes, which it successfully achieves, it to provide low-cost housing to the poorer section of the community. This is a service which is very much needed especially in London. We are a non profit making charity”

Part Two of this story will discuss the protests, squatting, court cases that continued into the 1990s with the subsequent “Free state of Wanstonia” - a campaign protesting the demolition of areas of Wanstead and Leyton, and an ancient chestnut tree in order to extend the M11 link road.