You can’t manufacture community or build unity; it’s something that comes with time, over 100 years in this case. The blood runs claret and blue over in the East End and its streets deafened by the roar of over 35’000, soon to be silenced.
112 Years follows an event that will soon end, match day at Upton Park. 112 Years is an intimate documentation of a place and community brought together by one passion, soon to be altered indefinitely by London’s unstoppable redevelopment.
With West Ham United’s move to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium in the summer comes Upton Park’s eventual demolishment, leaving an area of East London steeped in tradition quite. From East Ham Working Men’s Club to the Boleyn Pub on the corner of Green Street, there is no telling the effect the move will have. If one thing is certain, it is the sense of togetherness that has been forged over a century, the sadness of leaving and the optimism for the future.
Uncertain times lay ahead for the fans of West Ham United, they have known good times and bad over the years, players and managers come and go. Through all this has been the ground, standing like the ironworks the club was once founded on. 112 Years follows match day at the Boleyn, for one last season.
Widnes lies just over the Lancashire border in Cheshire, a working class town in the Cheshire plains, the richest belt of Britain. A nether world of mixed affiliations, Widnes is one of the smaller towns in the urban sprawl between Manchester and Liverpool. The Rugby League belt of St Helens, Warrington and Runcorn joined together by industrial estates and Barratts homes, a never-ending sprawl between the two big cities.
Each town has its own fierce pride, its own accent, its own rules, its own fierce stubborn independence, as if defying the inevitable swallowing up by the North West big city megapolis.