Clays Lane Live Archive

Scope and Content

Papers and archival material gathered by artist Adelita Husni-Bey with ex-residents of Clays Lane Housing Co-operative as part of the project 'Clays Lane Live Archive' including: minutes, documents and applications, n.d.; reports and associated papers, 1998-2000; surveys, c2004; compulsory purchase order and associated papers, c2006; correspondence, 2004-2005; newsletters, 1998-2006; photographs, prints and drawings, 1999-2003; audio-visual material, n.d.; ephemera, c1990; and other miscellaneous papers and items, n.d. (c1990-2006)

Administrative / Biographical History

Clays Lane Housing Co-operative was the second largest purpose-built, fully mutual, singles co-op in Europe and the largest in the UK. It was an experiment in building close-knit communities as a way of helping vulnerable single people in East London. Initiated by the Borough of Newham, the Housing Corporation and the then North East London Polytechnic (now University of East London) in 1977, the co-op provided its members with low-rent housing and the possibility of self-governance otherwise denied in conventional social housing through meetings and committees.The co-op was a home for up to 500 contracted tenants spread across 2, 4 and 6 bedroom units with communal kitchens and bathrooms, and it housed a café and a community centre on its grounds. In 2006 the co-op received a compulsory purchase order from the London Development Agency. In 2005 the co-op lost its fully mutual status as a result of a Housing Corporation enquiry which transferred its assets to Peabody Trust. This effectively made protecting the co-op (by this time the Clays Lane estate) against the Olympics even harder. At the time of eviction 430 people inhabited the Lane.


No further arrangement required.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposited with Bishopsgate Institute by Adelita Husni-Bey, July 2013.

Other Finding Aids

Adlib catalogue and copy of box list available in researcher's area.

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Grace Biggins.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying and digital photography (without flash) is permitted for research purposes on completion of the Library's Copyright Declaration form and with respect to current UK copyright law.