Initially commissioned for the town improvements responding to the building of a major supermarket in the town centre the size of the centre itself, we moved away from the restricted allocated site to address the wider issues of the town's idiosyncratic character.
Long Eaton was a boom town at the beginning of the 20th century, and subsequently, a large number of houses were built. But as an investment the house builders usually built two twin houses, living in one and renting the other, and giving one name for both. These names, often carved ornately on stone, survived and can be found throughout the town.
These names are a unique asset of the town by their mere quantity, 210 different names in a relatively small area, and by their quality, the attention and the pride given to their display on the fronts of houses, although they are now often unused and often covered up. They not only represent a historical period of the town, they also give a unique sense of place and a personal character to the buildings and the town.
With the help of Keith Reedman, a local historian, we surveyed these names and mapped them, removing all other cartographic references but street names. The map of the town becomes concrete poetry celebrating an often overlooked aspect of this town.
Alongside the map we commissioned the OuLiPo writer Ian Monk, to create a unique poem using every single of the 210 different house names.