Our Story

The Modern Cockney Festival was conceived and run by Cockney Cultures, a grassroots community partnership between the Bengali East End Heritage Society and Grow Social Capital.

The Bengali East End Heritage Society began in 2016 with an aim to highlight, retain, and restore the Bengali community’s cultural and heritage assets within the East End of London.

Grow Social Capital is a social enterprise working to address the challenge of changing levels in society of social capital- our collective ability to help each other.

The partnership Cockney Cultures is a non-party political, pioneering living heritage and cultural identity project, based on inclusive values.

It works to prompt conversations and celebrations among people who identify as ‘Cockney’ or identify with the values of Cockney and other ‘traditional’ and ‘working-class’ cultures.

In 2022, Cockney Cultures launched ‘Cockney Conversations Month’ providing a range of online events to celebrate and promote Cockney culture. Inspired by the success and positive feedback, a year later, in March 2023, the idea grew into the first Modern Cockney Festival featuring live online and offline events.

Also in March 2023, Cockney Cultures successfully petitioned Tower Hamlets Council to recognise Cockney as a community language – believed to be the first-ever formal recognition of Cockney as a culture in its 660 year-plus history.

To inform the Council how it could introduce Cockney as a community language, Cockney Cultures co-produced a report with the University of Warwick, ‘‘A Cockney Blueprint for Tower Hamlets’ to empower communities, challenge stereotypes, and address social division across London.{Link to Our research]

For this year, the Modern Cockney Festival creates a platform for celebrating and promoting a positive sense of ‘who we are’ to break down barriers, build social capital through increased interaction, and share commonality across the multidimensional ‘Cockneydom’- from inner London and throughout the global Cockney Diaspora.

Do join in.