Saturday 8 January 2011

Our secret street

Deptford has once again attracted the attention of the Beeb. Last time it was the Tower - a rather contentious documentary about the tower block on the Pepys Estate that Lewisham Council sold off to developers. This time it's in the sights of documentary makers putting together a series called 'Our secret streets'. The series will focus on six different streets in London, one of which will be Deptford High Street.

The researchers have been in touch with local bloggers to try and get the word out about their programme and to gather anecdotes and information from residents and local people.

Here's what the website says:

In 1886 the philanthropist and social researcher, Charles Booth, began a truly epic project to map the social conditions of every street, every house and every family in the whole of London.

It took Booth 17 years, thousands of interviews, hundreds of notebooks and a team of experienced researchers. The resulting work was the most detailed and breathtaking record of a city and its inhabitants ever completed.

Taking Booth’s remarkable social maps as its starting point, this major new series will update the most comprehensive social survey ever conducted.

Bringing over 120 years of history to life, we will tell the powerful stories of six different London streets. Who once lived here? What was life like for them? How did the street change?

Our Secret Streets will consist of six episodes on BBC2 and will form part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

We are at the very early stages of what will be a long and extensive project, and are currently delving through Booth’s archives, searching for stories of your streets.

Jaime Taylor at Century Films is keen to speak to people who have knowledge and memories of the area:
The questions we want to ask are quite straightforward: How long have/did you live in Deptford? Do you know anything about the history of the high street? What are your memories of the pubs and shops there? And if you lived close to the street, or knew the residential streets nearby, do you remember them before they were demolished in the 1960s and 1970s? Even if you no longer live in Deptford, if you used to know it well, we'd really like to hear from you.  

You can email me at historystreet [at] or give us a call on 020 7378 6106.

As it happens, your local bloggers are also keen to hear your stories, and we are inviting readers to post their comments on the blog, or email them to us so that we can post them up. With the whole of Deptford High Street to squeeze into a single programme it's likely that a lot of the anecdotes will not make the final cut and we'd like to offer everyone the chance to have their voices heard as well as helping Jaime out with research for the programme.

Marmoset has already made a start over on Crosswhatfields blog and I'm inviting people to do the same here. You can post directly in the comments (with an email address if possible) or email me at deptforddame at


Andy said...

Thats the best alround solution to try to ensure no local history/stories are missed.I will post similar.



Star Soaked Music said...

It's a great area and one of the city's most random. I always unearth some human treasure there.

yvonne order said...

deptford high street association has been working continuously since 2006 on the new station,
which has now started. this will benefit the whole of Deptford and we would appreciate the cooperation of everyone in deptford to make sure that at last we can have something for the community.