Immerse yourself in Thamesmead’s vibrant past. These stories are curated by our archive team, covering a range of specific topics from the utopian masterplans that start the Thamesmead story to the key cultural moments like the filming of the Beautiful Thing.
The Town of Tomorrow
Since first conceived Thamesmead has been designed as a town of the future based on optimistic modernist principles. This collection of material tells the story of the architectural and social vision of the town.
The Making of Thamesmead
This collection of archival material tells the story of the first phase of the construction of Thamesmead; from the first pile that was driven into the marshland in 1967, to the Balency concrete construction system and the challenges faced in the 70s by the introduction of the Housing Yardstick.
The First Families
In 1968 the first family moved into Coralline Walk. This story presents a collection of archival material documenting their arrival and that of the other families that moved in from the early to mid 70s.
George Plemper’s Thamesmead
George Plemper lived and worked as a teacher in Thamesmead in the late 70s. This story, written by George, offers a selection of iconic images of Thamesmead and its residents taken and selected by the photographer himself.
Thamesmead on Film
From Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange and TV series Misfits to Aphex Twins’ Come to Daddy music video, Thamesmead has been the chosen location for numerous films, advertisements and television series. This collection of material, including trailers and clips, shows how directors have used the varied landscape and features of the area. Alongside these, recordings of residents talking about their views and experiences of their home being used as a filming location, are featured.
Beautiful Thing is an optimistic love story about teenage boys Jamie and Ste growing up in Thamesmead in the 90s. The story given a homecoming on Binsey Walk as a reimagined dance-theatre production in 2018 as part of Thamesmead’s 50th anniversary cultural programme. The collection of archival material includes images, original screenplay, video and the programme from the event in July 2018.
Thamesmead Residents — Mini Me
‘Mini-Me’ is a collection of mini 3D printed copies of residents of Thamesmead. The project grew out of discussions with local residents asking how people from the present day could be physically recorded and preserved in the archive. 14 residents were chosen at random and invited to be scanned and two miniature copies of their bodies were printed, one for them to keep, and one for the archive. This full set can be seen here with more information alongside the images documenting the residents’ thoughts and reflections on their home, Thamesmead.