Thamesmead Residents — Mini Me
This project — Mini Me — was part of the wider Thamesmead Community Archive programme started in 2018 by Peabody during Thamesmead’s 50th anniversary with funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund. 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. As 3D technologies and 3D printing were growing and becoming more mainstream, the idea of 3D printing miniature models of local residents was developed.
A competition was run calling for residents to submit their favourite family photograph taken in Thamesmead for a chance to be scanned and added to the archive. 14 residents were chosen at random and invited to a scanning day led by Hobs Studio. They were each interviewed about their memories or stories of Thamesmead, and two miniature copies of their bodies were printed, one for them to keep, and one for the archive.
This story is a selection of some of the images and testimony. The full collection, representing a snapshot of Thamesmead residents in 2018, can be found here.
Mini Me Resident Portraits
“I’m an editor and videographer and I just ended up here living with my Dad after I finished Uni in Canterbury. But I love it. Especially the towers, Southmere Lake and the swans, which hopefully aren’t attacking you! It could do with more transport and links into central London though and I hope these things develop.”
Mini Me Resident Portrait: Riordan Tyson
“I moved here on 20th July 1972 and I was pregnant when we arrived. We lived in Portsmouth before but my husband got a job in London. Thamesmead was advertised in the newspaper, but you had to apply to get a home here and be interviewed to make sure you had a good job and earned a certain amount. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I arrived. There was so much light, it was like living in a greenhouse.
I used to work at the Lakeside Centre, in the bar during the week and in the restaurant at the weekend. We had all the best entertainers come to the Lakeside, mainly towards the end of their careers when they didn’t want to give up!
The friendships I’ve made here have been the most important thing though, there are so many groups and activities to be part of.”
Mini Me Resident Portrait: Doreen McLean
“I’ve been in Thamesmead for 23 years, since 1997. I used to live on Tawney Road then moved to Maran Way, but my youngest daughter was born in Malthus Path, so I’ll always remember that.
Some of my husband’s family from Ghana lived here and we came to join. I was born in Greenwich though, and grew up in Canada, but Thamesmead is my family place.
I’ve been very active in Thamesmead’s development over the years. I was on the Board of Directors for Trust Thamesmead, I was the Chair for Gallions Customer Service, Chair of Gallions Resident Board and now I’m Chair of the Moorings Neighbourhood Forum.
My favourite thing about Thamesmead is the greenery, it reminds me of Canada.
But Thamesmead needs more things to do so that people don’t need to travel out. We need a local newspaper, laundrette, cinema, theatre and more activities like bowling. I really believe in the future of this place.”
Mini Me Resident Portrait: Deborah Frimpong
“Although originally from Kentish Town, my husband, Jim, lived in Eltham for a number of years and had family scattered around Thamesmead, in Winchat road, Hartslock drive and Belvedere, so it made sense for us to move here 20 years ago. That was in February of 2000. We’ve made good friends over the years, and became part of a strong church community. We used to go fruit picking with the children on sunny days and ate half of it before we got home. My sister in law made fairly decent wine fermenting some of those fruits but sadly had to pack away the equipment when her husband developed respiratory problems. I remember a carpet of bluebells as we walked through the woods behind Lesnes Abbey and these wonderful weeping willows overlooking Southmere lake. Jim would take photographs of these throughout the year so you could see the subtle changes the trees went through as the months rolled by. He took many amazing pictures and one could be forgiven for thinking they were taken in exotic places like the Serengeti at night. We also used to take metal detectors on a treasure hunt to see what we could find in the fields off Binsey Walk where the horses now roam, and only found shrapnel and a penny.”
Mini Me Resident Portrait: Carolyn Long
“I’ve only been here for nine months. It was an affordable place to move to and I was honestly attracted by the regeneration and seeing the change first hand. There is a lot of opportunity and a lot going on. It feels like a place that is growing rather than starting again. I moved from Hackney so it’s great to see all of the green here. My favourite place is definitely Southmere Square and the lake.”
Mini Me Resident Portrait: Natahsa Trent