TV Series

Below we provide information about television programmes the focus of which has been either Street Studies or House Histories.

A House Through Time   [BBC2 Series]

Three series of this programme have been screened to date. A fourth series is due to air in 2021. The presenter of this programme to date has been historian and broadcaster David Olusoga OBE.

  • Series 1 in 2018 told the story of 62 Falkner Street in Liverpool, over four episodes.
  • Series 2 in 2019 explored the history of 5 Ravensworth Terrace in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, again over four episodes.
  • Series 3 in 2020 investigated 10 Guinea Street in Bristol, also over four episodes.
  • Series 4 to be aired in 2021 will focus on a property in Leeds.

Secret History Of Our Streets   [BBC2 Series]

The Secret History of Our Streets

Two series of the Secret History Of Our Streets were made. Both series were narrated by actor Steven Mackintosh.

  • Series 1 of BBC Two’s multi-award-winning Secret History of Our Streets in 2012 told the story of six London streets, from Victorian times to the present day, over six episodes.
    • Episode 1 – Deptford High Street – in Booth’s time, Deptford High Street was ‘the Oxford Street of south London’. In 2012, marooned amid 1970s housing blocks, it was one of the poorest shopping streets in London. Featuring compelling accounts from residents, including one family which had been trading on the high street for 250 years, the film tells the story of transformation and endurance as the people themselves tell the history of their own past and the street they lived in. Through these deeply personal accounts of huge extended families living together in a single street, the bigger story of slum clearance and the unravelling of the old ways of life emerge – a change which shaped the lives of tens of millions of British families all over the country. [More]
    • Episode 2 – Camberwell Grove – an elegant oddity – a broad, leafy street of fine Georgian houses set in the seething inner city. The street has come full circle, from middle-class prosperity to tight-knit working-class community and back to middle-class affluence again. Through the lively, often passionate accounts of residents past and present the film tells the story of the changing faces of this remarkable street and the people who have lived in and loved its beautiful houses. These stories also reveal how the fate of the Grove was intimately bound up with the monstrous growth of the Victorian city of London and the birth of the modern conservation movement.
    • Episode 3 – Caledonian Road – starts next to King’s Cross station and heads north for over a mile. From its beginning, the street has been resolutely working class and when Charles Booth visited he found it a depressing district. But the people of ‘the Cally’, as it is affectionately known to residents, have held their community together despite being challenged by powerful outside forces as well as a reputation for being a bit rough around the edges. Featuring fascinating and often passionate accounts from residents both past and present, the film tells the story of the changing faces of this remarkable street.
    • Episode 4 – Portland Road – in Notting Hill, this was the archetypal London banker street, dominated by homes worth as much as £6,000,000. Yet when Booth visited in 1899, it was the worst slum in London and, in 2012, the bottom five per cent by income in Britain were living on the same street as the top one per cent. Told through the personal stories of Portland Road’s diverse range of residents both past and present, including lords, bankers and slum dwellers, this film tells the story of one of the most divided streets in Britain.
    • Episode 5 – Reverdy Road – in Bermondsey, which has endured as an enclave of working-class respectability. When Booth visited in 1900, he was impressed by the houses and gardens, and by the broad and clean streets. Older residents recall life on the street during the war, when three houses were bombed, and trips to the hop fields of Kent. They also remember the work of a pioneer of public health, Dr Alfred Salter, who lived in the house on the corner of the street, a house that has been occupied by a doctor since 1880.
    • Episode 6 – Arnold Circus – in the East End and the story of a Victorian social experiment that changed Britain. Arnold Circus is home to the first council estate, which opened in 1896. The planning of the estate, from its lack of pubs to the pattern of the brickwork, was deliberate in order to make its residents respectable, as previously the land had played host to a notorious crime-ridden slum. Featuring compelling accounts from residents both past and present, this is the story of how Arnold Circus made the difficult journey from feared underclass to a self-respecting community; of how it became and still is a haven in heart of the City.
  • Series 2 in 2014 of three episodes told the stories of three archetypal streets in Scotland’s three great cities: Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
    • Episode 1 – The Moray Estate, Edinburgh – the story of Edinburgh’s New Town and the Moray Estate – an area unlike anywhere else in Britain, with an architecture and a people seemingly unchanged over almost 200 years. The last bastion of the British Empire. A group of Scots, at a pivotal moment in time… the grandest street in Scotland. [More]
    • Episode 2 – Duke Street, Glasgow – Britain’s longest street, running from Glasgow city centre through the heart of Glasgow’s East End. Elegant Victorian tenement blocks line the road to the south of Duke Street. Yet just 40 years ago, those tenements were under threat. This is the story of how a group of pioneering residents took on the Glasgow Corporation in a battle to save their homes. [More]
    • Episode 3 – Fittie Squares, Aberdeen – A model housing scheme built for fishermen and their families in 1809 at the mouth of the Aberdeen harbour. Away from the city, the squares developed their own culture. They were a traditional fishing community, untroubled for 150 years, until oil was discovered just a few miles out to sea. [More]