Living at Thamesmead
16mm film Colour Sound 1973 25:46
Summary: Semi-fictional account of a couple who live in the Thamesmead estate. Shows the architecture and landscaping of Thamesmead and everyday lives of the residents. Includes sequences showing evening social activities, sporting events, and educational and health facilities.
Title number: 15599
Description: The film starts with the London Metropolitan Archives graphic; we see a high overhead view of the Thames at Westminster with a title ' The Greater London Council presents' then 'Living at Thamesmead' followed by credits for cast and crew.
We next see children playing at a modern shopping precinct and then views of Thamesmead,. There are children playing in a large man-made shallow lake with a fountain.
A teenage girl appears to be looking for someone. Again there are shots of children playing and eating ice-creams; it is a warm, but windy, day. The girl, Sal, meets up with three friends; the girls move on and Sal eventually meets up with Tom. They decide to have a walk around the lake. We see them strolling around and there are many shots of Thamesmead architecture and they are seen by the waters edge looking at fish in the water. They reminisce about the time Sal first met Tom's mum at the 'Pyramid' club.
The next shot is of that meeting in the club; Sal is introduced to Tom's parents. We see people playing darts and the two sets of parents discuss the facilities that are available in Thamesmead including a playgroup.
We see a children's playgroup.
Tom and Sal are next by a lake discussing a local Thamesmead football match; we then see part of the match. Tom and Sal are seen walking hand-in-hand and then run up a small hill which gives views of Thamesmead and the, as yet, undeveloped areas. They reminisce about the school wildlife trips and the film shows them on such a visit. A teacher explains about a yellow plant which is growing near a small pond. Two boys approach and tell the teacher that they have found some kestrel pellets. Tom's voice-over states that school at Thamesmead was not so bad. We see boys playing badminton at school, girls learning to type and both boys and girls in a handicraft class.
Tom and Sal are seen walking amidst Thamesmead's green spaces and the concrete walkways within the residential areas. They then buy choc-ices in one of the shopping areas
and continue to walk among the concrete housing areas. They stop outside a modern church and comment that it is more like a community centre rather than a church. Sal comments that she took Terry(?) to a dance class there and we see that event in flashback. There are shops of a children's tap dance class and girl guides/brownies. We also a religious service (Sunday school?)
Tom and Sal continue with their walk and start to discuss the health centre. We then see Sal at the dentists with Terry who has a filling.
Back to Tom & Sal walking between the concrete tower-blocks and walkways. Tom meets some people and talks about his new job as a furniture maker. We see a workshop with various woodworking equipment. Tom and Sal discuss the 'new' area of Thamesmead and we see Tom walking around the new developments and building sites. Next we see a committee discussing how residents will adapt to the new buildings and the facilities that are required; buses, lighting, rents, etc....
Tom and Sally are then seen at home one evening and are baby-sitting. The parents arrive home and start to discuss shopping, rents and the town show. We then see shots of the town show with stalls and games. A tannoy announces that there will be a display of parachuting; which we then see. Children are then seen on a large bouncy castle at the fair. Next are shots of people dancing at a disco in a youth club.
We next see Sal at a planning meeting for the local newsletter.
Again, more shots of Tom and Sal walking around the housing areas and they eventually arrive at the Thamesmead Information Centre. They enter and enquire about a flat in Thamesmead.
The final shot is a high view of the area followed by a title that says Thamesmead.
Credits: Produced and Directed by
Charmian and Jack Saward
Cast: Julie Dawn Cole
Further information: London Metropolitan Archives' holdings of this title may not be available to view; those available are accessed by appointment only. Please contact LMA for details.
Keywords: council film; Thamesmead; Estate
In galleries: London's Evolution