Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/723/14747

From The Socialist newspaper, 20 June 2012

Secret History of the Streets, Deptford High Street

TV review

Pete Redfarn

A previous BBC TV programme, The Tower, about Deptford in south London, said that the area was full of drunks and criminals and the 'cure' was to move in rich yuppies. This programme, The Secret History of the Streets, was similar, but also cast the old London County Council (which became the GLC in 1965) as the villains.

In Victorian times, Deptford High Street was classified in Booth's famous maps as a prosperous area, known as the Oxford Street of south London. The programme failed to explain the cause of either this prosperity, or of its decline.

Deptford was the Tudor site of the Royal Dockyard. In the 19th century, it became the Royal Navy Victualling Yard and Stores Depot, and the Foreign Cattle Market. All these closed during the 20th century, together with wharves along the Thames. Surrey Docks in Rotherhithe closed in 1969.

In the 1960s the Pepys council estate was built on the dockyard site, while the rest was used by News International from 1980 until it closed in 2000. Local factories also closed, such as United Glass, and Molins cigarette machine factory (now a McDonald's).

This culminated in the closure of Deptford's Jobcentre last year. No jobs (except for betting shops and scrapyards), so no Jobcentre. The main cause of Deptford's poverty is deindustrialisation and unemployment.

The programme, though, blames it all on council 'planners'. It showed some examples of insensitive decisions by middle class bureaucrats to knock down homes in the 1950s and 1960s. But the programme had to admit that some houses in Deptford lacked bathrooms.

I imagine it is difficult to deal with a terrace of houses, some war-damaged and others not, some improved and some not really fit for human habitation. Can you demolish one house and leave its neighbours standing?

Former Labour councillor Nick Taylor pointed out in this programme that 1960s Deptford housing estates such as Milton Court were hard to let. That estate had many tower blocks, some of which have since been demolished. With the lack of local jobs in the 1970s, it is not surprising that families preferred to move to 1920s council estates in Bellingham and Downham, designed in garden city style.

Ironically, local tower blocks, such as Aragon Tower, are popular with the rich. Perhaps this is because they have other homes, and send their kids off to boarding school as soon as possible.

Many local residents were interviewed but hardly any appeared in the programme. Was this because of the anti-working class, anti-Deptford bias of the programme?

One yuppie couple were shown, viewing a house in the small, posh conservation area of Albury Street. The programme said this house was like the homes which were demolished 40-50 years ago. However it admitted that Albury Street houses were 18th century "captains' houses", not working class dwellings.

This programme did not analyse the dire effect of crisis ridden capitalism on Deptford's working class population - and that failure showed.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 20 June 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight their profit system

2012 earth summit

British economy: "black cloud overhead"

Leveson inquiry - The 1%: "definitely in this together"

Flight of the rats

The child poverty mirage

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Greece election - majority vote against austerity

Egypt's military instigates a 'soft coup'


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Join in the Austerity Games!

Gloucestershire: Countywide protests to stop NHS sell-off

Bus bosses can't stop the Socialist!

Support the final sprint to the fighting fund quarter finish line


Socialist Party workplace news

Striking at Fords to defend pensions

Five hundred food processing workers strike in Leicester

Packed Coryton refinery meeting backs action to win

Support the London bus strike

UCU: Time to fight on pay and pensions

Improved offer in Metro workers' pay fight

Workplace news in brief


Trade union conferences

GMB delegates question link to Labour

Unite needs strategy to step up fight against austerity

Unison conference: members show anger at pensions 'offer'

Fighting teachers' association network launched


Socialist Party review

Secret History of the Streets, Deptford High Street


 

Home   |   The Socialist 20 June 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  




Related links:

Deptford:

triangle'Ana Key MP' - Socialist artist responds to attacks

triangleMillwall FC move threat: Defend the Den - 'wall not Renewal

triangleLewisham: Call for a united campaign for jobs, homes and services gains echo

triangleKeep Tidemill in public hands

Council:

triangleSalford Unison condemns pay cuts

triangleDon't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish

triangleNo more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

triangleHousing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

Working class:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleCardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

triangleChe Guevara 50 years on - revolutionary socialist and fighter

London:

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: "You can't have capitalism without racism" (Malcolm X)

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

11/10/17

Theresa May

Theresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares

11/10/17

Docks

Poverty, repression and fightback on the docks

11/10/17

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

11/10/17

TV

Shocking insight into Isis

2/10/17

Sexism

Hugh Hefner's exploitation of women

27/9/17

Football

Women's football - Sampson allegations

20/9/17

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

20/9/17

Socialist

Interview: the "socialist John Le Carré"

20/9/17

Women

Refreshing, anticapitalist - but little pointing a way forward

13/9/17

Women

New documentary asks women how their bodies are sexualised and policed

13/9/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

13/9/17

Che Guevara

Intimate insight into a revolutionary icon

6/9/17

Pensions

Bosses' pensions robbery

6/9/17

EU

How the Single Market blocks socialist policies

6/9/17

Tolpuddle

'Let the producers of wealth unite - and what can withstand them?'

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle16 Oct Teesside Socialist Party: After the party conferences

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2