• New venue for exhibition

    The ‘Blackfriars SE1 in the 1970s‘ exhibition is returning to Walworth, at the recently opened Una Marson Library. 62 Thurlow Street, SE17 2GN, from 10am to 6pm (to 3pm Wed, 5pm Sat, closed Sun).

    It will be there from 8th to 29th February, then moving on to Seven Islands Leisure Centre from 1st March until end of May – one of a short series at Southwark Leisure Centres.

    UPDATE Exhibition moved from Seven Islands to Peckham Pulse Leisure Centre and is there from 11th July.

  • Visit locations featured in the exhibition

    The SE1 Stories group has built an online walking tour around the locations highlighted in our exhibition “Blackfriars SE1 in the 1970s”. These include sites which were fought over in the campaigns to give local people a say over redevelopment plans, and those of the organisations who planned and carried out the campaigns.

    One stop of trial walking tour 2nd Dec 2023, speaker Tony Robertson-Jonas

    The tour is hosted on the PocketSights app, which can lead you round from one site to another if you are doing a walking tour, or around the sites virtually if you cannot get to North Southwark. Download the app from App Store (Apple) or Google Play (Android) and search for ‘SE1’ to find the walk, or use this direct link.

    To help improve the information on the app we organised a real walk. Thank you to all the SE1 Stories members and to the enthusiastic people who signed up to go round with us in the biting cold. And thank you to Blackfriars Settlement for organising a very welcome lunch for us at the end of the two hour walk. A selection of photographs from this event are on our Instagram feed.

    Further thanks for the support provided by Sue Brownill (Oxford Brookes University) and the Spaces of Hope: Peoples’ Plans research project (the Hidden History of Community Led Planning in the UK).

SE1 Stories – a record of community struggles

Telling the story of an extraordinary period of community action in the 1970s and 1980s in Blackfriars, Waterloo and North Southwark, along London’s south bank.

For many it was a fight for survival as businesses moved out and developers eyed up land for office development, leaving isolated communities struggling to maintain their way of life, coping with run-down housing and threats to facilities such as chemists and laundrettes. Very much the same pressures are re-emerging now – and there is the same need for community action.


Intrepid photographers captured a lot of the activity, which was then published in SE1’s own community newspaper. Many of the photographs are now held in private and public collections, particularly council local history archives, perhaps you know of others hidden elsewhere.

The first project based on this material is the exhibition Blackfriars SE1 in the 1970s.

Please see the About Us page for more.