About Us

SE1 Stories came about in 2019 with the discovery of thousands of photographs in the archives of Southwark and Lambeth councils. The pictorial treasure trove tells the story of the fight back by the communities of North Southwark and Waterloo in the 1970s and 1980s.

For many it was a fight for survival as businesses moved out and land was earmarked for office development leaving isolated communities struggling to maintain their way of life. Community workers and volunteers worked alongside community leaders and local residents for better housing and social conditions. Campaigns, protests and direct action were the tools to make local authorities and developers recognise the communities’ needs.

Many of the images were taken by those involved with SE1 Community Newspaper, with the innovative Blackfriars Photography Project being another major source – the project gave people the equipment and skills to be photographers. The SE1 Stories group is made up of some of those who were actively involved in the campaigns of the 1970s and 1980s. We came together again to tell the story of how people in SE1 fought back – and are still fighting!

Members of the Blackfriars Settlement Community Action Team at Peabody Buildings. Photo © Paul Carter / Blackfriars Photography Project

SE1 Stories aims to make a permanent record of those times, including by fully documenting the archive collections and making sure the material is publicly available. The exhibition ‘Blackfriars SE1 in the 1970s’ is the first group project.

All photographs are copyright of the photographer or other parties. Other content is copyright of SE1 Stories group or contributing individuals. Please send requests for permission to copy or use any material via the contact form.

SE1 Stories group

Contributing members of the SE1 Stories group, who were also active in the local area during the 1970s/80s, include:

Steve Barran, Andy Benson, Paul Carter, Bob Colenutt, Richard Collings, John Howes, Steve Lancashire, Jane Matheson, George Nicholson, Tony Robertson-Jonas.

Members of the group are available to give talks or participate in discussions on the various issues raised by the exhibition.

Please use the Contact Form to get in touch.


External links were checked before they were added to the SE1 Stories website. However, sites can change or become defunct so we cannot guarantee that they remain suitable. Security software can help to keep your computer safe!

SE1 Stories have made reasonable efforts to identify the authors and copyright owners of the photographs presented in this exhibition and allied publications. If you think that your rights have been infringed we will remove the images from public view where possible while the matter is investigated.