The Secret History of Our Streets

Camberwell Grove

Series 1 - Episode 2 Camberwell Grove



When the Georgian houses of Camberwell Grove in south London were built, they were designed for a new social group — the middle class, who wanted to escape the grime of the capital. But as the city spread, the area declined and was eventually tenanted by the working classes until, a century after it was built, the middle classes moved back to gentrify the place.

It’s a familiar tale but there are some lovely stories — and they’re not all about conservation and posh interiors. Dave describes the alternative commune he set up in the 80s, while Pat and Margaret reminisce about their childhood there in the Second World War.


The series charting the fortunes of London streets focuses on Camberwell Grove, which boasts some of the capital's finest Georgian architecture. Built as a middle-class retreat near the heart of the city in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, many of its properties became derelict during the Victorian era. The 1950s saw the return of a new generation of middle-class families - and now the street has been restored to its former glory. Residents including Janet and David Hephers, Shirley Andrews, Jim Tanner, Elpida Georgiou, Minnie Finkelstein, Joan Rose and Rushna Begum tell the story of this remarkable Southwark street and the people who have lived in and loved its houses.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Steven Mackintosh
Director Mary Cranitch
Producer Mary Cranitch
Series Producer Katie Bailiff