BBC2’s Secret history of our streets on Wednesday 20th at 2100 is on the Cally Road. There’s a clip online already about the 1970s dream of living on the Bemerton. I know the production company worked with readers of this site so let’s see who popped up in filming. I have greatly enjoyed the previous episodes of this series, so have high hopes. If you can’t wait to get stuck into some local history have a look at the remarkable 40 or so comments from people who used to live in or had relatives in the Crumbles/Beaconsfield Buildings or this history of Rufford Street (which needs updating).
Rufford Street, Randell’s Road and bits of Gifford Street are the few surviving examples of the Victorian tenements that used to form a huge grid pattern estate that was demolished for the Bemerton, Delhi-Outram etc. We also have an update of the Booth poverty indicator (Rufford Street was ‘black’ in the 1890s ‘vicious semi criminal’ etc). You can look at the Booth maps for yourself online by entering a modern post code – always a salutary experience.
The BBC series is linked to the Open University, although the hand over between the two websites is a bit cack-handed – you can find more resources here and on Cally specifically which has a pic of my old flat at the bottom of the Cally in the one-way though without the roaring traffic.
Back when Century Films were doing their research for the documentary I asked them for a donation to a local civic charity, CYP say in return for helping with research, but as is typical with TV companies, ‘we would struggle to justify a blanket donation as you suggested‘. They did pay contributors which is good. Would be nice to know what the overall budget for the show is, though the BBC zealously guard such numbers as part of their journalistic independence.