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The Secret History of Our Streets

Premier :: 2012-06-06

Airs :: Wednesday 8pm on BBC Two

Genre :: Documentary

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In 1886 Charles Booth embarked on an ambitious plan to visit every one of London's streets to record the social conditions of residents. His project took him 17 years. Once he had finished he had constructed a groundbreaking series of maps which recorded the social class and standing of inhabitants. These maps transformed the way Victorians felt about their capital city. This series takes six archetypal London streets as they are now, discovering how they have fared since Booth's day. Booth colour coded each street, from yellow for the 'servant keeping classes', down to black for the 'vicious and semi-criminal'. With the aid of maps the series explores why certain streets have been transformed from desperate slums to become some of the most desirable and valuable property in the UK, whilst others have barely changed. This landmark series features residents past and present, exploring how what happened on the street in the last 125 years continues to shape the lives of those who live there now.

Latest Episode

Series 2 - Episode 3 - The Fittie Squares, Aberdeen
Aired - 05 August 2014

Episode summary:

At the mouth of Aberdeen Harbour lie the Fittie Squares, a model housing scheme built for fishermen and their families in 1809. Tethered to the sea and cut off from the city the squares developed their own culture. They were a traditional fishing community, untroubled for 150 years, until the day that oil was discovered just a few miles out to sea.

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