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"Winstanley Stories" is an intergenerational oral history project that took place in 2017-18 and explored the history of the Winstanley and York Road housing estate in Battersea, South London.

Arts and education charity digital:works worked with Falconbrook Primary School, Wandsworth Heritage Service and local people to uncover the history and stories from the estate. We have explored this history from the perspective of the people who have been living on the estate, whether they are from families who have lived in Battersea for generations, or have moved in more recently.

Year 6 children from Falconbrook Primary School worked with Emma Anthony, archivist from Wandsworth Heritage Service, and local historian Dawn Perieira to explore the history of the area, what was there before and why it was built.

After these workshops and activities the children worked with digital:works to understand oral history techniques and recording. They then developed interview questions which allowed them to conduct and record oral history interviews with current and former residents.

These interviews have been edited and combined with archive and personal photos as well as archive footage to make a unique and fascinating documentary film starring local people which was launched in April 2018.

The film will be premiered at Battersea Arts Centre hosted by the children and with an audience of local people, historians and the public.

The film will be produced as a DVD which was given to all those involved with the project as a big thank you.

The full unedited interviews have been given to Wandsworth Heritage Service for their archive. Emma Anthony supported the project with talks and resources.

Emma Anthony.
Sarah Rackham and the team at Katherine Lowe Settlement.
Dawn Pereira.
Robert Musgraves and the team at Providence House.
The staff at Falconbrook Primary School.
Battersea Labour Club.
The many residents who vounteered their time to share their stories with the children.

For more information or for schools wishing to work with Wandsworth Heritage Service please visit their website by clicking here..

Better Logo

This project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and by the Battersea Power Station Foundation.





Winstanley Estate being built

Michael Ball and friends in BatterseaChild in York Gardens Adventure Playground

Latest News

Battersea Junction documentary Premiered at Battersea Arts Centre

On Wednesday 25th April 2018 an audience of children, parents and local people packed the beautiful old Council Chamber of Battersea Arts Centre to watch the premiere of the documentary. This was a wonderful event brought together people from across Battersea. It was presented by the children who also conducted a Q&A with the audience.

This wonderful new documentary about the area stars local people. There are stories of the Battersea before the war, the industry and old housing, the terror of the blitz during WW2, and then the "slum clearances" when the new estates were built. Initially these housed old Battersea families but increasingly became home to people from across London and the world. There are also lovely memories of growing up in Battersea, from playing on the streets and old bombsites, to the adventure playground and the youth centres which formed such a large part of many people's childhoods.

Watch the Film Now

The film was really well received and more screenings are planned but meanwhile, you can watch the film now on this website on the film page.

The children have conducted 21 interviews with local people. These are on the Interviews page on this website and will be given to Wandsworth Local Studies for their archive.

Battersea Junction is going to be on the telly!

We have just heard that Together TV is going to show the film made by the children. It will be shown on Wednesday 9th May at 3pm and midnight, and then again on Friday the 11th May at 3pm, and on Saturday 19th May at 7.15pm. It will be shown again on other days and times. Please go to the Together TV website for a schedule. You can watch it on Channel 93 on Freeview, Cannel 539 on Sky, Virgin Media Channel 269 and Freesat Channel 164.

In Providence House in the 1970sConrad in the adventure playgroundIngrave Street


Some History

The Winstanley and York Road estates form a rectangle behind Clapham Junction Railway Station in Battersea, South London. Locals all call it "The Winstanley". They were built post war in a vast municipal re-building plan that swept away the "slum" and bomb damaged housing, as well as much of the industry that had characterised this part of London for 100 years. Forming a contiguous housing development the developments were built between 1956 and 1972. Many of those who had lived in the area for generations were re-housed on the estate and new communities moved in, particularly from the 1960s reflecting immigration into London.

This project will focus on the experiences of those moving on to the estate, the area before the estates were built, bringing up children, fighting for improvements to housing - that in some cases was badly built and poorly designed, but also was a big improvement on their previous housing. More recent arrivals came to live on the estate as their first home in London from the Caribbean and Indian sub-continent and, more recently, from Somalia. It will focus on their daily lives and how they changed as the estate gradually expanded and became "notorious" in some quarters for crime, alienation and anti-social behaviour. As such, this project will star local people speaking about their own experiences and history. The area is set for another huge change with the regeneration project planned making this a crucial time to record the history of those living there.