In Living Memory

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New stories of Lewisham’s past.

Delivered in partnership with Goldsmiths, In Living Memory unearthed lost or untold stories to construct a new history of the borough, as told by its residents. Its six projects explored key moments in Lewisham’s post-war history from the Great Flood of 1968 to Black People’s Day of Action.

Goldsmiths worked closely with academics, heritage and community stakeholders to create a digital archive, and virtual museums of the projects as well as producing the seventh project, The Memory Store, a pop-up stall in Lewisham Shopping Centre that hosted local people’s stories and memories.


community-led projects


Memories collected

A Caribbean Couturier in Lewisham

Part of the Windrush Generation, Joy Prime’s mother travelled to London in 1963 to begin a new life in Lewisham. Inspired by her story, this project explores the forgotten textile legacies of the women of the Windrush Generation.

Explore Sylvia's space

Lewisham Under Water

On 15 September 1968, following days of torrential rain, much of Lewisham found itself under water. This project gathered the memories of local people who were affected, connecting an event over 50 years ago with the current climate emergency. Do you or a family member remember the great flood of 1968?

Explore the River Quaggy

Pioneers and Protest

Based at the historic Moonshot Centre, this project led by IRIE! Dance Theatre is inspired by the powerful legacy of the 1981 Black People’s Day of Action. What are your memories of the area in 1981 and did you take part in the Black People’s Day of Action?

See more of Pioneers and Protest

In/Visible Labour

A story of the resilient experiences of collective family by diverse communities, midwives and care-workers, through family generations and their support networks from across the borough. Do you remember the Buggy Army that marched to Westminster as part of the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign?

Tomorrow is Built Today

The untold story of Lewisham’s pioneering black-led self-build movement was told through the memories of those who overcame institutional barriers and racist attacks to create award winning eco-homes on Nubia Way in Downham.

See 13 Nubia Way

Where To, Now the Sequins Have Gone?

This project explores the history of Lewisham’s lost gay venues of the 1970s -90s and the role of LGBTQ+ spaces today. From this, an exhibition was held in Lewisham Shopping Centre, hosting workshops, discussions and the Sequin Sundays reunions. The exhibition documented the forgotten past, empowering communities of today.

Listen to the podcast

The Memory Store

For nine days in November 2022, a pop-up store came to Lewisham Center. The interactive installation was designed to gather the stories of the town centre and asked shoppers to share their memories of lost shops and supplies.

The two retail spaces represented a 70s record store and a 90s video shop named Riverdale Records / Riverdale Video, named after the original name for the shopping centre, both of which, contained era-specific media for passers-by to explore.

The Memory Store
"It was really amazing to see the diversity within the borough and it was interesting to see how much things had changed, but also how much things hadn’t changed"
Joy Prime, A Caribbean Couturier