Dec 23, 2021
Piccadilly Circus is one of the best-known landmarks in London, but the site has undergone significant change in the past 100 years. How has this affected the lives and livelihoods of local people?
For this bonus episode of Undercurrents, the team explore the history of Piccadilly Circus with help from the Chatham House SNF CoLab. The CoLab is a project which aims to share our ideas in experimental, collaborative ways - and to learn how different audiences think we can design a better future. In 2020, the project launched Futurescape, an ambitious re-imagining of Piccadilly Circus in 100 year's time.
Alongside the future-oriented research, CoLab partnered with the Museum of London’s Listening to London project to explore Piccadilly Circus through the museum’s Oral History collection. Through this project, the Museum is inviting teams of volunteer researchers to reinterpret the Museum’s Oral History Collection – over 5,000 hours of recorded life-story interviews of Londoners. Listening to London is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, delivered by the Museums Association.
In this episode you'll hear some fascinating clips from the Listening to London archive, introduced and discussed by some of the volunteers working on the Museum of London project. They include the experiences of Italian and Albanian immigrants, the changing face of business in the area, and how it became a site of struggle for the LGBTQ+ community. Thanks to Lorraine Ebdo-Price, Kristyna Racova and Keith Turpin for their contributions.
Find out more:
Speakers: Lorraine Ebdo-Price, Kristyna Racova, Keith Turpin
Host: Mariana Vieira
Editor: Jamie Reed Sound Services
Recorded and produced by Chatham House in partnership with the Museum of London