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An Oral History of migration to South West London from 1948 to 1971

"Journeys" is a new oral history project which explores the history of immigration to the Tooting area of South West London between 1948 and 1971.

With funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, arts and education charity digital:works is working with Furzedown Primary School, CARAS (Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers), The Furzedown Project, Wandsworth Heritage Service and local people to explore this history.

The period from 1948 to 1971 was a time when the British government invited people from the Commonwealth to come and live and work the UK. People came from the Caribbean, from the Indian sub continent and beyond. Many thought they would stay a year or two but remained, raised familes and became part of the fabric of the United Kingdom.

This oral history project explores and reveals their stories, their reasons for coming, their experiences travelling, arriving, setting up home, working, and raising families in this area.

Year 6 children from Furzedown Primary School and young people from CARAS have combined with older people who attend the Furzedown Project to form the core of the project. We have been working with local historians and Wandsworth Local Studies Centre and have visited the Museum of Migration and the Black Cultural Archives to explore the background to this history.

The main focus of the project has been meeting and interviewing the generation who arrived between 1948 and 1971.

The young people have also attended workshops and activities with digital:works to understand oral history techniques and recording and film making skills. They then developed interview questions ready to conduct oral history interviews with 24 local older people.

These full interviews will go to the archives at Wandsworth Local Studies and are also being edited to make a documentary film starring local people which will be launched at a local cinema, shown at community events, on television, and on this website.

The young people have produced pieces of creative and historical written work inspired by the people they have met and their research on project.

The film, writing and artwork will form an exhibition that will be shown locally and will also be on display on this website.

The film will be produced as a DVD which, along with a booklet of the children's writing will be given to all those involved with the project as a big thank you.


This project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.



family in Tooting in the 1960sAbove, Mrs Rainhana Ahmed and family.


"Journeys" on television in 2019

The Journeys documentary film has recently been shown on Together TV on Freeview, Sky, BT and Virgin and continues to receive wonderful reviews and comments.

The film also continues to be shown at community centres around South London. Please get in touch if you would like to arrange your own screening.

Special screening of "Journeys" at the Museum of Migration

The Museum of Migration is hosting a special screening of the film on Thursday the 6th of September 2018 at 6.30pm. The film will be introduced by the film makers and, following the film there will be a discussion with the audience about the themes the film brings out. Refreshments will be provided with a voluntary donation to the Museum welcomed.

The event is free and if you would like to come please RSVP to

Migration Museum at the Workshop, 26 Lambeth High Street, London SE1 7AG

museum of migration logo

"Journeys" documentary film premier at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton

On a warm Tuesday morning on July 17th 2018 the Journeys documentarty was premiered at Ritzy Cinema in Brixton. The young people involved in the project presented the fllm and some of their writing to a packed audience which included the people they had interviewed for the project. The film was very warmly received and it was a lovely event. There was lots of interesting discussion in the Q&A afterwards. Thanks to eveyone who came to the premier.

You can now watch the film online on this website.

Below are a few images from the event.




Dancing and singing

Some guests



We have conducted 24 oral history interviews with local people

Children from Furzedown Primary School and young people from CARAS have now completed all interviews. They have collected lots of fascinating and moving history from people who have moved to this part of South West London - stories of their reasons for coming to the UK, their journeys, settling in the UK, finding homes and work, children's stories joining their parents in this new and strange land. They are a moving testimony to the energy and resolve of this generation -their humour and generosity, often in the face of extremely difficult circumstances. The full interviews will be added to this site and are currently being edited to make a documentary film. This will be premiered on Tuesday 17th July at the Ritzy cinema, presented by the young people.

Below are some photos from the project so far.

For info please contact project coordinator Matthew Rosenberg on:
tel: 07949 107023

Arriving at Heathrow Airport

A talk from a historian at the Furzedown Project in Tooting.

Lolita Archer talkiong with children at Furzedown Primary SchoolLolita Archer meeting the children to talk about her personal history and below, Pauline Delpratt.

Some of the young film makers at CARAS.

Young film makers at CARAS

Paul Canoville, the first black footballer to play for Chelsea, talks to the children about his mother's experiences coming to the UK and his own incredible history.

Paul Cannaville

Interviewing Pauline Delpratt about Tooting in the 1960s.


Portrait of Lloyd Robinson who arrived in London in 1960.


Mrs Chayya Biswas (far left) with family and friends.

Tooting Streets in the 1960s