Blackfriars SE1 in the 1970s

Photo by Paul Carter

Community action in a London neighbourhood.

This exhibition tells the story of an extraordinary period of community action in the 1970s and 1980s in Blackfriars, Waterloo and North Southwark along London’s South Bank. For many it was a fight for survival as businesses moved out and land was earmarked for office development leaving isolated communities struggling to maintain their way of life.

Topics covered include Campaigning, Community Centres and Action Groups, the many battles for good housing and facilities. Plus of course SE1 Community Newspaper (featuring the popular Golden Oldies series of articles) and Blackfriars Photography Project.

Mounted on specially built frames which subtly reflect key local buildings, the panels of text, photos and other images are designed with a nod to how SE1 Community Newspaper was put together at the time. There will also be a selection of physical items from those days, such as reproduction copies of the paper.

Images have been chosen and text written by “SE1 Stories”, an umbrella group of people active in the area at the time.

Find out more

Where to find the exhibition:

5-16 January: gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9PH

18-27 January (Monday-Friday): Coin Street neighbourhood centre, 108 Stamford St, London, SE1 9NH

Opening times:

gallery@oxo: 11am-6pm

Coin Street neighbourhood centre: Monday-Friday 9am-5:30pm


The exhibition details a legacy of community action continued still today. Take a look at our campaign to stop the over-development of London's South Bank here.