Thamesmead is a special area of south-east London, England. It mainly consists of social housing built from the late-1960s onwards (brutalist architecture) on former marshland on the south bank of the River Thames. Thamesmead was designed around futuristic social ideas and architecture. ‘The Town of Tomorrow’.
As part of the project, together with the residents, we created Tastes of Thamesmead community cookbook, from the rich and diverse food heritage that lives and has lived in Thamesmead. From when it was built in 1968, Thamesmead residents have seen many changes in its architecture and in its community and this is reflected in the food stories and recipes collected as part of the book.
The recipes reflect the vast talent in Thamesmead and the celebration and enjoyment which comes from sharing food. We have chosen 10 people with 10 recipes. First, you see the stories of the recipes with a portrait of the resident. In the next page, you can see the ingredients and the method on the left and on the right the picture of the recipe.
Another aspect of the book is the landscape, with canals, a lake and the brutalist architecture that you find in Thamesmead.
This book also forms part of the Thamesmead Community Archive, a project started in 2018 by local residents to celebrate Thamesmead’s 50th anniversary. The archive has collected hundreds of items over the past two years, from the iconic marketing materials and master plans of the early 70s to personal photographs and memories from local people past and present.
As well as hard copies of the book, an online version is available at www.thamesmeadcommunityarchive.org.uk. There you can also share your favourite recipe and Thamesmead memory and become part of Tastes of Thamesmead. This could be anything from a favourite dish you (or perhaps your grandparents?) cook, along with a past photo of cooking, eating or even a piece of paper with the recipe itself!
Below you can see a reproduction of part of the book.