Home  |  Interviews  |  Writing  |  Film  |  Education Pack  |   Blog

The Film

The interviews conducted by the children have been edited into an oral history documentary film along with 8mm footage shot by lightermen in the 1950s and 60s. You can watch the film here and also hear the full interviews on the "Interviews" page of this website.

From Autumn 2015 the film and curriculum linked educational activities will be available for download from this website, and at the Museum of London for primary schools across London to access.

During the research for this project we came across a poem written by a lighterman about the dying trade on the Thames - "The Ballad of the Last Lighterman". Almost all of the lightermen interviewed knew the poem but noone knew who had written it. It's a lovely and moving poem so we asked musician Vince Burke to compose some music and record it for us to use in the film. It opens the film but we have also made a separate film using the 8mm footage with the full song below. The song at the end of the documentary is "Lighterman Tom" written as a music hall number in the early 19th century. It is sung by Peter Daniel, son of a lighterman, who appears in the documentary.

For more oral history projects you can visit the digital-works website where you will find other oral history projects including the print industry on Fleet Street, the London Underground, jewellery making in Hatton Garden, Working Lives in Portland, Dorset, the last of block and silk printing factory in Crayford, histories of four London Street Markets, Covent Garden, the Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate, and lots more. · info@digital-works.co.uk