Friday, June 22, 2012

Secret History of Our Streets and Nicholas Taylor

Martin Taylor wrote to local bloggers today to ask them to publicise the website he has set up to redress the misleading impression given of his father, Nick Taylor – and Deptford itself – in the documentary Secret History of Our Streets, broadcast on June 6th – or, how, as Martin puts it, "my dad was unfairly stitched up like a kipper by the Beeb".

With the help of his friends, he has also published a booklet and intends to deliver it around Deptford, door to door, in a concerted effort to clear his father's name. Martin says they have tried to get an apology out of the BBC, but "have given up as we were advised it would take a minimum of 12 months and we can't wait that long".

Both the website and leaflet aim to correct the false impressions the programme gave about Deptford's history – and how it is today – as well as set the record straight regarding Nick Taylor's 'involvement' in the demolition of much of Deptford's housing. Backed up with facts and figures about Deptford then and now, it makes for fascinating reading.

Regarding his father, Martin says, "Via the selective use of out-of-context quotes taken from several long conversations, the programme appears to have succeeded in given viewers a completely false impression...He stopped the bulldozers rather than starting them up...

"The programme showed a sequence of film shot in Deptford High Street when Mr Taylor, who had just come out of hospital having had a stroke and a triple heart bypass, was being questioned very aggressively about the demolitions in Reginald Road, even though the programme makers knew full well that what had happened to Reginald Road had nothing to do with him."

Martin concludes, "Nicholas Taylor's career as a councillor was dedicated to trying to preserve terraced houses and prevent the building of high rise estates...We think he deserves to receive an apology."

Go to to read the real story – and, if you were as disappointed by the programme as we were, you can help to "restore the good name of Deptford and its community" by leaving your comments.


  1. What a great website.

    Whoever made it should be proud to draw attention to what happens when coke-addled, careerist film-makers distort reality and history to create a narrative they hope will win them awards. I'm not saying the BBC made Triumph of the Will, but it looks like they played with Nicholas Taylor in order to tell a lie.

    I feel inspired by the selfless effort his family has made in this website. Well done.

  2. Isn't it true and needs to be pointed out the Beeb got lots of different directors in to do the series, not all episodes were directed by the same just the episode director to be sacked by the series director to be sacked by the Beeb? (really enjoyed the Caly Road episode).

  3. Agree with above and regret how many people will believe such tripe just because it originated at the BBC. Makes me think about other nonsense we have taken for facts over the years just beccause it came from the BBC. It will certainly teach me to be more sceptical in future.
    Does anyone know why Crossfields didn't get the 'Putting the Recrd Straight' leaflet that was widely distributed elsewhere in Deptford ?

    1. JP, I think it was because the only ''affected'' area was the High Street and some of the roads leading eastward off it. I believe any information on the leaflet is also available on the link in the last paragraph of the post.

  4. As a protest I am not paying the tv licence

  5. Marmoset. This must be wrong. The leaflet was delivered to the estate between Berthon Street and Creek Road, which is, politically at least, in Greenwich.

  6. JP, it is disappointing that Martin's team didn't manage to get round the whole estate – it certainly was an ambitious aim to get round all of Deptford! But we've managed to get hold of some now, so if anyone wants a booklet, please email