I’ve been a fan of British TV drama Misfits since the very first episode, and Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange is one of my favorite movies: when I discovered that both were filmed in the Southmere Estate in Thamesmead I promptly grabbed my camera and took a train to explore the area!

The Estate was built in the 1960s as part of Greater London Authority project of developing the area formerly occupied by the Royal Arsenal – riverside marshland with lots of abandoned buildings. In the original project artificial lakes and recreational areas were designed to be surrounded by housing, schools, shops and health centres, all linked by pedestrian pathways.

Recession and construction costs exceeding the estimate obliged to abandon the project in the 1970s and the Southmere area became a place where local councils sent trouble families and individuals and new immigrants in need for housing.

The walkways quickly became littered and abused. Southmere Lake, used as a setting for the Stanley Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange, became unswimmable. Today its waters suffer from a green algae infestation that doesn’t prevent children from boating in the lake with their inflatables. No wonder why this post-apocalyptic scenario, where horses are bred in the Estate’s communal gardens, became the perfect set to film the adventures of the outcast heroes of the Misfits.

Using Format