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The Secret History Of Our Streets - Caledonian Road

Updated Thursday, 11th December 2014

Booth may have found the road depressing - but a staunch sense of community has kept the road alive.

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Caledonian Road Creative commons image Icon Stephen McKay under CC-BY-SA licence under Creative-Commons license Caledonian Road Charles Booth’s vast 1886 Survey of London ranks each one of London streets according to the class of their residents. Now in a major series for BBC Two, The Secret History of Our Streets returns to six archetypal London streets visited by Booth to discover how their fortunes have ebbed and flowed over the last 125 years.

The third episode features Caledonian Road, which starts next to Kings Cross station and heads north for over a mile. From its beginning, the street has been resolutely working class and when Charles Booth visited he found it a depressing district.

But the people of ‘The Cally’, as it’s affectionately known to residents, have held their community together despite being challenged by powerful outside forces as well as a reputation for being a bit rough around the edges.

Featuring fascinating and often passionate accounts from residents both past and present, the film tells the story of the changing faces of this remarkable street.

The Secret History of Our Streets: Caledonian Road is first shown on BBC Two on Wednesday, 20th June 2012 at 9.00pm. For further broadcast details, and to watch online where available, please visit




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