About this Archive
(Part of the Digital:Works Archive)
"The Weekend Millionaires: An Oral History of the Thames Lightermen" is a collection of oral histories of former lightermen and their families. These histories were also video recorded and together with archival footage they were used to make a documentary about those who worked for generations on the River Thames before the lighterage industry ended in the 1990s.
Themes covered in the histories and the film are the difference between lightermen and watermen, the family histories of lightermen, working conditions, the various cargos coming in and out of London, and the camaraderie among the lightermen. Also discussed were apprenticeship, the necessity of working with the tides of the Thames, and amassing knowledge the Thames' curves and bridges. The project highlights the effects of containerisation and how the lighterage industry closing affected lightermen and riverside communities.
"The Weekend Millionaires" was a collaborative project between the charity digital:works and Year 6 Children from St George the Martyr and Westminster Cathedral Primary Schools. The children learned interviewing and documentary skills while conducting the oral histories. The project includes 22 oral histories and one documentary.
Scope and Content
Material created during the project, "The Weekend Millionaires: An Oral History Project of the Thames Lightermen", which was developed and produced by digital:works. Includes:
- Twenty-two original oral history interviews recorded for the project
- Copy of the booklet researched and written by children from St George the Martyr and Westminster Cathedral Primary School, and DVD of the documentary created during the project and featuring extracts of the oral histories
- Digital photographs of the individuals who participated in the project.
Note: digital material is stored in the digital drive and can be consulted in the Researchers' area.
22 mp3, 22 jpgs, 1 dvd, 1 booklet