The Jewish East End is to feature in a new Living History series on BBC television – and you could be part of it. Wall to Wall Television, the production company responsible for such hits as WhoDo You Think You Are?, Turn Back Time: The High Street, and the recent BBC2 series Back In Time For Dinner, is seeking people willing to relive the East End of the late Victorian era, including what assistant producer Emily Thompson calls the “rich story of the Jewish community living in these areas at the time”.
The programme will look at recreating an authentic 1870s tenement environment and inhabiting it with modern people who will live, work, and survive in a unique Victorian East End community.
“We are looking for people who will relish the historical experiment and challenge of living in a Victorian slum,” says Emily, and she has asked JEECS to help.
“We are in the very initial stages of casting the programme, and are looking for people who have a genuine connection to the East End of London. We would ideally love to cast a wide range of families (10+ - 65+ yrs.), couples and individuals, who have some kind of ancestral link to the area, or are vaguely aware of having ancestors who survived the East End slums. It may be that the connection is through their modern trade or skill, or the fact that they currently live in the area and would be intrigued to explore its Victorian roots,” she says.
Wall to Wall says: “The search is on for families and individuals to set up home in 1870s east London. Their aim – to live, work and make ends meet exactly as the Victorian poor would have done. They’ll be expected to find work, master old trades and sell their wares in order to put food on the table and to make the weekly rent.
“Do you have what it takes to make it in a Victorian slum?
“Would you like to experience the life your East End ancestors once lived?
“Do you live in East London and you’d like to explore the history of your streets?
“Do you have a traditional trade that could be put to good use?
“Would you like your family to experience the reality of life for millions of Victorian children?
“Wall to Wall Television is casting for a landmark living history experiment that tells the story of what life was really like for the Victorian poor and how their plight changed our nation for the better.
“We’re looking for strong, determined contributors who think they could survive life on the Victorian bread line. The series is due to be filmed over three weeks in Easter 2016 and the new Victorians will relocate for the duration of the filming to East London.
“Do you have an ancestral connection to the East End of London?
“Did your ancestors migrate to the poorest areas of Victorian Britain? Are you a resident of East London and fascinated by its past? Does your trade have its roots in the Victorian era? Are you part of an extended family (with children over ten), a retired or newly married couple or a single parent? Would you like your children to have the ultimate living history experience?”