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?”

For more details email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call 020 7241 9228 or visit www.walltowall.co.uk  and click on TAKE PART on the menu at the top of the home page.

Latest news

  • A Great Yiddish Parade to make Whitechapel sing

    It will soon be time for one of the East End’s most spectacular events, the Great Yiddish parade, and you are all invited. The date is Sunday November 19, when East End streets will echo with the sound of songs once sung there and forgotten for more than a century, as a marching band with singers and klezmer musicians bring Read More
  • CD captures the East End in music

    JEECS member and Cockney-Yiddish music expert Vivi Lachs has a great event on November 22 with the launch of a CD by her band Katshan’es (Yiddish for “cabbage stalks”, and slang for “nonsense”). Read More
  • Gensheroff premises found

    You published this photo of my father, Sholem Shrensky, and (it is assumed) of L. Gensheroff in issue 24, 2014 of The Cable in the hope that someone might know the location of the Gensheroff premises. Retired Detective Inspector Terry Abrahams astutely found, through the 1911 census, that the family of Isaac Gunscheroff (a close enough re-spelling of the name) Read More
  • Tales from a physician's life

    JEECS member and former East Ender Cyril Sherer shares tales from his fascinating life in a book published this summer that looks back over his long medical career in four vastly different countries. Read More
  • A Hessel Street memory

    I just happened to come across your article on Hessel Street. I am an 85-years old lady now but still remember when my Dad worked plucking the chickens down there, and also playing in Petticoat Lane as a young child when my Mother worked in a café there – many memories of my East End childhood before we moved “up market” to Upper Clapton. Best Wishes Read More
  • A film about your family

    JEECS members and other readers of this website are clearly interested in family history, which is why we thought you might be interested in a service offered by a company that specialises in making films about your family history. Read More
  • Congratulations on The Cable

    Dear David: I wanted to write to you in my three capacities, the immediate past Chair of the JewishHistorical Society of England, the President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain and the Chair of the Working Party on Jewish Monuments (on which Clive Bettington sits) to offer my most sincere thanks and offer congratulations to you on a Read More
  • Fire Services book brings back memories

      Our review of Martin Sugarman's fascinating book about the role played by Jewish members of the Fire Services during the Second World War stirred some memories for long-standing JEECS member Yoel Sheridan, one of our members in Israel.   Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

For the old Jeecs site, visit www.jeecs.org.uk/archive