People Involved
Length of Project
Estimated Budget

Span: The History of London’s Iconic Homes 1953-1983 is a media and heritage project. Its purpose is to discover real life stories about people that live in three Span developments in London. This project is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund



Chocolate Films is passionate about human stories and engaging with communities, so when the opportunity arose to investigate the origin and continuation of London architect Eric Lyon’s Span housing developments we couldn’t wait to start investigating.

Co-ordinating the project as a workshop, we invited students and other enthusiasts to contribute to the project, offering them access to leading research resources at RIBA’s architectural archive along with Chocolate Films’ professional film equipment.

From the early stages of the project, Chocolate Films content creators and volunteers have uncovered wonderful stories from individual residents and a rich community that show the ongoing resonance of the SPAN ethos many decades after its inception.


Throughout the 2 year project, our content creators will train and support 10university students who will capture the stories of residents in Span homes. The volunteers will be trained in how to collect oral histories and creating a new archive of materials about Span homes, going on to create a dedicated website for the project and design an exhibition to showcase their creative work over the programme’s life.

In the Autumn of 2017, Chocolate Films visited Reay Primary School in south London, which Span architect Eric Lyons attended as a child. Over three days we taught 30 Year 4 pupils about the life of Eric Lyons, the work of Span and the importance of architecture, facilitating an animation in which they retold this story in their own terms. Film coming soon.


We have held a range of exciting events for the local community so far. Highlights include the Collection Days on the three sites, where we met with residents and digitised their family photographs of life on Span, Span brochures and blueprints, and images of events.

We will be holding an event in January 2018 that will showcase the oral histories of residents collected so far, featuring a panel discussion with experts in the field.

Furthermore, Chocolate Films Workshops will be holding a number of events besides these throughout the 2 year project. Please follow @CFWorkshops on Twitter for more details.