Annie Kelly, The Guardian, Society supplement
Bermondsey takes the biscuit Former Peek Frean employees back community
October 20, 2004
Bermondsey, in south-east London, was once affectionately known as Biscuit Town. Home to some of the largest biscuit factories in the country, it provided employment to generations of local families.
Now it's a very different story. The biscuit factories have closed, and many of their former employees are unemployed. The only businesses that come into Bermondsey now are the large property developers buying up old factories and turning them into gated residences for well-paid workers at nearby Canary Wharf.
But a group of former employees of the Peek Freen biscuit factory, one of the last to close its doors, in 1989, have reunited to give Biscuit Town a new lease of life. They were brought together by artist paula roush, who has won Arts Council funding to launch SOS:UK, a community project that explores the local heritage of deprived communities. roush invited ex-workers back to Peek Freen and has run a series of events celebrating the history of Biscuit Town. This weekend, the factory is hosting a mock emergency food distribution.
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