Discovering Span Homes is a media and heritage project. Its purpose is to discover real life stories about people that live in three Span developments in London: Parkleys, 1953; Cator Estate, 1960;  Mallard Place, 1982. This project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and was born out of Chocolate Films Directors Mark Currie and Rachel Wang’s fascination with Span architecture.

Post-war architect Eric Lyons had a unique vision to create affordable homes for British families. Span’s distinct features include lush communal gardens, expansive windows and a residential committee for the estate. Today, London’s housing crisis makes the original vision a nostalgic ideal of the past; these homes are now highly sought after.

We wanted to shine a light on the people living in Span homes since the 1950s and discover their unique stories of growing up, bringing up families and growing old on Span estates. Over the course of two years Chocolate Films Workshops, volunteers, Span communities and pupils from Reay Primary School have collected oral histories and archive images from residents, documenting the lived out ethos of the communities as set by Lyons.

Watch a short stop-motion animated film about the life of Eric Lyons and his idea for Span homes, created by Year 4 pupils of Reay Primary on a Chocolate Films Workshop.




730 days