Even less appears to be known about this film than about Three Streets in the Country. It too was broadcast in 1979 as part of Where we live now on BBC2 but other than the appearance in the Radio Times of the listing it would appear to have entirely vanished from the repetoire. Wikipedia refers to it briefly at the following link

In the early 1970s he campaigned against the building of tower blocks and the wholesale redevelopment of Britain's cities according to the ideology of the modern movement. In 1973, he published both Goodbye London (written with John Betjeman's daughter Candida Lycett Green), and, with Bennie Gray, was the IPC Campaigning Journalist of the Year. His BBC documentary City of Towers (1979) was widely praised, not least by some of the modern architects whose work it criticised.


I watched it in black and white on an old television on Monday 19th February 1979 on the 16th floor of a tower block featured in the documentary. Aragon Tower on the Pepys Estate Deptford. It left such a vivid impression, both the film and the location, that here I am 30 years later still rattling on about both in a blog.

At a distance of 30 years memory serves poorly in respect of a two hour documentary but it did include that helicopter shot of the Pepys Estate looking North and showing the three towers, which has been used many times since, most recently in some of the films featured in my page at and owing to the presence of Canary Wharf and the redevelopment of Docklands in the 1980s and 1990s serves now as a historical document, or would if the BBC would release it on DVD.

At the PEN night on February 12th 2010 at King's College, Dennis Marks answered a question regarding Three Streets in the Country with regards to its release on DVD by asking the assembled audience to write to the BBC asking them to obtain the International copyright on the film so that it could be sold on DVD, but so far to no avail.

We can only watch and wait and hope as the BBC archive is slowly put on line that one day this too will appear as a download. Until then it remains a memory and a fascinating insight into the thinking of the time that Modernism had had its day.

UPDATE: (12/12/2010) For those of you with a similar desire to see the film again I am reliably informed that Christopher Martin, the producer, lives in the Welsh borders, but I don't have an address for him. For anyone reading this who wishes to pursue the subject, perhaps a letter in the producer's direction might assist... I have myself written to the BBC more than once, and to Christopher Booker at the Daily Telegraph once, to no avail.

UPDATE: (21/8/11) I've been sent a copy of the film recently by a contributor to the site, and will be writing it up in due course.

UPDATE: (28/8/11) Now reviewed at

UPDATE: (18/5/15) Now available on YouTube