Saving Clissold Park – The Joseph Beck Archive

In December 2015 I was made aware of a treasure trove of documents, letters and news cuttings from the 1880’s, which outline in fascinating detail the campaign to save Clissold Park from development so it could become a public park. The hoard of about 175 items was kept by the descendants of Joseph Beck, a local political and manufacturing optician who spearheaded the campaign.

While existing literature describes the campaign in a paragraph at best, the extraordinary Beck Archive provided an almost week-by-week account of the dramatic campaign, often from the point of view of Joseph Beck himself. The entire archive has been uploaded to the dedicated site