Capture Sutton for the King: Then, Now, Next - Sutton STEAMs Ahead

Sutton STEAMs Ahead - STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths


We aim to collect photos and footage that directly record how Sutton is celebrating the Coronation of King Charles III in May 2023 while also filling a gap in archival records by asking residents to use photographic media to create and share connections between the historic lives, technologies and landscapes of the London Borough of Sutton and the present.

Why Participate?

  • Submissions may be used for exhibition and for the creation of a large montage image.
  • Create an ongoing legacy to be permanently archived by the Borough’s heritage service by way of a unique photographic imagery reflecting life in Sutton through time
  • Participants will gain a better understanding of the technology and artistry of photography.
  • Participants will explore connections between Sutton past and present.


London Borough of Sutton, various locations


Submissions will be accepted from April to October

Submission process

Both physical and digital photos, footage, slides and other image based media will be accepted with the completed contextual and copyright information detailed in the full brief below, though digital media need to be submitted in approved formats.

For all enquiries email: quoting ‘Capture Sutton for the King’ in the subject line.

Full Brief


Sutton STEAMs Ahead, funded by a Cultural Impact Award and the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), is an ambitious programme with the aim of putting culture at the heart of local communities, exploring S.T.E.A.M themes (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) through art and culture. As a part of this programme, Then, Now, Next is looking to engage communities that represent the diverse cultures and backgrounds of Sutton today with the aim of making connections between the historic lives, technologies and landscapes of our borough and those which exist now through the science and artistry of photography.

Photographic Collections

Sutton Archives hold an extensive photographic collection which documents life in Sutton from the 1850’s to present day. The images and accompanying research provide insight into the lives of individuals from all social classes and levels of influence. With Capture Sutton for the King the goal is to balance and connect this historic collection with the lives and scenes of Sutton today, recording the stories and images of some of the diverse, influential and (extra)ordinary people and places in our community.

Commission Outline

This is a joint collaboration across Sutton Council’s Cultural Services to coincide with celebrations for the King's Coronation. This project will engage the public by making connections between lives from the past and those of contemporary residents, using comparative imagery to encourage the donation of images that reflect life in Sutton now. This might take the form of photos of Sutton on slides, film or print that can be donated, of contemporary digital imagery (pre-existing, or specially taken for this project), or of moving image footage from a cine film, video camera, digital recorder, or smart phone.

We also aim to improve residents' understanding of the science of photography and the photographic collections in Sutton Archives by demystifying the technology and artistry of photography.  This project will create engaging and creative imagery to demonstrate a tangible link between the decades and to form an ongoing legacy in the archive collections. There are three outputs to this brief:
  1. We aim to collect photos and footage that directly record how Sutton is celebrating the Coronation of King Charles III in May 2023. This may take the form of images of street decorations, parties, Big Lunches, volunteering activities and any posters and related ephemera that are seen around our borough.
  2. Photos submitted may be used for exhibition and for the creation of a large montage image.
  3. Residents will also respond to a list of prompts to generate images from all corners of the borough that fill a gap in the local studies photo collections and document how Sutton looks now, in 2023.
These include:
  • Houses and domestic architecture/local streets - consider photographing your road or even the outside of your house. House historians and residents of the future will thank you and this information will be vital to understanding how the face of Sutton as a residential borough is developing.
  • Shop Fronts and the High Street - not just Sutton - your little local parade is as interesting and as valuable an addition and helps to give a taste of the market at this period in history.
  • New Development and Change - Sutton is changing so rapidly. If we don’t pause to take note, we will miss it happening. Have you snapped a new building going up, or an old one coming down? Please do. We can get a great sense of how Sutton has changed/is changing from council minutes and newspaper reports, but a visual reminder is sometimes the most powerful tool to memory.
  • Parks and Open Spaces - what is going on in your local green space? New planting, environmental initiatives, community groups or projects, events? Let’s document them all.
  • Transport - the way we travel around the Borough, and indeed the world, is very different from 200 years ago. Planes fly overhead while cars, buses, trains, and trams use spaces previously occupied by horse and carriage. Think about how environmental initiatives have also changed the way we move throughout the Borough.
  • People*, community and events - How do we dress? How might our activities be different to what we would have been doing in the past? How might they be the same? What may be commonplace today could be different in the future so get creative in what aspect of the community you choose to document.
*Take into account that while you do not need permission to photograph people in a public space, you should not invade people’s privacy. It is always important to ask permission if your photo will identify individuals.  In a community group setting you will need permission from participants, and especially from the parents of minors.
(Examples of all these categories will be provided from the current collection for inspiration)

Project Timeline

  • April 2023: Project is open for submission
  • 30 September 2023: Submissions closed
  • October 2023: Submissions reviewed and prepared for exhibition
  • November 2023: Exhibition of works
  • Post-November 2023: Submissions accessioned into the archive


We will accept both physical and digital photos and footage. Please follow the below guidance for submission and note that all submissions will need to be accompanied by relevant metadata (outlined below) and a Deed of Gift form (provided at the end of this brief).

Physical photos/slides/film - Physical submissions will need to be delivered to the Family History Centre at Sutton Central Library on Thursdays only during opening hours (check opening times here) and with a completed Deed of Gift form (provided at the end of this brief) add info or may be submitted with the completed form via post to:

Sutton Central Library - Family History Centre
℅ Capture the King Team
St Nicholas Way, 
Sutton SM1 1EA

Digital files - Images should be provided in one of two digital formats. Jpg or TIF. Please try not to submit iphone HEIC format files. You can select jpeg in the phone settings before you get going. You can submit these files via our Capture Sutton for the King Google Form here.

Metadata. For each image you submit, we require the following accompanying information. If this is provided in a separate document, please be sure to reference the file name or number of the relevant picture against its identifying information.
  1. Filename
  2. Location (i.e. Brunswick Rd, SM1, or Carshalton High Street looking west)
  3. Additional captain info (i.e. Coronation Street Party)
  4. Date taken (if known)
  5. Taken by (if known)
  6. Taken with (i.e. iphone, Canon DSLR, 35mm film)
  7. Permissions and copyright
  8. Deeds of Gift Form (provided at the end of this brief)
Digital submissions should be submitted via our Capture Sutton for the King Google Form here.

Questions can be e-mailed to: Please include ‘Capture Sutton for the King’ in the subject line.

Please note that the council will make the final decision on materials suitable to be displayed or used in this project. Sutton Cultural Services are an integral part of an active and diverse civic culture and as such provide material for the exchange of ideas and views. Resources may stimulate philosophical, religious and political debate as well as provide information. As a public service, the council does not endorse any specific religious creed or political ideology.

Deed of Gift