top of page

The Peanut Factory is our 70s squatter memoir by Deborah Price. 

Set in South London (Crystal Palace), Deborah mingled with some of the biggest names to emerge from the counterculture scene. She booked The Damned’s first show, served pints to Johnny Rotten, and attended a backyard gig from King Kurt.


Squat life was sex, drugs and punk rock but it wasn’t all fun and games. The Peanut Factory shows Deborah navigating a male-dominated scene, moving every few months and living with drug dealers, sex workers, people on the run and working-class kids like her.

Despite the chaos, the squatters were a family. They were kids creating their own rules. Making art. Living life on the fly. The Peanut Factory is an ode to the youthful rebellion of the 1970s and to London itself.

The Peanut Factory Guts Publishing

Why do people squat? 

February 2022 Interview

Sally Horowitz, Guts Publishing

Deborah Price talks about why she and her friends decided to squat in abandoned houses in South London.

It became a way of life for six years - from the late 70s to early 80s.

Fascinating chat on a topic rarely spoken about publicly.

What people are saying about The Peanut Factory

"Enjoyed book, it really took me back to those days. I'd go back in a flash if offered sod all this smart tech garbage... gimme an afternoon pulling pints in the Gloucester followed by a nap in front of the TV blaring out the Crossroads theme." — Captain Sensible, The Damned

"Telling journal about the London squat scene in the post punk era. Compelling and disturbing in equal measure — especially the outside toilets." — Jim Tavaré, comedian, actor and musician

“A window into a time of raw energy and rough edges, Deb Price paints a vivid picture of life in the squats of South London. By turns amusing and alarming, but always engaging, we accompany a teenager as she navigates her way to womanhood in a sub-culture on the margins.” — Allie Rogers, author of Little Gold and Tale of a Tooth

"A beautifully grungy coming-of-age memoir set in the squats of 1970s London. Deborah Price is a gifted storyteller who will remind readers how it feels to be young, broke, uncomfortable and marginalised, but gloriously hopeful and madly in love with life. A must-read for anyone who was there, or wishes they had been." — Nikki Sheehan, author of Goodnight, Boy

My London News

Interview with Deborah Price by Erica Buist published in My London News on 25 April 2022:  

'I squatted in a huge house in what's now London's best neighbourhood'

About Deborah Price

Deborah Price Photo by Lizzie Barrington

I was born and bred in South London and moved to Brighton in 1986. I have worked, since I was fifteen, as a barmaid, cleaner, zoo keeper, adventure play leader, youth worker, primary teacher, childcare and Ofsted inspector, trainer and senior lecturer in education. I have a BA and MA (Film Studies) from the Open University and also taught children’s literature there. I have written and co-written six books on early years focusing on equalities, LGBT issues, leadership, and grief and loss in children’s lives. The Peanut Factory is my debut memoir. I now live happily by the sea with my partner where I write, swim and travel.

photo by Lizzie Barrington

Buy The Peanut Factory today at:

The Bookseller Crow 

50 Westow Street

Crystal Palace, London SE19 3AF

bottom of page