Currently showing blog posts for: August 2016 - . Go BACK to view all posts.
Peter Murray

 

9780750968232The Blue Badge Guide’s London Quiz Book

by Mark King, History Press, 2016, £7.99.

Review by Don Brown

Available from Amazon

To become a London Blue Badge tourist guide takes two years of training. Guides are examined on their knowledge of the history of the capital and their ability to conduct tours (without notes) within Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s, and London’s museums and galleries, as well as conducting walks or coach tours across the city.

They’re an important part of London’s multi-billion pound tourist economy and known as “Britain’s Best Guides”. (I’ll declare an interest here, as I’m a London Blue Badge guide myself.)

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Peter Murray

 

London City of Song poster

The Heritage of London Trust are putting on a concert of London songs at Bush Hall, Shepherd’s Bush on 22 September 2016.

Be transported into London’s vibrant streetscape and its darkest corners, meet its lavender-sellers and Thames boatmen, 19th century émigrés and the Bloomsbury set through exquisite songs and readings.

With music ranging from folksong, Laura Marling and Ralph McTell to Noel Coward, Gershwin and William Walton, and spoken word extracts including Zadie Smith, Neil Gaiman, Richard Rider, Virginia Woolf and many more, the highs and lows of London life will be brought to life in a kaleidoscope of characters and colour. Thought-provoking, evocative and enthralling, this stunning evening is not to be missed.

Tickets cost £15 (plus booking fee) and are available here.

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Peter Murray

 

The autumn programme of Society talks, tours, lectures and debates is coming together, and some of the latest additions are below. For the complete list and to book, visit www.londonsociety.org.uk/events 

Please note that several events have already sold out, so to keep up to date with what the Society is organising, sign up to our email newsletterYou can also keep up to date with our schedule via Twitter (@LondonSoc) and Facebook.

You can download this list of forthcoming events here.

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Peter Murray

 

Last month, London Society members had an exclusive tour of the Globe’s Jacobean theatre, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Project Architect, Oliver Heywood of Allies and Morrison explained the challenges of authentically constructing an archetypal indoor Jacobean theatre within a shell built in the mid 1990s. Abi Spooner reports on the visit:

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Backstage theatre tours are always fascinating, and this was one with a difference. Oliver Heywood of Allies and Morrison, who led the project to build a Jacobean theatre, delivered so many fascinating angles way beyond the theatrical.

When the reconstructed Globe was built at the end of the last century, architects allowed for an indoor theatre according to Inigo Jones’s plans. It turned out, when this project started years later, that these original plans were actually designed by John Webb, his protege in 1668 – not a Jacobean! Each different element of the playhouse is based on architecture of the period – the arcades from the Bodleian, a Scottish painted ceiling destroyed by fire, and the shape of the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford.

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Peter Murray

LS | SirTerryFarrell_©RichardGleed vII

Non-members can now buy tickets to hear Sir Terry Farrell give the annual Banister Fletcher lecture – and if you register before 1 September you will save £4.00 off the regular price.

For the rest of this month, ‘early bird’ tickets are available for just £10 (that includes the drinks reception after the talk).

Setting out a new and dynamic viewpoint on London, Sir Terry will join the dots and reveal new connections between London’s past, present and future, exploring how the capital’s complex shape has evolved over time, and also reflecting on current pressures on the city and its built environment.

Those of you who have heard Sir Terry before, will know that it will be an intelligently argued and entertainingly delivered talk.

To get your early bird tickets, go to our secure site here. The talk takes place on the evening of 8 November, in St Marylebone Parish Church, NW1 (location map here).

(However, the best deal is to join the London Society, because then you can get a ticket for the lecture completely free. Click here to see the membership options.)

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Peter Murray

 

news_393_0_largeCongratulations to London Society trustee Ben Derbyshire who has been elected the next President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), taking over the two-year presidential term from Jane Duncan on 1 September 2017.

Ben is Managing Partner at HTA Design LLP, a design-based consultancy to the home building industry, specialising in placemaking, providing project management, masterplanning, urban design, architecture, landscape design, planning, technical design, graphics, web and app design and other disciplines. He has built up broad-ranging expertise through involvement in much of HTA’s work in regeneration, masterplanning, housing and mixed use design.

Ben Derbyshire said:

Once again we find ourselves in turbulent times. In winning this election I am conscious of a great sense of responsibility owed to architects everywhere, in all corners of the UK and overseas. Jane Duncan has laid the foundations for change at the RIBA that I look forward to driving forward, when I take up the role of President. My primary goal is to champion architects so that they, our sister professions and clients, can advance architecture as the cornerstone of the well-designed and more sustainable built environment society desperately needs.(Full text here)

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Peter Murray

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The Society enjoyed a splendid Summer Party at the Brunel Museum and the Rotherhithe Shaft – originally dug to provide access to the construction of the under-river tunnel in the 1820s and now converted into a dramatic performance space. We enjoyed a barbecue in the garden and jazz inside the shaft. It was well attended and a very jolly time was had by all.

It made me think how lively the Society is today – a group of people passionate about London’s past as well as its future. The Museum itself, as well the area around it, illustrates the richness of our heritage, the sort of place that makes London such a fascinating city and that provides the raison d’être of the Society. A most enjoyable event and I would particularly like to thank Rowena Ellims and Clare Ruby for the hard work they put in to make it such a success.

Peter Murray

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