Currently showing blog posts for: October 2017 - . Go BACK to view all posts.
Peter Murray

 

The first of our five Saturday morning classes on London planning was given by Duncan Bowie. You can see his slides below along with a report from Finbar Bradley. For more information on the Planning School, click here.

 

Kicking off the London Society’s first in a five part series of Saturday Morning Planning Schools, Duncan Bowie took an enthusiastic group on a tour through 2000 years of London Plans. 

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Peter Murray

 

On 14 October, The Society organised a walk around Brixton with Blue Badge Guide Angela Morgan. Joanna Day reports.

The Society will be holding a discussion on Brixton regeneration hosted by Squire and Partners at their new Brixton offices, early in 2018. To find out when tickets will be available, add yourself to our newsletter list.

Brixton is in the eye of the beholder. The area contains so many historical and cultural layers that I feel as though I arrive at the end of the Victoria Line and see the area through predetermined filters.

It is refreshing and fascinating, therefore, to take a London Society guided walk through Brixton, led by our fantastic, informed (and singing) guide, Angela, in order to look again – or maybe for the first time – at the fascinating story of Brixton as written in its built fabric, and to take our own punt at predicting its future.

If there is one word you would associate with contemporary Brixton, it would be: ‘change’. Gentrification blazes onwards in Brixton leaving questions about exclusion and identity in its trail. You get the feeling that the consequences of gentrification are not seen as inevitable nor go unchallenged in this feisty part of Lambeth, but whether the driving forces can or should be altered in their trajectory remains to be seen.

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Peter Murray

On 3 October, Michael Welbank, Chief Commoner and Past Chairman of the Planning and Transportation Committee talked to the Society as part of our Great Estates series. Barry Coidan was in the audience.

A sizeable audience was treated to a brisk canter through the byways and backwaters of the City of London and its Great Estates. Chief Commoner Michael Welbank was a most convivial guide whose obvious delight in his subject matter carried us along with him.

Before detailing the three Estates – the Bridge House Estate, City Fund and City’s Cash – and the use to which their incomes are put, Mr Welbank gave us a brief history lesson.

There is no surviving record of a charter first establishing the Corporation as a legal body, but the City is regarded as incorporated by prescription. Around 1189, the City gained the right to have its own mayor, later being advanced to the degree and style of Lord Mayor of London.

The origins of what we now know as the City of London were lost in the midst of time. London was a centre of trade in Saxon times long before the Normans tried unsuccessfully to quell the citizens. William I wanted the City and its wealth generating prowess, and in 1067 he granted it a charter. It read “William King greets William the Bishop and Geoffrey the Portreeve and all the citizens in London, French and English, in friendly fashion; and I inform you that it is my will that your laws and customs be preserved as they were in King Edward’s day, that every son shall be his father’s heir after his father’s death; and that I will not that any man do wrong to you. God yield you“. The City was allowed to continue as it had done before the Conquest.

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Peter Murray

 

London Historians is the association for enthusiasts of our city’s past. In addition to the monthly newsletter and the monthly pub meet-up we organise talks, walks, private views, behind-the-scenes tours, competitions and special offers.

We are a very sociable organisation whose members collaborate and participate as little or as much as they like. Our growing 600+ Membership includes London guides, authors, archaeologists, academics, curators, journalists, liverymen… all sorts. What they all have in common is enthusiasm for London’s history.

We’d like to offer members of the London Society a £10 discount off our £39 annual membership. Click here to find out more.

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Peter Murray

 

On 25 September, Victor Callister, Deputy Director of Architecture & Built Environment at the Design Council, conducted a Society tour of Chancery Lane and the surrounding area. Sophie Hetherington reports.

This tour of Chancery Lane, led by the inimitable Victor Callister, explored the history of the area from the 12th century to the 21st. Victor was a charismatic speaker, and the walk was illustrated with a booklet of historic maps and images, allowing the group to fully engage with this whistle-stop tour of London’s history.

We began with a brief history lesson on the emergence of Chancellor’s Law (as opposed to Common Law) , which gave name to Chancery Lane, due to the proximity of King Henry VIII, Parliament and the Rolls Building. Chancellor’s Law regarded contracts, and what was “fair” or “right”, and a history of generational legal resets are historically based in this area, as it is where the Law Society has recently been based. 

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Peter Murray

Our Hut, an architecture education charity based in South London, are looking for a small team of volunteers to research the built heritage in Crystal Palace Park to provide information for a new teachers’ resource.

The project, Sublime Structures is an architecture education project about the wealth of historic and existing buildings and structures in the park from the Crystal Palace to the present day. The project will enable local young people and families to discover and celebrate the extraordinary legacy of design and engineering innovation found within the park. Online teaching resources produced as a legacy of the project will mean that teachers can carry out work on Crystal Palace Park independently in the future. And we will create a fun orienteering pack that will be a resource for parents and carers, helping families get the most from their visits to one of South London’s gems.

Volunteers will be given specific training in a session at the RIBA/V&A on 15th November, and there will be opportunities for participants to share and develop usefully transferable skills. If anyone is interested in joining this team, please email Our Hut for further details: ourhut@hotmail.com

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Peter Murray

 

The latest issue of the London Planning and Development Forum’s magazine Planning in London has just been published and can be read online below, or downloaded in PDF form here.

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Peter Murray

 

We mentioned the new film London Symphony in an earlier blog post, and I’m delighted to say that The London Society has secured some tickets for a screening of the film to be held at Southwark Cathedral on 23 February. After the film there will be a Q+A with the director. More details here.

London Symphony is a modern day ‘city symphony’, shot in black and white at over 300 locations around the capital and with an original soundtrack by the Convent Garden Sinfonia, it shows glimpses of the vibrance and diversity of the capital.

The screening will take place in the beautiful candlelit Cathedral nave and will be followed by a Q&A with the Sub Dean & Canon Pastor Michael Rawson and the Director, Alex Barrett.

The film was nominated for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2017.

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Peter Murray

 

We’re delighted that this year’s pre-Christmas talk will be given by Matt Brown, editor-at-large of the Londonist website and author of (among many other books) “Everything you know about London is Wrong“.

Matt will share stories from some of the most intriguing of his perambulations around the capital. Find out what happens behind the lights of Piccadilly Circus; how to stand on the weather vane of St Bride’s; the secret rooms and relics of St Paul’s; and how to dress yourself in the morning when your day includes a trip down the Northern Outfall Sewer AND the press launch of a new sherry bar.

And there’ll be myths shattered, legends overturned and long-held “facts” disproved as Matt shares gems from Everything you know about London is Wrong.

Matt’s book makes an ideal stocking-filler – we’ll have some to purchase at the event – and we round off the evening in traditional style, with mince pies, drinks and other festive goodies.

I hope you can join us – tickets are available here.

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Peter Murray

 

As part of the Society’s London Icons series, Emily Gee, Historic England’s London Planning Director, looked at the historic context of building tall in London – Finbar Bradley reports:

In recent times the structures that most people would perceive as iconic have tended to be London’s new breed of tall buildings. On Thursday night and firmly with our feet on the ground at Cowcross Street, the London Society heard a dynamic “short history of London” from the 1600’s until the present. Emily Gee of Historic England took people on a journey from the disasters which brought about planning reform, through the backlash of early attempts to create tall buildings and to future possibilities.

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