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Peter Murray

 

What does Valuing the past, looking to the future mean to you, and can you capture this in a photograph or illustration?

In the inaugural London Society photo competition we’re looking for images of London, photographic or otherwise that encapsulate our new motto, or either of its constituent parts. And we’ll be announcing the winners at our annual summer party on 1 July.

Prizes include double tickets to this year’s Summer Party, at Upstairs at the Department Store in Brixton; an A3 mounted print of your entry; membership of the London Society, and your picture will be published in the next issue of the Society’s Journal.

Images can be of buildings, people, places, events… think as broadly as you wish. The competition is open to members and non-members, and you can enter as many images as you’d like.

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Peter Murray

 

London Society members were fortunate to be given a ‘hard hat’ tour of the redevelopment work at the Broadgate complex in the City. Roger Cline reports on the visit.

It was an early start for an intrepid band of Society members who assembled at 3 Broadgate Square, the marketing suite for the Broadgate re-development. The original buildings were erected in 1981-1999 on the site of Broad Street Station and in the air space over part of Liverpool Street station and were all office block fortresses with security permit entry only. Business practice has changed in the meantime and the blocks are being refurbished to replace the large trading floors by flexible office space close to windows with an emphasis on wellbeing of employees and ‘smart’ operation whereby their mobile telephones will pick up instructions as they enter as to which desk they will use for the day and providing temperature and illumination suitable for the work they will be doing. The wellbeing of employees and public alike will be catered for with extensive retail premises on ground and sometimes several other floors, as well as leisure centres and catering. The security gates will only be located inwards of the office reception area, so the public can enjoy facilities such as meeting areas, coffee shops and wi-fi outside the gates. The whole area is private land with high but unobtrusive security (60-80 security personnel on duty at any time, day and night) so any misuse of the facilities can be dealt with (and may cause them to be restricted). The area is kept clean with the ground floor paving being regularly washed.

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Peter Murray

 

The second URBAN TREE FESTIVAL in London will take place this weekend 18-19 May 2019. You will find full details of the planned events, plus links to book, here.

The festival would not have been possible without the generosity of a core team of volunteers with support from Trees for Cities, the only UK charity working at a national and international scale to improve lives by planting trees in cities.

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Peter Murray

 

The 2019 Annual General Meeting of the London Society will be held on Monday 1 July from 6:00-6:30pm at the offices of Squire and Partners, The Department Store, Ferndale Road, London SW9 8FR.

All current members* of the Society are entitled to attend and to vote. Please register here if you plan to be at the AGM.

Minutes of the 2018 AGM can be downloaded here.

The agenda for the meeting and the 2018 draft accounts will be available to all members in advance of the meeting.

Motions for the AGM should be sent to the Hon. Sec. (c/o director@londonsociety.org.uk) to be received before 10 June 2019.

Persons wishing to stand for the Committee should let the Hon. Sec. know before 10 June 2019 along with the names of their proposers and seconders (both of whom must be current members of the Society).

After the AGM, why not join us for food, drink and music at the Society’s summer party, held in the upstairs bar above Squire and Partners. Tickets will go on sale this week – but book early, because tickets are strictly limited.

*From the constitution: No Member shall have power to vote at any meeting of the Society if his or her subscription is in arrears at the time. … A Corporate Member may appoint a representative to vote on its behalf at all meetings but before such representative exercises his or her right to vote the Corporate Member shall give particulars in writing to the Honorary Secretary of such representative.

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Peter Murray

The Society’s AGM will be held on Monday 1 July at The Department Store in Brixton. Formal notification of the meeting and invitations will be sent to all members in the next two weeks, but if you have motions that you would like the meeting to discuss, or would like nomination papers to become a committee member, please email the director (director@londonsociety.org.uk).

Following the AGM we will be holding the Society’s Summer Party, with food, drink, music and more. Tickets for this will be available shortly.

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Peter Murray

 

What will future high streets offer if it’s not shops? Hosted by Kohn Pedersen Fox, the Society’s ongoing examination of the state of the high street curated by Jane Clossick, Senior Lecturer in Urban Design at London Metropolitan University, continued with ‘Beyond Retail – what else can high streets do?’. Report by Sarah Jarvis of Placeworks.

Our three speakers, Dr Gayle Rogers, Melissa Meyer and Simon Quin, took us on a lightning and enlightening tour of high streets around the country. For a largely London-based audience this brought an insight into what is happening further afield, as well as a fresh look at neighbourhoods nearer to home. It reminded us that while there are commonalities shared by many communities, the importance of place should never be underestimated.

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Peter Murray

 

This year’s AGM is on the horizon – date and venue to be confirmed, but likely to be the first week of July – so now is a good time to consider joining the Society’s executive committee.

All members of the Society are eligible to put themselves up for a committee role, but there are some ‘skill shortages’ that we would be keen to fill.

If you have experience in ENGINEERING or skills in PR or MARKETING, or work for a DEVELOPER or PROPERTY FIRM, or have TRUSTEE EXPERIENCE for another charity, we would love to hear from you.

If you are interested in joining the committee – whether or not you match these criteria – please email the director for more information.

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Peter Murray

 

The latest edition of ‘Planning in London’, the magazine of the London Planning and Development Forum has just been published and can be read below. (also available to download as a PDF here.)

On page 56 you can read Daniel Moylan’s piece “The Planning System is Broken Beyond Repair”, the text of his talk at the recent London Society/RTPI London debate.

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Peter Murray

 

Built: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Structures

By Roma Agrawal (Bloomsbury, £20)

Reviewed by Sarah Eley

Reviewed in the Journal of the London Society no. 473

 

Roma Agrawal’s passion for her subject, the structures that make up the built world we live in, shines through in her book. Agrawal takes us on her journey of discovery of the wonders of structural engineering, beginning with her experience of Manhattan’s towering skyscrapers, a city she visited as a child when her engineer father took up a job in the US.

Simply titled ‘Built’, Agrawal starts her book with an exploration of force and the way it flows, as this influences the form that structures take. Hand drawn illustrations, which are peppered throughout the book, keep the reader’s mind on track and help to simplify concepts.  The subsequent chapters explore the building blocks of clay, metal and rock, building up into the sky and down into the earth, tunnelling through and bridging over, and the essential delivery of clean water and the taking away of sewerage. 

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Peter Murray

 

In the latest edition of the Journal of the London Society, Mark Prizeman revisits past Journals to find out what the London Society was up to 50 and 100 years ago.

50 years ago: Greenbelts, London Estates and early thoughts for a Congestion Charge (December 1968 and March 1969)

A report on a ‘Greenbelt Drive in Surrey’ with maps and commentary given by the County planning members and Officers of the County who planned the route, concludes that: ‘Surrey is indeed to be congratulated on the beauty of its countryside and the care they are taking to preserve so much for the delight of future generations.’ A couple of visits to interesting London buildings housing other societies are noted along with a talk by Stuart Weir given to the Society on De Beauvoir Town in Hackney that is reported in full ‘by way of an experiment [as we] are only half way through our researches into the past of the area, and my talk is one way of finding out just how much we have discovered – and how interesting it is,’ part of an ongoing lecture programme on the London Estates.

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