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Peter Murray


We are looking for stories and contributions for the next issue of the London Society’s Journal.

We also need someone with print production experience to volunteer as a subeditor. This would require carefully fact-checking, editing and styling the copy as it comes in (spread out over end of September and early October).

In particular we will be exploring the theme of:

‘A city for 10 million inhabitants’

We would like to interpret this theme quite broadly and look at the different aspects of London life that are affected by a booming population – not just planning or housing.

We would like to hear about any organisations, thinkers, professionals, community groups etc working on projects – small scale or large – that offer inspiration.

Types of pieces we run:

  • 500 word opinion pieces
  • short case studies of relevant interesting projects by architects, urbanists, artists, academics, community groups,
  • 1,000 word think pieces and reports
  • personal profiles/interviews
  • photography, illustration, graphic data visualisation

Deadlines: Once commissioned, we will need pieces to be written by the end of September in order to have enough time for design & layout.

Sadly we are unable to pay anyone for their contributions, but will happily plug any websites, blogs, recent publications, upcoming events, etc in exchange. And of course you will not only be helping to make the Journal even better, but contributing to informed ongoing debate amongst London Society members and beyond.

If you’d like to contribute, or want to let us know about any projects you think might be worth us covering, do get in touch at

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Peter Murray


The Spring/Summer edition of the Journal of the London Society is now available.

Non-members can get a free copy by joining the Society (details here) or buy a copy at the sale price of just £5 here.

This issue marks 50 years since the 1967 Civic Amenities Act created the first official ‘conservation areas’ as a way of acknowledging the overall character of an area, rather than the merits of individual buildings. There are now more than 1,000 conservation areas in London alone, ranging from elegant Georgian squares and Art Deco housing estates, to places valued more for their community than their architecture, such as the Walworth Road.

London certainly has much worth cherishing – physically and culturally – but we cannot preserve the urban in aspic. Cities are living breathing organisms, they must grow, adapt and evolve. So how do we marry the concept of conservation with the need for continual change? Who chooses what stays and what goes, and according to what criteria? How do we use the best of the past and present to create a meaningful future? The Journal therefore both celebrates some of London’s most attractive conservation areas and hard-fought battles with the bulldozer, but interrogates the concept of conservation itself.


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Peter Murray


The latest edition (number 471) of the Journal of the London Society goes to print this week and will be posted out to members within the next fortnight.

If you want to receive your copy, join the Society today. Individual memberships are just £25, students pay just £15 and there are special rates for dual/family memberships and for businesses.

There’s a ‘conservation’ theme to Journal 471, with Peter Murray’s interview with Marcus Binney, founder of SAVE; our guide to eight of the best Conservation Areas; Frank Kelsall reflects on 50 years of the Civic Amenities Act; Tom Coward & Geoff Shearcroft of AOC Architecture explain why historic buildings should be brought back into the community; Emily Gee of Historic England calls for a new heritage strategy; Heather Cheesebrough says that conservation areas are over-zealously policed.

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