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Peter Murray

Tickets are now available to non-members for the Society’s summer party on 10 August. Join us for food and drink, and listen to live music as you catch up with old friends and meet new people at the social event of the year.

We’ve gone full rus in urbe this time round, with the party being hosted at the Oasis City Farm, a stone’s throw from Grimshaw’s old Waterloo International, tucked into a corner of the Archbishop’s Park in SE1.

Opened in 2015, Oasis have transformed this strip of land into a vibrant community resource, connecting children of the city with food and farming. There’ll be an opportunity to examine the magnificent new wooden barn (by architects Feilden Fowles) and to hear more about the project, its achievements so far, and its vision for the future.

Tickets are limited and last year’s summer party sold out, so make sure you don’t miss out. Members can buy tickets for themselves and their guests for just £25, non-members tickets are £35. Corporate Supporters are entitled to up to five free tickets (please email director@londonsociety.org.uk for details).

Get your tickets here.

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Peter Murray

 

The London Society needs you

We’re run with a small committee that gives of its time entirely voluntarily, two members of staff that work a couple of days a week, a freelance events person, a journal editor and designer (and contributors) who put in inordinate amounts of time and effort to get each issue out.

That gives members around 50 events a year (which had over 2,000 people come to them in 2016), two issues of the Journal, the Society’s representation in the APPG, and this blog and our social media.

We want to achieve more – more events, more publications, more members – and need help from members to do so. For example:

  • Helping out at events: anything from setting up the room to reporting on the discussion to go on the blog (you’d get free tickets of course).
  • Contributing to the blog or the journal: got something to say? Perhaps you’ve got journalistic or other writing experience and are keen to keep your hand in – we’d love to hear from you.
  • Marketing and PR: we want more people coming to our events and more people joining the Society. Can you help us with that?

If you feel you can spare some time – whether from the list above or on anything else – please email director@londonsociety.org.uk

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Peter Murray

 

In May and June the Society ran a series of five Saturday morning talks in the Building Centre in central London.

The series was designed to give non-professionals an overview on the evolution of the capital’s architecture, and we were fortunate to be able to call upon several knowledgable speakers: Alex Forshaw on medieval London; Dr Geoffrey Tyack on the Georgian city; Susie Barson on Victorian developments; Alan Powers on the city between the wars; and Chris Rogers on the contemporary city.

Each of the five talks had over 80 attendees, so it seems that we have tapped into something that is of great interest to both members and non-members and we’re currently looking at future series – there will certainly be something this autumn and we will develop the architecture theme in 2018.

The illustrations used by each of the speakers can be found here. For future courses we will look to publishing the information in some form.

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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.

UNTIL 22 JULY YOU CAN BUY A COPY OF THE JOURNAL FOR £2.50 OFF THE USUAL PRICE. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE

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Peter Murray

Join us to celebrate summer in style with food and drink at Oasis Farm, an urban farm tucked away in the heart of Waterloo just moments from the Southbank, and the closest farm to Parliament!

Opening in May 2015, Oasis has transformed a strip of wasteland into a flourishing community resource and a haven for nature, where the aim is to learn how to care for ourselves, others, plants, animals and the environment. Oasis’ vision is to provide a safe, supportive and inspiring space for the community the themes of food and farming are used to help people feel more connected, empowered and to reach their full potential.

Tickets for members and their guests cost just £25 and are available here. Non members tickets will be on sale from 13 June.

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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.

Read More…

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Peter Murray

 

If you have the inclination and the time to help the Society, we’d love to hear from you.

Some things are listed below, but if you’ve any skills that you feel might be useful, drop me a line (director@londonsociety.org.uk) and we’ll be in touch.

  • Events – we always need volunteers to help set up and help clear up after our talks and events, so if you can spare the occasional evening let us know. You get a free ticket to whichever event you’re helping out on!
  • Writing up events – we like to have summaries of the talks and lectures that we run, so if you’re able to join our small pool of writers we would be very grateful
  • Book reviews – we have titles sent into the office regularly and would like to review as many as possible for the website.
  • PR and marketing – our events are well-attended, but we’re hoping to raise our profile still further this year, and we want to recruit more members.
  • Blog posts – if you’ve got something you want to say, or an event that you’d like to review, or a part of the capital that you feel needs more attention, get in touch. We’re always looking for contributors.

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Peter Murray

 

Smart Technologies: can they meet London’s environmental challenges? asked Maged Hanna (Head of Energy Masterplanning, AECOM), Zoe Green (Head of Smart Cities, PwC) and Sam Ibbott (Head of Smart Cities, Environmental Industries Commission) at this Society talk held at Make Architects offices in Cleveland Street.

The speakers looked at some of the ways technology can improve the efficiency of services and be more responsive to the future of London’s needs, and examined the opportunities presented, looking particularly at ways in which disparate stakeholders might be involved in the process, and sharing best practice, both in London and beyond.

Read More…

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Peter Murray

 

LS-logo2Do you have time to edit the London Society blog?

We need someone to manage the day-to-day running of these pages. It’s not too onerous – soliciting contributions from relevant societies and individuals, rewriting the occasional press release for interesting events and exhibitions, getting in book reviews, posting the write-ups and photos from Society events.

It could take as little as a couple of hours a week, but there’s scope to do as much or as little as you feel able to commit.

Some copywriting or journalistic background would be useful, as would a working knowledge of WordPress.

It is, of course, purely voluntary. We will provide large amounts of gratitude and tickets to some of our events, but there’s no money in the coffers for either editors or contributors.

If you’re interested in helping or would like more information, please email director@londonsociety.org.uk and we can talk further.

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Peter Murray

 

home-image-319x406-6Can you help the Society find out a little more about you – our members, supporters and event attendees?

We’re putting together plans for 2017 and we’d like to make sure that we arrange tours, talks and walks that appeal; that the Journal is interesting and informative; that the Society is covering the ground that you wish us to.

If you could spare five minutes to complete this survey about you and your interests that would be a great aid to our deliberations. Click here to start.

In return, we’ll send a hardback copy of Peter Watts’s excellent history of Battersea Power Station “Up in Smoke” to two of the people who complete the survey, chosen at random from all who fill out the ‘prize draw’ form at the end.

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