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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

 

A new independent silent film called London Symphony begins screening this week. It is a modern day ‘city symphony’, a genre of filmmaking that flourished in the 1920s, and consisted of films that attempted to build poetic portraits of city life.

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 Greater London and will be screened in over 35 venues around the UK from September 3rd. This includes three special events taking place amongst the diverse communities that inspired the production: at the Barbican Centre (on September 3rd), the Alexandra & Ainsworth Housing Estate (on September 17th), and the Shree Ghanapathy Temple in Wimbledon (on October 28th). These three events, which are supported by the Arts Council England, will include live performances of the soundtrack, as well as a panel discussion featuring the filmmakers and a local history expert unique to each venue.

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

The London Society has secured some tickets for the London Symphony screening at Southwark Cathedral on 23 February. After the film there will be a Q+A with the director. More details here.

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Peter Murray


A new ‘pass-it-on pamphlet’ which seeks to raise awareness of London’s housing crisis and possible solutions has just been launched, which you can read above. 2000 copies of the HOUSE ME LONDON are being distributed to generate public discussion and stimulate a social media campaign around the city’s housing crisis.

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Peter Murray

 

Discover how London’s architecture has evolved over time, with this series of Saturday morning talks.

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People have been telling us that there are some aspects of London they want to learn more about, or to understand better. So the London Society are planning a series of informal Saturday Schools.

The first of these is on ‘the evolution of London architecture: five talks to help you gain a better appreciation of the history of London’s built environment.

If you book for all five classes in the School you will pay for just four – so that’s just £28 for members and £20 for student members. Non-members can book all five classes for £53 – which includes a year’s individual membership of the Society. You can find out more here.

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Peter Murray

 

logoWe all know that one of the best ways to see more of London is on foot, and that a guide-led walk can reveal many lesser-known aspects of the city.

That probably explains the popularity of the Walk London programme which has been organising free guided walks within the capital since 2007.

The walks, funded by Transport for London and delivered by Walk Unlimited, happen three times a year, in January, May and September. The next weekend takes place on the 28 and 29 January 2017.

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Peter Murray

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This is London

by Ben Judah

Reviewed by Louis Wilkins

Available from the London Society Book Service in association with John Sandoe Bookshop

[This review appeared in the Journal of the London Society, edition 470. More details here.]

Ben Judah’s eye-opening account of London’s hidden population of Roma beggars and street musicians, of West Indian cocaine dealers, Filipina maids, of pimps and prostitutes and African carers is a timely reminder of the changing make-up of the capital, its increasing levels of inequality as well as the wider pressures of economic migration which, Brexit or no, will continue to have a major impact on our economy and society.

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Peter Murray

 

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As you may already know, the London Society provides the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on London’s Planning and the Built Environment (you can find more details here).

Its brief is “To explore the social, economic and environmental issues affecting London at a strategic level and build consensus as to the ways in which these might be addressed.”

The Annual General Meeting of the Group will be held on 11 January 2017 at the Houses of Parliament. If you would like to attend (and to receive information about future APPG meetings) please enter your details in the form below.

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Peter Murray

 

Yesterday evening around 300 members and non-members of the Society packed into St Marylebone Parish Church to hear Sir Terry Farrell give the annual Sir Banister Fletcher lecture.

There’ll be a full write-up in due course, but the slides from the presentation are available below.

 

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Peter Murray

 

Curiocity: In Pursuit of London81qroio6ojl

by Henry Eliot and Matt Lloyd-Rose

Review by Don Brown

This book can be ordered from John Sandoe Books

This is a fantastic – in all sense of the word – book about London, one that reimagines the ‘guidebook’ in the same way that Peter Ackroyd’s London: the Biography reinvented historical writing about the capital. And just as Ackroyd set a benchmark, every new guide to London will now be viewed with reference to Curiocity.

Like London it seems like a huge, sprawling mass to begin with, but get closer and you’ll see it is organised into 26 chapters – illustrated with hand drawn maps – that explore a different aspect of the city, from Atlas to Zones, by way of Dust, Knowledge, Vanitas and Wyrd.

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Peter Murray

An architectural Walking Tour of St James’s on Sunday 20 November 11am to 1pm with RIBA Friends.

Mike Althorpe (‘The London Ambler’) will be leading this walking tour of St James’s. Situated right in the heart of the west end, the area is characterised by sophistication and refinement. Mike will chars the development of this unique place through its key buildings, streets and spaces.

Tickets are £15 for RIBA Friends and £20 for non-members and are available by calling 020 7307 3809. If you have any queries, please contact Lisa or Flora at friends@riba.org

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