Currently showing blog posts for: January 2018 - . Go BACK to view all posts.
Peter Murray

 

To mark the release of Professor Richard Sennett’s new publication Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City, Southwark Cathedral and publisher Penguin Random House are delighted to host a panel discussion looking at how cities are built and how people live in them. The London Society has a limited number of tickets available for members, which can be purchased here.

Chaired by the Revd Canon Giles Goddard, Vicar at St John’s Waterloo the panel features some of London’s leading thinkers on the urban environment, Professor Richard Sennett, Mike Hayes and Noha Nasser, and this should be a fascinating discussion on the future of thriving ‘open’ cities.

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Peter Murray

 

For our first talk of 2018 the Society had something slightly different – trespassing on London Historians’ patch, Dr Peter Jones of the Centre for Metropolitan History gave a ‘straight’ history talk on the public street markets of the 19th century. However – as with so much about the capital – what happened then has had an influence on now, and several of the features of the market and the lessons of their growth have parallels for today and the planning of the future.

Peter looked at how the rapid growth of the capital in the 18th and 19th centuries meant that a large proportion of the new suburbs – particularly those new areas beyond the traditional confines of the City walls and the City of Westminster – were some distance from the existing licensed, regulated, ‘fixed’ markets, and needed traders (either barrowmen or dealers carrying produce on their backs) to supply food at the lowest prices. This saw the growth of unlicensed street markets in areas such as Whitechapel, Strutton Ground, ‘The Brill’ (Somers Town), the New Cut and Whitecross Street. These were often of some considerable size – over 200 stalls were counted in Whitecross Street on a typical day.

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Peter Murray

 

Hidden in plain sight next to Somerset House, the India Club has been a part of London life for nearly 70 years, but is now threatened with redevelopment.

The current manager of the Club, Phiroza Marker, explains why it should be saved.

Hidden up a flight of stairs on the Strand, it would be easy to overlook the India Club. However, recent redevelopment plans to turn the building into a modern hotel have brought the Club’s crucial history into the limelight.

There are few things in the UK which capture the complexity of Britain’s colonial past as well as the India Club. It was established at a significant moment in British/Indian relations by the India League, which was described by Prime Minister Nehru in the 1930s as “the only really ‘political’ organization representing Indians in the UK.”

Following India’s independence, the League resolved that its future role would be to focus on UK-Indian relations. As such, in 1951 it formed the India Club as a symbol of Indo-British friendship under the leadership of Krishna Menon, India’s first High Commissioner to the UK, and with founding members including Prime Minister Nehru and Lady Edwina Mountbatten.

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Peter Murray

 

We’re pleased to say that the Journal is now available to be read online via issuu.com. You should be able to see it below – if not, click here to go to the site

You are, of course, much better off with the traditional printed copy of the Journal, and there are two ways to get your hands on one.

The best way is to become a member of the Society, which you can do by visiting this page. Not only will we send you a copy in the post, but you will also get priority booking and discounted tickets for all of our events.

Or you can buy a copy for just £7.50 via our online shop. Just click here.

 

 

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Peter Murray

Are you interested in books about London, or set in the capital?

There’s a proposal for the London Society to set up a Book Group to discuss books – fiction, non-fiction, history, biography, whatever – that relate to London.

We’d write up the discussions and post them online, and invite comments from people who’ve also read the title, but who weren’t at the meeting. The idea is that we encourage as many people as we can to read the very best books about the capital.

As well as members of the group, we’d need someone to do some organising behind the scenes – letting members know which title is going to be discussed next and arranging meeting times.

You wouldn’t need to be a member of the London Society to take part.

If you’re interested in joining or in helping to run the group, please click on this link we’ll be in touch.

 

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Peter Murray

 

Issue 104 of Planning in London – the journal of the London Planning & Development Forum – has just been published. You can download a PDF version of the magazine here, or read the online edition below.

 

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Peter Murray

 

The Autumn Winter 2017 edition of the Journal of the London Society is dropping on doormats throughout the capital, and is also available to be bought from the Society for just £7.50 (details here).

New members will receive the Journal free – you can join here.

Editor Jessica Cargill Thompson shares the delights of the new edition.

Ten million. One-zero. That’s how many of us Londoners there’ll be by 2030 – just 12 years’ time. According to figures from the GLA and O ce of National Statistics, we currently number 8.9million, and it’s predicted we’ll pass the 9 million mark some time in 2019.

In relation to other world cities, London thinks of itself as a relatively small city: giant in stature but human in its physical scale. We’re not the neverending urban expanses of Toyko/Yokohama (33 million); the skyscraping canyons of New York; the apartment dwellers of other European capitals; or the squeezed masses of Mumbai (density 23.9 people per sq km compared to London’s 5.1), much as we may admire all of those places. We are traditionally low rise and low density, with a surprising amount of green space. We value culture as much as we value commerce, and pride ourselves on being a place of both hi-tech innovation and ancient monuments. The seemingly unstoppable rush towards 10 million understandably induces palpitations.

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