Great Green spaces – London’s Regional Parks
Allies and Morrison, 85 Southwark Street, SE1 0HX
Tube: London Bridge (Jubilee and Northern lines), Southwark (Jubilee line)

Thursday, 17 January, 6:30 - 8:30

London benefits from three great regional parks - legacies of our industrial past turned into new amenities. The Lee Valley in the East was once home to a diverse range of industries, gravel pits, waterworks sites, distilleries and munitions factories. The idea of a park was suggested in Sir Patrick Abercrombie’s Greater London Plan in 1944 but it was not until 1967 that the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority was formally constituted.


The Wandle Valley, which runs south from Wandsworth, is a legacy of the Industrial Revolution when its fast-flowing waters powered about 100 mills between the Thames and Croydon and Carshalton.  The Wandle Valley Regional Park brings together some 900 hectares of south London’s open spaces under a unified vision with a long-term programme of enhancing access, links, gateways and expansion. The Colne Valley Park, in the west, much of it former gravel pits, covers over 40 square miles and hosts a mosaic of farmland, woodland and water with 200 miles of river and canal and over 60 lakes. It is also a living, working environment, providing employment and homes for many people as well as being a haven for wildlife.


Join Sue Morgan, Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust; Peter Massini, GLA; and Stewart Pomeroy, Colne Valley Park for a fascinating look into London's great green spaces!



London Lives: 24 iconic people and places around the clock
Studio Egret West, 3 Brewhouse Yard, EC1V 4JQ
Tube: Farringdon (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan lines)

Thursday, 13 December, 6:30 - 8:30

Come join the Society for our traditional pre-Christmas talk as Danny Rosenbaum and Rupert Vandervell, the authors of the new book London Lives.  Danny and Rupert will discuss the inspirational and varied characters featured in their book and reveal what they tell us about the capital city.  The evening will conclude with wine, mince pies and other festive treats!

They will draw upon their research interviews with such people as Chris Earlie, bridge-master of Tower Bridge; Tom Moss-Davies, head gardener at Regent’s Park; Heather Bonney, head of human remains at the Natural History Museum; David Ison, the Dean of St Paul’s; Marcus Davey, chief executive of The Roundhouse, Andrea Tanner, the archivist at Fortnum & Mason to reveal some surprise facts about London and its iconic places.

According to Andrew Marr: London Lives “is a composite portrait built up from tiny dabs of vivid colour, specific observations and local moments. It seems to me to get nearer to the truth about why contemporary London is such an enjoyable city for so many of us – not everyone – to live in.”

Twickenham – home of Rugby, Royals, Rock and Roll, and a River
St Margaret's Train Station, Twickenham, TW1 2LH
Tube: St Margaret's (South Western trains)

Saturday, 12 January, 10:30-12:30
25 may attend
Members have Priority Booking until 3 December

Twickenham is known as the home of English Rugby but this varied walk includes many hidden treasures.   There is an abundance of aristocratic and historic homes in this very green suburb located on the banks of the River Thames.  

The walk will finish in the heart of the old village with its preserved historic main street near Eel Pie Island, famous for its rock history.  There are plenty of cafes and pubs for lunch.

High streets: Resilience and resourcefulness
Wash Houses, 25 Old Castle Street, E1 7NT
Tube: Aldgate East (District, Hammersmith & City lines)

Tuesday, 5 February, 6:30 - 8:30

High streets are full of people who make things happen. In this session, three speakers will optimistically explore the suppleness, originality and inventiveness of UK high streets from different perspectives. Join Stacey AdamiecJamie Dean and Mark Brearley as The London Society kicks off its look at London's high streets.

Stacey Adamiec is a Growth & Start Up Strategist who is passionate about high streets. She began developing studios and spaces for creative industries in Swansea and is now an expert in building resilience and resourcefulness in high street businesses. Jamie Dean is North East Area Regeneration Manager at the Greater London Authority, responsible for the City Hall high streets work stream. He leads on the development of the GLA's High Streets programme and coordinates the Mayors Design Advisory Group. Mark Brearley is the owner of a tray factory and Professor of Urbanism at The Cass, London Metropolitan University. Former head of Design for London, Mark initiated the Mayor's work focused on London's high streets and now campaigns passionately for high streets to become the focus of 21st century economic life in the UK. 

Southwark Cathedral by candle light
Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge, SE1 9DA
Tube: London Bridge (Jubilee, Northern lines, and National Rail)

Wednesday, 13 February, 7:00 - 8:30

Come and explore over 900 years of history on this London Society candlelit tour of Southwark Cathedral.

Discover the stories of the priory of St Mary Overy and the famous London hospital founded on this site. Learn how the contemporaries of Shakespeare served the church and worked in the theatre. Uncover how the industrial age nearly caused the demolition of London’s oldest gothic building!

The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie - Southwark Cathedral - stands at the oldest crossing-point of the River Thames at what was for many centuries the only bridge into the City of London. A verbal tradition passed on to the Elizabethan historian John Stow suggests that the first Christian establishment was a community of nuns in the 7th century, but the first written reference is the mention of a 'minster' in the Domesday Book of 1086.

Whether you have never been inside, or know the Cathedral very well, this atmospheric candlelit tour will show you its treasures in - literally - a very different light.