20th Century London: A City in Flux

Imperial London, London County Council, Philanthropy, London Underground, BBC, Hampstead, City of London, NHS, Festival of Britain, Barbican, Festival Hall, Pimlico, Silver Jubilee, Canary Wharf, London Docklands

Date/time:
19 September 2018 – 13 March 2019
Wednesdays 10.45am - 12.45pm
Venue:
The University Women’s Club, 2 Audley Square, London W1K 1DB
Lecturer:
Dr. Richard Plant
Fees:
Full course (20 sessions) £998.00
Single lecture £59.00
(includes morning coffee, tea and biscuits)
Walks are subject to availability (please check with us before booking) and priority is given to those who attend the whole series.

Book your place now on 20th Century London: A City in Flux

“Interesting, enlightening, nicely paced”

London has transformed almost unrecognisably since 1900. At the beginning of the period the capital of a truly global empire and its largest port. At the end, the centre of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan societies, a great financial centre and a cultural hub. This twenty part series of lectures and walks will trace the forces that transformed London, from Imperial pomp through wartime catastrophe, to the vibrant but nervous metropolis of the 21st century.

London Skyline
Barbican Centre Plaza Merchant Square Footbridge, Paddington, Knight Architects

Course outline

19
Sep
2018
Lecture Imperial London

At the turn of the 20th Century, London was capital to the world’s largest Empire. This Imperial self-confidence, soon to be dented by the Great War, manifested itself most fully in the Jubilee for Queen Victoria and a ceremonial refashioning of key areas of central London.

26
Sep
2018
Walk

The walk will remain within Whitehall and surrounding streets

03
Oct
2018
Lecture Philanthropy

Paradoxically, the Imperial city was also home to a huge impoverished population, one which caused both concern and fear among the ruling classes. The Philanthropic movements, beginning in the late 19th century, sought to bring a healthier life both morally and physically, to the population of the city, and their activities were re-focused and expanded by the newly formed London County Council.

10
Oct
2018
Walk

The walk will remain within Fitzrovia

17
Oct
2018
Lecture Interwar Anxiety and Development

The period between the wars saw the city and the country confronted with a series of problems, partly addressed through new institutions or the reformulation of older ones. It was the period of the “Homes for Heroes”, of the development of the BBC and of the London Underground.

24
Oct
2018
Walk

The walk will be in Bloomsbury

31
Oct
2018
No lecture

07
Nov
2018
Lecture Moderns and Anti-Moderns

Perhaps because of its size, perhaps because of something conservative in the English character, London didn’t embrace very fully the art and architecture of the modern movement. Despite this, the Interwar period saw a flowering of arts, particularly literature, in the city, which reflected and contributed to wider currents elsewhere.

14
Nov
2018
Walk

The walk will be within Hampstead

21
Nov
2018
Lecture War and Destruction

An enduring image of the Second World War is the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral shrouded in smoke: London Can Take It. However, the war was traumatic and the effect on London’s citizens and buildings has been somewhat hidden behind an image of the Dunkirk spirit. It did, however, produce a number of visionary schemes to re-shape the city to better suit the modern world.

28
Nov
2018
Walk

The walk will be within The City

09
Jan
2019
Lecture Building a Better Tomorrow: The Festival Style

The shock of the second war had repercussions in a variety of ways: it brought the end of Empire, the beginning of mass immigration and optimistic new social institutions, such as the NHS. This optimism, nurtured in a time of rationing, is best summarised by the 1951 Festival of Britain.

16
Jan
2019
Walk

The walk will be on The South Bank around The Festival Hall

23
Jan
2019
Lecture Designs for Living

In the longer post-war period a tougher future emerged. Britain confronted the loss of its historic pre-eminence by trying to embrace the ‘White Heat of Technology’ (London was briefly swinging) before the 1970s brought a new sense of realism about the city’s place in the world.

30
Jan
2019
Walk

The walk will be at the western edge of The City and the Barbican

06
Feb
2019
Lecture The New Historicisms

The last quarter of the 20th century was among the more paradoxical periods in the city’s history. Run by a left-wing council, many images of the city projected to the world were of highly traditional events: The Silver Jubilee, the Marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The transformations of the fabric of the city could be equally paradoxical: modernity in a (partly) traditional dress.

13
Feb
2019
Walk

The walk will be within Pimlico

20
Feb
2019
Lecture The Big Bang

In one field the transformation of the economic life of the city was explosive. The City of London abandoned the traditional trappings of the banking industry and adopted a brash new persona and once again it was transformed by a wave of new buildings, including an extraordinary extension into what was once London’s docklands.

27
Feb
2019
Walk

The walk will be within Canary Wharf

06
Mar
2019
Lecture Millenial Fever

The approach of a new millennium, and the appearance of the heritage lottery fund, which started in 1994, transformed the face of London, turning previously unregarded areas into cultural centres and paving the way for the rapid changes in the social character of many areas of London which are continuing to this day.

13
Mar
2019
Walk

The walk will be in Greenwich