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.
The walk will remain within Whitehall and surrounding streets
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.
The walk will remain within Fitzrovia
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.
The walk will be in Bloomsbury
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.
The walk will be within Hampstead
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.
The walk will be within The City
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.
The walk will be on The South Bank around The Festival Hall
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.
The walk will be at the western edge of The City and the Barbican
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.
The walk will be within Pimlico
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.
The walk will be within Canary Wharf
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.
The walk will be in Greenwich