London Studies Group
The First Outing to London in May 2019
Two photographs capture the London Studies Group May Outing to Hampstead Village, which lies within the London borough of Camden. The first of them shows the whole group Burgh House, the second of leader Irene, with Wendy, at The Flask – a Young’s Pub near Hampstead Heath. The Village is six kilometres from Trafalgar Square and, until the 17th Century, had been a small community boasting two windmills and a chapel. The discovery of medicinal water changed all that. After an early stop for refreshments at The Flask, the group visited the beautiful Burgh House, which is home to Hampstead Museum, and strolled along a fine Georgian street, Church Row. The group saw places where famous literary and art people had made their homes. It was hilly at times, however we saw Fenton house, the former Mount Vernon Hospital (now rich homes), and even saw the Admiral’s House (inspiration for Mary Poppins by Pamela L Travers). After that it was a visit to St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church built by French refugees escaping the reign of terror from 1789 onwards. After the walk and, with plenty of time for lunch and individual exploration, some of the group made it up to Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath where the views are amazing.
Happy Fifth Birthday - April 2019
Here we are five years old in April and with 38 members.
Currently we are studying aspects of London in the 1930s, an era of great events shaped by world events. This year, we will be visiting Hampstead Village in May and Notting Hill in November .
The Second Outing to London in October 2018
For our latest outing to the city on 5th October we visited Mayfair, named after the May Fair which became too boisterous and was therefore removed to Bow. This area of London, including Shepherds Market (no sheep, as it was the architect’s name) and St James, has been the most prestigious area in which to live and shop. The group walked from Regent Street to the Allies statue of ‘Roosevelt and Churchill’ in Bond Street, passing the Royal Academy and Burlington Arcade. Even the pavements were laid, I guess, for well-heeled folk. Crossing Piccadilly to see St James Palace, the posh shops of St James, the pretty St James Square and along to St James Church, where a market is held outside and some of our members stayed for the free Rachmaninoff piano recital. St James' Church was very badly damaged during WW2 and it was Viscount Southwood who commemorated the courage and fortitude of the people of London, suffered during enemy action, when he paid for the repairs. Weather-wise, it was a lovely day and we returned home safe and sound. See two photographs (right), one of our leader Irene and one of the whole group.
The First Outing to London in 2018 – A Trip to Greenwich
On Friday 4th May, a glorious sunny day, we travelled down to Greenwich, home to THE MERIDIAN, THE CUTTY SARK, THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY, THE NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM, THE OLD ROYAL NAVAL COLLEGE, THE THAMES CABLE CAR and GREENWICH PARK & MARKET. Some of the group toured The Cutty Sark (see photo), while others went up and away over the River Thames on the cable car (see photo). There were also some of the group who sailed up the river, with also a visit to the Church of St Alfege (where General James Wolfe is buried), the church designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1736), a pupil and associate of Sir Christopher Wren (see photo). All of us had a lovely day.
ANNUAL REVIEW 2017
April 2018 will be our 4th anniversary. We currently have 30 members. There are eight presentations each year, which members are encouraged to contribute towards. We have two visits to London per year (see pictures) and currently the group is studying the impact of the First World War from 1914 to 1918 on London. Next year we will be visiting Greenwich and Mayfair. As the group leader, Irene Neil will do all the researches, ably assisted by Wendy Eadon, who undertakes the group’s general administration.
FITZROVIA - VISIT REPORT
On Friday 6th October 2017 the group visited Fitzrovia. That is west of Bloomsbury, north of Oxford Street, the area dominated by the BT Tower. The locality was first developed by Charles Fitzroy, originally built for the upper classes, who soon left and went south-west to Belgravia. Once vacated by those people it became home to some great artists, writers and radical thinkers. These days it keeps its cosmopolitan character, with a diversity of restaurants, pubs, etc. The name Fitzrovia was coined during the 1930s and arose from the link to the pub Fitzroy Tavern and its arty clientele, including Dylan Thomas, Kenneth Williams, etc.
THREE MILLS ISLAND - VISIT REPORT
On 5th May 2017 we set off, leaving a sunny Brixworth and arriving at Bow, in East London, to a chilly breeze by the River Lea. En route, we saw the site of the famous Matchgirls Strike, where 2,000 young women stood up to Bryant and Mays. Also we saw the Gladstone "bloody hands" statue. There have been mills in this part of London since medieval times. Ownership has reflected the changing politics of the area. We had a most informative conducted tour, followed by a hearty hot lunch. Coming outside to the park, we could see the Balzagette pumping station, clasping hands statue and Hamish. It was a wonderful day out to a hidden part of London, and nobody fell in the river. So it was a great success. See three photographs (right) taken on the day. Irene Neil
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