Events

Our events are open to all unless specified and we hope non-Members will enjoy our programme and join the Society.  

Our virtual talks are £7 per Member/device and £10 per non-Members/device

 

Please book via our Eventbrite page   CLICK HERE

If you do not wish to book online, please contact us and we will be happy to make your booking (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by cheque and post to 10 Old Pye Street, London SW1P 2DG) 
 

2021

Tuesday 2nd February, 6.30pm   The Buildings of Green Park – A Talk via Zoom by Member Andrew Jones   Andrew Jones will be talking about his new book,which was researched and written during the first lockdown of 2020 when the usually peripatetic Piccadilly resident decided to document his travels around Green Park, writing about 65 of its buildings, monuments and structures.

Tuesday 23rd February, 6.30pm    'Where is Thorney Island ?’ - A Talk via Zoom by Member Victor Keegan The area arguably boasts the densest concentration of 'history' in the UK. Victor, historian and author of “Vic Keegan’s Lost London”, will lead a virtual walk around the wider outposts of Thorney Island from Westminster Abbey to where the subterranean Tyburn river meets the Thames near Vauxhall Bridge. We will pass the site of the world's biggest piano manufacturer, the place where Oliver Cromwell built a fort to keep out Charles I’s army and lots more. This replaces an in-person walk postponed from last year.

Tuesday 9th March, 6.30pm     'Plague' - A Talk via Zoom by author Julie Anderson, whose acclaimed Westminster-set crime thriller 'Plague', treads the murky banks of the River Tyburn and the plague pits.  She discusses how the layers of history and the unique legal position of the Palace of Westminster inspired her book.

Tuesday 23rd March, 6.30pm     The Restoration of the Queen Anne State Bed - A Talk via Zoom by Member Ian Block  Project Director at master upholsterers A.T. Cronin Workshop, Ian will describe the skilled work involved over 2 years to restore the Queen Anne State Bed at Temple Newsam.  He will also enlighten us on the etiquette of Royal beds.  

Tuesday 6th April, 6.30pm     St Stephen’s Church, Rochester Row - A Talk via Zoom by Member John Turpin  Built in the mid-19th century to reclaim and improve the Devil's Acre, John, who attends St.Stephen’s, will describe the Baroness Burdett-Coutts connection and later developments to the church. This replaces an in-person visit postponed from last year.

Tuesday 27th April, 6.30pm      Rediscovering the Medieval Palace of Westminster - A Talk via Zoom by historian Dr Elizabeth Biggs This talk will explore the story of Westminster before 1512, using the three remaining buildings which have survived fire, bombs and floods. Elizabeth will describe how, all at the same time, it was the King’s most important palace, the home of royal administration and justice, and the meeting-place of Parliament. 

Tuesday 11th May, 6.30pm  In the Shadow of St John's Smith Square - A Talk via Zoom by Member Rosalind Vincent  From wonderful houses to small architectural details, Rosalind, a London guide, will lead us through the quiet little streets around St John's Smith Square, opening our eyes to a treasure trove of riches and often missed details that give this area such charm.
 

Thursday 27th May, 6.30pm  The Royal Aquarium - A Talk via Zoom by Member Victor Keegan   Thehistorian and author of “Vic Keegan’s Lost London” will talk about the rise and fall of an extraordinary entertainment colossus, wrongly named The Royal Aquarium, that stretched fromWestminster Abbey down Tothill Street almost to St James’s Park Station.

Tuesday 29th June, 6.30pm    The Gardens of Westminster Abbey - A Talk via Zoom by Head Gardener and author Jan Pancheri   We will hear about the history of the UK's oldest garden and the main focus of Jan's work; returning the gardens to something closer to the monastic garden of herbs, vegetables, vines and fruit trees.  Jan will describe how particular plants may not have been accessible to medieval gardeners, but look right, and talk about preserving the trees in the gardens.

Tuesday 13th July, 6.30pm        The IncrEDIBLE RHS Collections at the Lindley Library - A Talk via Zoom by RHS Librarian Susan Robin    Specialising in garden history and botanical art, explore how the RHS aimed to support and enrich the commercial growth of food in the UK through defining fruit varieties, funding plant collecting expeditions, collecting horticultural knowledge from both the past and the present, and sharing that knowledge with the nation. Items explored will include the fruit portraits of William Hooker (1815) and the seminal Dig for Victory publication The Vegetable Garden Display’d (1941).  This replaces an in-person visit postponed from last year. 


Thursday 29th July, 6.30pm    'Caring for the Poor & Vulnerable on Thorney Island’ - A Talk via Zoom by Member Michael Marriott Inspired by Lucy Peck’s Newsletter articles on the history of schools in the area, Westminster Guide, Michael Marriott will lead us through the back streets of Thorney Island, describing the social situation of the past and the establishment of the charity schools, hospitals, almshouses, social housing and children’s homes. This replaces an in-person visit postponed from last year.  


Tuesday 9th November, 6.30pm   
The Society's 35th AGM and specialist Talk. Details to follow.

Monday 6th December, 6.30pm    Christmas Party. Details to follow.

2022

Tuesday 3rd May, 12.30pm  SOLD OUT - Westminster/Kingsway College, Vincent Square, SW1P 2PD - Lunch in The Vincent Rooms Restaurant and tour of catering college   We have pleasure in supporting the students studying on the Professional Chefs Diploma and enjoy a 2 course lunch (wine extra) prepared and served by them in their brasserie restaurant. We will have the opportunity to learn about the college, its courses and see behind the scenes in the kitchens and preparation areas. 

Tuesday 14th June, 10.30am   SOLD OUT - Tour of Shepherd’s Bindery and Talk on Antiquarian Books by Anthony Davis - Shepherds Sangorski & Sutcliffe dates back to 1901 and is one of the few large bookbinding companies left in England specialising in fine binding, restoration and conservation.  As well as being given rare access to view their workshop, we have pleasure in hearing a talk from Anthony Davis, member, bibliographer and book collector.


Tuesday 4th October, 3pm    
Visit to RUSI (Royal United Services Institute) Library, 61 Whitehall, SW1A 2ET (Members Only tickets available)   Founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington, RUSI has throughout its almost 190 years remained faithful to its heritage and founding principles to generate rational and free-thinking debate on issues of security and defence. Their historic headquarters are steeped in history, being the old Whitehall Palace. Our tour will include the RUSI Library of Military History, a unique collection of historical and cultural importance. Refreshments available.


(DATE TO BE CONFIRMED) 12 noon    
Curated tour and visit to the Guards Museum followed by the Guards Band Recital in the Guards Chapel.  MEMBERS ONLY.  Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, SW1E 6HQ - Free of Charge.  Booking necessary. The Guards Museum has a wealth of information and artefacts from the long history of the five regiments of the Foot Guards. The tour will include items from the English Civil War, through Waterloo and two World Wars to Iraq and Afghanistan.  Followed by a lunchtime concert featuring one, or a combination, of the Guards Regimental bands in the Chapel at the Wellington Barracks.

 

Recordings of previous talks & events can be viewed on our YouTube channel 3 months after the live event:     

CLICK HERE

 

 


Historian and author, Elizabeth explored the story of Westminster before 1512, using the three remaining buildings which have survived fire, bombs and floods.  She described how, all at the same time, it was the King's most important palace, the home of royal administration and justice, and the meeting-place of Parliament.

During her talk, Elizabeth mentioned the visualisation project of St Stephen's Chapel that she worked on with the University of York.  Please find these extraordinary and beautiful images here:  https://virtualststephens.org.uk

Her book St Stephen's College, Westminster 1348-1548: A Royal Chapel and English Kingship (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2020) is now available in hardback and ebook format   CLICK HERE   Members should contact us for a 40% discount code.

A recording of the talk will be available 3 months after the live event on our YouTube channel.


 

 

Member John Turpin, who attends St Stephen's, described how it was built in the mid-19th century to reclaim and improve the Devil's Acre, the Baroness Burdett-Coutts connection and later developments to the church.  A fascinating talk adapted from a postponed in-person visit.  A recording will be available on our You Tube channel 3 months after the event. 

 

 

Master Upholsterer and Member, Ian Block, shared with us via Zoom, the history of this fine and rare Angel Bed.  Its travels to America to be exhibited in Ford Motor Company Museum, then its journey back to England and its restoration by Ian and his team at A.T. Cronin.  A recording will be available here 3 months after the live talk.  Many thanks to Ian for this wonderful story.

 

Julie is extremely qualified to set her Westminster thriller in the Palace of Westminster and Whitehall having worked in a number of Government Departments.  A self confessed history geek, Julie clearly enjoyed the research she carried out to enable accurate historic references to the banks of the River Tyburn, the plague pits, sewers and more (Reading List below).  During this very enjoyable talk, Julie discussed how the layers of history and the unique legal position of the Palace of Westminster inspired her book. 

Julie also created a self-guided walk to accompany the novel, starting at Bond Street Underground Station and concluding at the Thames on Millbank.

DO YOUR OWN 'PLAGUE' WALK: CLICK HERE

TO PURCHASE THE BOOK: CLICK HERE

JULIE'S BIBLIOGRAPHY / READING LIST FOR 'PLAGUE': CLICK HERE