A Walk through London’s history

The first Penny Lecture of the academic year took place last Friday 18 September and saw us welcome over 100 guests to a packed Emma Cons Hall to hear Professor Tony Travers deliver a fascinating talk celebrating the 50 year history of the London Boroughs.

Professor Travers took us much further back in time, charting the history of the city from the Roman period, selecting London as a settlement due to its proximity to the sea. We then moved into the twentieth century with the formation of the boroughs and the Greater London Council (GLC), and its turbulent history. Professor Travers touched on several issues including housing within the city and what effect of transport links play, as well as presenting arguments for and against the role of an elected mayor and the division of responsibility between the need of central control of transport in London and local boroughs responsibility for infrastructure, education, waste etc.

The lecture was followed by a lively Q&A with several enthusiastic members of the audience posing questions including one relating to the history of Lambeth and whether the borough stands out in any way. Professor Travers said that Brixton in particular stands out, especially in relation to Black history in the UK.

This lecture forms part of the College’s 125th anniversary celebrations and is one of a series of lectures that have taken place this year. Other speakers include the Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, feminist writer Caroline Criado-Perez and Guerrilla Gardener Richard Reynolds.

Our next Penny Lecture, Creativity and Mental Liberation, will take place on Friday 23 October with Sarah Wheeler, founder of Mental Fight Club; Dolly Sen, writer, film-maker and mental health consultant and Bobby Baker, artist and author.

The first Penny Lecture of the academic year took place last Friday 18 September and saw us welcome over 100 guests to a packed Emma Cons Hall to hear Professor Tony Travers deliver a fascinating talk celebrating the 50 year history of the London Bor


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