As our first full calendar year in existence draws to a close, here are some of the highlights enjoyed by our Members, other friends, but in particular, by me. Writing up this blog is certainly one of them, and I’d like to thank all of you who have read and commented.
It was only when I sat down to make a list of what we’ve done this year that it dawned on me quite how much we have been up to. Loads. I have tried to be as brief as possible by listing and linking if you’d like to revisit some of this stuff. I have almost certainly forgotten to include some items, but here’s a summary of what I remember, and thanks to all who supported us.
London Historians launch party at the Georgian Group
Our tour of Acton Depot
Our guided tour of Maida Vale with London Walks
Our guided walk along the Embankment with Thames expert Brian Cookson
John Stow Memorial Service at St Andrew Undershaft
Guided Tour of Clerkenwell with London Walks
A day out in Bath organised and hosted by our members in the South West
St John’s Gate with Blue Badge Guide Andy Rashleigh
Tour of Hawksmoor Churches
History in the Pub I and History in the Pub II
Guided Tour of Kensal Green Cemetery and its catacombs
Stones of London talk at London History Festival with Nigel Jones and Leo Hollis
Chiswick Tour: Hogarth’s House and Chiswick House
Ghost station tour of Aldwych Station
Art in the City: Our final tour of the year around the City of London and a visit to the Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheatre
Here are a selection of pictures from London Historians events this year. They focus on people rather than historic sites and monuments. For those, please click on the links as listed above.
Monthly Pub Meet May – December.
We meet on the first Wednesday of each month. We started with the venerable Olde Cheshire Cheese in Fleet Street. This was fine early days when there were about half a dozen attendees, but as the party grew, there was just too much echo in there for good conversation. So for one month we gave the wonderful Princess Louise in Holborn a go. But like “the Cheese”, it gets extremely crowded, altogether too noisy for comfort. For November and December, we used The Windsor Castle in Francis Street, SW1. By this time our group had grown to over twenty. They have given us the upstairs section for exclusive London Historians use: its perfect for us. So from Wednesday, 4 January 2012 and until further notice, you’ll find the London Historians there.
Many congratulations to members who had books published this year. Melanie Backe-Hansen, Emily Brand, Essie Fox, Kate Colquhoun, Mathew Lyons, Leo Hollis, David Long, Nigel Jones, Mark Mason, Mike Rendell and Samantha Bird. Looking forward to books coming out in 2012 (that I know about) by Essie Fox, Lucy Inglis, Ade Teal, David Long, Jerry White, Sarah Whittingham.
Mentioned in Despatches
So many people have contributed to our success this year, I rue that I cannot list them all. However, there is a coterie of individuals whose steadfast support has been invaluable to me personally and I must name them publicly: Pete Berthoud, Matt Brown, Caroline Derry, Jo Moncrieff, Fiona Pretorius, Peter Stone, Jane Young.
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
We have made many friends – members and non-members alike – through these forums. At time of writing we have over 4,500 followers on Twitter, 467 Friends on Facebook and I’m on LinkedIn as myself but with lots of history and heritage connections. We tweet as @LondonHistorian. If you’re not connected to us yet on any of these, please feel free to hook up!
London Historians Newsletter
I have really enjoyed compiling this every month. I’d like to thank the following for providing superb and stimulating articles: Patrick Baty, Samantha Bird, Victoria Buckley, Brian Cookson, Stephen Halliday, Tracey Hill, Leo Hollis, Ursula Jeffries, David Long, Mathew Lyons, Mark Mason, Mike Rendell, Martin Sach, Peter Stone, Tom Sykes, Martin Thompson, Adrian Tinniswood.
Thanks too to our members who have entered our competitions and won signed history books. You can look forward to more of the same in 2012.
There will be similar and different things to look forward to next year, only more and even better. We will be developing History in the Pub which has proved to be a big hit. We will be doing more specialised, unusual and occasionally rather wacky guided historic tours in conjunction with qualified guides who are London Historians members – there are now over a dozen, and they’re all brilliant. We’ll continue to build relationships with London’s heritage institutions to organise special visits and negotiate member discounts. We’ll work with members to promote their projects.
We now have just over 250 members. My biggest pleasure this year is to have made so many new friends, but more than this – much more than this – is the knowledge that through London Historians, many of our members have made friends with each other and in many cases work with one another in mutual support on various projects. This is how I wanted London Historians to be, this is what it is for. Long may it continue.