A new tranche of entries in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is published today. I’m honoured that it includes my entry on architect Leslie Green, who designed over 50 Tube stations at the beginning of the 20C. Other Londoners included in this release are listed below, including the chap who gave us the Routemaster bus, Albert Durrant. I shan’t link them because you need a subscription to the DNB or access by virtue of membership to one of a selection of local libraries (I highly recommend you investigate this).
Albert Durrant (1898-1984), chief engineer for London Transport and designer of the Routemaster bus. Our main theme for May’s update will be people who shaped the history of British motoring, and Durrant fits here and also with your entry on Green. I wrote this entry and attach a copy here (in case it’s of interest).
Maurice Levinson (1911-1984), London taxi driver, known for his books and articles on being a cab driver
John Henry Forshaw (1895-1973), architect, who became head of the LCC architects’ department in 1943 and assisted Patrick Abercrombie in his ‘County of London Plan’ for the redevelopment of the capital. Promoted the ‘Swedish’ over the ‘Corbusian’ model of mass housing post-war.
William Edward Riley (1852-1937), architect who, as superintending architect of the new LCC, oversaw programme of public buildings, including ‘arts and crafts’ style fire stations (like that at Euston), and the development of Aldwych and Kingsway.
Timothy Bennett (1676-1756), cordwainer, and John Lewis (1713-1792), brewer, both of whom are remembered for leading campaigns to re-establish public access in public parks – Bennett in Bushy Park and Lewis in Richmond Park in the 1750s. In both cases public rights had been denied by the monarch or members of the royal family; Bennett and Lewis led popular campaigns which successfully overturned these prohibitions. Both men were subsequently praised as champions of English liberty and are commemorated in their respective parks by walkways and monuments.