Archive for the ‘London Historians’ Category


London Historians was founded 10 years ago today. 26th of August 2010. It all began when I discovered there was no group I could join that specifically addressed London History. Since I was ‘between jobs’ at the time, I registered some domains and opened a bank account. We designed a logo and built a rudimentary web site with a Join Us button. And waited. Some close friends became sympathy members early on then one day a person whom I didn’t know – a complete stranger – signed up! We were on our way! 10 years later here we are, 600+ members and growing stronger all the time. Yes, even during Lockdown.

Our Members and friends various have written in with some lovely messages, below. I’ve added some representative pictures, just a few from the 100s of highlights we’ve enjoyed this past decade. A big thank-you to all of you, whether a member, former member, social media follower, reader of this blog, whomever – but most of all, our remarkable 2000-year-old city: London!


London Historians original member card.

I joined on Day 1 and am delighted to find, a decade later, that I’m still keenly in love with London Historians. It’s for anyone who’s mesmerised by London. You might think “Oh, but I’m not qualified. I do love poking around in London’s inumerable lanes and courts, and all that, but I can’t really say I’m an historian. I don’t even know a proper historian”. Well I’d say “Tish and pish. Give it a go!”. At London Historians I’ve met cab drivers, tour guides, lawyers, teachers, artists and people who do unfathomable things with tax returns. All are united in a passion for this great city, and for exploring its nooks and crannies. DO JOIN if you enjoy exploring buildings that most people can’t; lapping up talks on inspirational Londoners; and having conversations that can swing from suffragette heroes to forgotten place names to favourite bollards in the course of three sips. DO NOT JOIN if you hate intellectual stimulation, or want to avoid making a lot of fascinating friends. Congratulations on your decade, London Historians. I look forward to toasting you for the centenary.
Matt Brown — Editor-at-Large of Londonist.com, author of Everything You Know About London is Wrong, and optimist.

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London Historians launch party at the Georgian Group. 15 March 2011.

Culture and heritage are at the heart of London’s unique history. London Historians do a brilliant job bringing these rich stories to life for all of us. Congratulations on your 10th anniversary and thank you for keeping our capital’s history alive for current and future generations.
Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries

As a proud life member of London Historians, I am thrilled to be joining in the 10th anniversary celebrations! London is a dynamic city and London Historians is a leader in making our wonderful history entirely relevant and accessible. From guided walks to insightful talks, fascinating visits to historical attractions and friendly pub meets, London Historians is dedicated to opening up the diversity of our great city’s heritage for everyone.
Amy Lamé, LH Member, Night Czar, Mayor of London’s Office.

Joining London Historians was one of the best things I did on qualifying as a City Guide. To meet so many like-minded people who are passionate about history and particularly their subject, prepared to share knowledge and time as well as good companionship. Looking forward to the next ten years!
Tina Baxter, City of London Guide.

One of the most talked about events in the Georgian Dining Academy portfolio took place on 17th July 2017 – celebrating Handel’s Water Music on a boat on the Thames [see pics further down]. A full orchestra and a stunning crowd of Georgians dressed from wig to pump in style. A night to remember and it would not have happened without London Historians. We are proud to be associated with you.
Miss B & Miss Kitty Pridden, Georgian Dining Academy.


Miss B and Miss Kitty.

Happy 10th birthday to wonderful London Historians, which I fully expect to outlive the ravens at the Tower!
Caroline Shenton, LH Member, Author of The Day Parliament Burned Down and Mr Barry’s War.

shenton not pictured

Dr Caroline Shenton (not pictured) led two of our three visits to the Parliamentary Archives, this one was 2012.

Congratulations to London Historians on their first 10 years of bringing the city’s past into the present with wonderful dedication and conviviality. Bravo.
Stephen Coates, LH Member, director of Salon for the City and London Month of the Dead.

Congratulations on the anniversary. Just what London always needed but (surprisingly) never had before.
Russ Willey, LH member, author of Chambers London Gazetteer and website Hidden London.

Ten years already? Time flies when you’re having fun with London Historians! The newsletter, visits to interesting places, and the annual lecture, are excellent. The monthly gatherings of like-minded individuals are a wonderful way to meet people with a common interest over a pint and make new friends.
Peter Stone, LH Founder Member, author of ‘The History of the Port of London’, www.thehistoryoflondon.co.uk website, and Docklands History Group committee member.

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Peter Stone (right) with author David Long at London Historians launch party, March 2011.

As a Founder Member, from the start I loved the concept of accessible London history – more than the Open-Top-Bus-Tour type London cliches but not quite the dry-as-dust academic research – bringing to life real stories of real Londoners from all walks of life. Great to see that we’ve reached that Decade Milestone – your leadership and strategy have been crucial – keep up the excellent work, guiding and driving it on and let’s capture an even wider, more diverse audience.
Mike Denison, Founder Member London Historians.

Congratulations on ten years at the top of your game! Really enjoyed being a very small part of the journey that has seen London Historians grow and grow. Here’s to the next ten years.
Gary Powell, LH Member, author of Square London , Death Diary and Convicted.

My congratulations on reaching this ten year milestone in the life of London Historians. We have been here for over eight hundred years and it’s nice that at last somebody outside the doom mongering media is taking an interest in Harlesden and Willesden and the rich history of the Borough of Brent, which I am so pleased to be the Dean of. We look forward to your next group visit and in the meantime we enjoy your informative and gently written bulletins and newsletters. Ad multos annos!
Andrew Teather, Dean of Brent


Tour of Harlesden and Willesden with Rev Andrew Teather, Dean of Brent. 22 August 2019.

Joining London Historians was fundamental to my experience of the joys of this glorious city as a student in 2011-2013. A more convivial and interesting bunch of people you could not hope to meet. Bravo, Mike Paterson, and congratulations to London Historians!
Sarah McCabe, Project Manager and Librarian, Ontario Historical Society (Toronto, Canada).

Congratulations to Mike and London Historians on providing all of us who are fascinated by the history of London with a decade of stimulating walks, tours and exciting lectures. Long may it continue!
Prof Elaine Chalus, LH Founder Member, Head of Department, History, University of Liverpool


Prof Elaine Chalus delivered our Annual Lecture at Gresham College, 7 September 2017.

As a proud Founder Member of London Historians, I offer heartfelt and enthusiastic felicitations on this significant anniversary. So ably and devotedly led by Mike Paterson, this first decade has been one of numerous successes: ever-expanding membership, outstanding events, and rising reputation. Here’s to continued achievement in future years!
Margaret Porter, B.A. M.A., Award-winning author of historical and biographical fiction, historian of the Tudor, Stuart, and Georgian eras. One of our USA members.

Margaret Porter, 3rd right, at monthly pub meet-up on one of her London visits from the US. With MGP, Tina Baxter, Diane Burstein.


Congratulations, Mike! A brilliant decade of linking together historians with a love of London’s History.
George Goodwin FRHistS, LH Member, author of Benjamin Franklin in London, Author in Residence at Benjamin Franklin House in London.

george goodwin

George Goodwin talk and tour at Benjamin Franklin House, 17 March 2016.

London Historians offers a lively means of keeping in touch with the world of London history and those who research and create it. Starting from nothing, it has grown into a community of members and has sustained its lively programme through the lockdown. Here’s to the next decade!
Val Bott, LH Founder Member, curator and garden historian

A man or woman who is tired of London Historians is tired of life. London Historians make living in London fun.
David Poyser, LH Member, former Mayor of Islington and Blue Badge Tourist Guide

david poyser orwell

David Poyser led our George Orwell tour, 18 May 2019.

Congratulations to London Historians on their first successful decade. Few organisations have done more to bring the history of this great global city to life. Long may they continue to do so.
Paul Lay, Editor, History Today.

Congratulations on 10 years of London Historians! Looking forward to the next hundred! A wonderful group of people, engaged in a host of fascinating talks, tours, and gatherings. I’m delighted to be a Life member. A great investment! Thanks to London Historians for being such a remarkable addition to our lives.
Prof Sheila Cavanagh, LH Member, Professor of English, Emory University, Atlanta,
Director, World Shakespeare Project. ​


Prof Sheila Cavanagh delivered our Annual Lecture at Gresham College, 8 September 2016.

Happy 10th Birthday to our friends at the London Historians. Your role in promoting London’s rich heritage is to be applauded and membership is recommended to anyone who has a love of the history of our wonderful city. Here’s to the next 10 years.
Directors of Footprints of London.

London historians has been a wonderful resource for Islington guides in the last decade and we look forward to many more fascinating lectures and events organised by Mike.
Oonagh Gay, LH Member, Chair, Clerkenwell & Islington Guides

The Society of Genealogists sends warmest congratulations to the London Historians on its 10th birthday and hopes it continues to support anyone with a passion for London’s history in a convivial atmosphere.
Else Churchill, LH Member, on behalf of the Society of Genealogists.

2020 member card

Finally, this Special Edition member card for 2020-21, 12 months only. Get yours today!

55 broadway2

The roof of 55 Broadway (1929), the Charles Holden classic. We did a tour of the building every year until TfL sold it to a hotel group. This our last one 20 January 2020.


History in the Pub. Our quarterly evening of themed talks, usually hosted by Matt Brown. This one was favourite Londoners, 16 October 2018.

big quiz

The London Historians Big Quiz, inaugurated in 2017 has a huge trophy and handsome prizes. 24 May 2017.

national archives

Behind the scenes tour of the National Archives. 1 May 2012.


Monthly pub meet-up. Every first Wednesday of the month. All are welcome.

Handel's Water Music celebrates 300 years

London, July 17th 2017. London Historians and Georgian Dining Academy celebrate the 300th anniversary of George Frederic Handel’s masterpiece, The Water Music on the pleasure boat Golden Jubilee on the River Thames in London. Image: Paul Davey

Handel's Water Music celebrates 300 years

London, July 17th 2017. Water Music 300. This event deserves two pictures. We hired a baroque ensemble to play live on the exact day and to the hour of the original 300 years previously. Image: Paul Davey.

roger williams whitebait

Roger Williams tribute whitebait supper at the Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich. 27 November 2019.


Government Art Collection. 26 June 2013.

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Jewish East End tour. 18 August 2013.


Coroner’s Court re-enactment. Genuine case in upstairs pub room. With University of Hertfordshire. 2013.

slavery walk

City of London Slavery Tour. 10 October 2013.


Fortnum & Mason, with archivist Andrea Tanner. 1 April 2019.

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