Lost London

2 01 2010

Lost London, buried London, hidden London, destroyed London… this is a theme I have been thinking about after finding out about an upcoming exhibition at Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath.

“Lost London 1870-1945” Saturday 23 January – Monday 5 April 2010, Entry Free

An exhibition of almost 100 images, many never seen before, to accompany the release of a new book from Transatlantic Publishing with English Heritage, “Lost London 1870 – 1945”.

Telling the story of the lost buildings and streets of London, this exhibition explores why some streets remain yet others have long disappeared from view. Accompanying the images will be two huge wooden Bell Jacks that survive from the bell tower of the long demolished Columbia Market. Depicting a world in transition, from the coaching inns and horse drawn city of the late Victorian age and through the 1920s and 30s to wartime devastation, the book and exhibition provide a unique opportunity to rediscover a “Lost London”.

If you haven’t visited Hampstead Heath or Kenwood House, you definitely must, for the views over London, for the historic house and galleries, a walk in the park, swim in the ponds, picnic (a FiLo picnic in the summer perhaps?)

Lost London… what about London’s Lost Rivers?

The easiest pub quiz question in the world: name a river that flows through London. Answer: the Thames. A somewhat more difficult question: name another river that flows through London. A few might know of the river Lee (or Lea) that springs near Leagrave in Bedfordshire and joins the Thames at Leamouth in the London borough of Tower Hamlets. But how about: name a third river that flows through London? And a fourth, a fifth, a sixth?

London’s Lost Underground Stations?

Then of course there is disappearing London, which was the name of a TV show featuring Suggs, of Londonophile band Madness. I missed the show, but it focused on London Institutions such as telephone boxes, lidos, turkish baths, pubs, caffs, old shops and cinemas which are under threat. You can find some interesting information about some of these places on this website and here or look at the programme’s website.

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