Architecture – July & August meetings

We meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 2pm in the Lounge at the Congregational Church.  In July we spent a fascinating afternoon with Colin and Dudley looking at architecture in London under the enigmatic title ‘London Unrealised and Exhausted’.  Colin talked to us about some of the great projects to develop areas of London – The Palace of Whitehall (Henry VIII and Inigo Jones), Wren’s plans to rebuild London after the Great Fire and, more recently, the re-development of Soho and Covent Garden.  All schemes that did not come to fruition!  Then there were numerous towers – the Metropolitan Sepulchre in Primrose Hill (19th century) designed to cater for the shortage of burial space in the London area.  It was a huge pyramid, 90 storeys high and capable of holding the bodies of five million people.  A proposed Tower in Wembley Park (1892/3) to emulate the Eiffel Tower in Paris and more recently the Green Bird Tower (1990s) in Battersea.  None of these were built, though the Wembley Tower was part built.  Dudley then talked about three London stations which were built and were operational but no longer exist – though remains can still be seen.  The first of these was the London Necropolis Station built on a branch line close to Waterloo and designed to transport mourners and coffins to a cemetery outside of London at Brooklands, Surrey – at that time the largest cemetery in the world.  The second was Spa Road Station close to London Bridge in Tooley Street which was the original London terminus (1836) of the London and Greenwich Railway before it was extended to London Bridge.  It was a completely elevated railway and the arches can still be seen.  The third station was the Crystal Palace (Low Level) station built to carry tourists to the Crystal Palace after it was relocated to Penge Common, Sydenham.
A full programme of our talks for 2017 can be found here on the SLU3A website.  At our meeting on Tuesday, 22nd August, Trish will talk to us about ‘The Architecture of Model Communities built by Philanthropists.’  New members are always very welcome.  Please contact me if you are interested in joining the group.  Peter Ellement.