An Underground Guide to Historical London
On 3 October 2019 our members were entertained by Nick Dobson, a local professional lecturer, who has a vast range of subjects in his catalogue. On this occasion his subject was ‘An Underground Guide to Historical London’. The story began with Monument station. The Monument itself, designed by Christopher Wren, signifies the starting position of the Great Fire which began in a bakery in Pudding Lane in 1666. The fire caused utter devastation in the City, thousands of deaths, and ruined vast numbers of churches, livery company premises and complete streets of housing.
Using stations in London as important areas, Nick selected several including Leicester Square where he showed paintings of the original area which was very up market in the 18th century (but declined in stature with the massive expansion of London’s population). He then moved to Charing Cross and this led to Nelson’s Column and its associated war against Napoleon including the battle of Trafalgar. Moving on in time, Nick mentioned Embankment Station obliquely opposite the site of Cleopatra’s Needle, South Woodford with its links to Winston Churchill and lesser known stations such as Chigwell and Hainault. Nick’s talk was expertly illustrated with striking pictures of London past and present which made the presentation a truly memorable occasion.