Architecture Reports

2017/18 Annual report

We have had a mixed year with some meetings being really well attended and others  not quite so well attended.  School holidays seem to have a really detrimental effect on numbers in our group. Also,  I find that members are  leading even more active lives with more holidays etc. (inc. myself)  which also affects attendance.  That said, we all do enjoy our meetings.

With an interesting subject like Architecture (and the Social History of Buildings) there is always plenty to talk about.  This year we have discussed, Bridges, Industrial Buildings, Richard Rogers and so on,  so a varied programme.

Our Xmas social went well. We had guests to our bring a plate and Graham Dives very kindly brought along his Bracknell film for us to view.

17th April 2018 - London  Wapping Walk

This was a joint outing with members of the Arcitect and Out and About groups. 25 members went up to London for a blue badge guided walk with Sally Botwright.  This  walk was around Wapping, an area many of us didn't know that well. We started at Tower Hill then wended our way to the Prospect of Whitby pub, by way of St Katherines dock and Wapping High Street.

We saw roman walls, brutalistic architecture (Prince Charle's bete noir), a few very ugly modern buildings that should not have been allowed, and many warehouses, now converted into non-affordable ( not by me anyway) luxury flats.

As a special treat, I phoned the Queen the day before and arranged for the Royal Barge, Gloriana to not only be in St. Katherine's dock at the right time,  but to sail right past us and through the lock into the Thames.  I had also arranged some good weather for the walk, as it was dry, partly sunny and not too hot. Just right for walking.

By the way, a special thanks to those members who send me an e mail to say thank you for arranging the walk, they had had a good time. It is always nice to know that members have enjoyed the treat.
1st July 2015 - King's Cross & St. Pancras Stations.
The hottest day of the year and what are the Architect Group doing?. Going on a guided tour round St. and Kings Cross station, with beautiful cathedral like roofs made of glass!
The tour was great, This part of London is being updated  and it's really paying off. It is now a really attractive place to visit, even if not catching a train!

Our thanks go to John Betjeman who stopped St. Pancras being pulled down and replaced.  There is a statue of him in the station.  One of those statutesthat make you want to touch it.    I think the whole group were very impressed with the way the old and the new had bee made to complement each other, instead of  making one flinch with distaste.  I'm not saying it's all a success, but the actual architecture of the modernisation and restoration of the 2 stations themselves and how they have been melded together is very effective.

Our guide was very knowledgeable and was able to tell us many stories about the station and about the St. Pancras Hotel.  The hotel was designed by Gilbert Scott. Instead of central heating each room had a fireplace. Instead of en suite facilities, it was designed so that baths could be wheeled into the room.  Instead of loos there was porcelain chamber pots.  The hotel lasted 60 years, but it's surprising it lasted that long, considering the army of servants needed to light fires, fill baths with hot water and empty chamber pots!  However, it is now restored - with bathrooms at long last, and the best rooms are £4k per night.