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#topsoc - the wonderful London Topographic Society
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Tim Lund

Posts: 255
Joined: Apr 2008

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Post: #1
09-07-2014 07:39 AM

Every year, round about this time, the time of its AGM, I find myself posting something about the wonderful London Topographic Society

This year's AGM was yesterday, and the beautifully printed new publication members perused as we admired the restored interior of the Mansion House was an appreciation of London written in 1578, and never published until now. It was written by a French speaking visitor to London, a protestant with family in business here, whose roots probably went back to Spain. Thanks to recent anti-Protestant atrocities in Paris (1572) and Antwerp (1576), it was virulently - doubtless unfairly - anti-catholic, which made it somewhat ironic that the manuscript survives thanks to the Vatican Library, having passed through the ownership of Queen Christiana of Sweden.

I guess there are three reasons for posting about this now:

  1. To say that anyone who's interested in London, especially of old maps, should join. £20 a year gets you publications such as this, a newsletter and an opportunity to visit buildings not normally accessible to the public at the AGM. For more details, browse the site; it's fantastic value for money.
  2. To continue a brief discussion I had with the Secretary after the AGM about how London Topographic Society could use current social media. This would only be peripheral to their activities, since many of their members will not be comfortable with forums such as this, twitter, etc., but I at least find myself wanting to pursue lines of thought triggered by what I read thanks to my membership. In previous years I've wondered whether a London history Forum could work, but it would require good moderation, and finding good moderators is not easy, and it wouldn't be reasonable to expect the society to find one itself. But since I've used Twitter more myself, I wonder now whether it would be possible to get members who do write things on line related to the society, or of likely interest to it, to tweet links to what they write using a hashtag - such as #topsoc, and that the society itself start tweeting with @topsoc - or something like that if, that is taken. I'll shortly be emailing the secretary with a link to this post, but any thoughts from posters would be welcome too.
  3. To develop some specific thoughts of my own arising from this year's publication, which in a way which proper historians will be a bit sniffy about, I immediately relate to current concerns. So in this case, when I read an economic / political migrant to London writing about, and trying as best he could to put numbers to the increasing density of London, and the pattern of development beyond the city walls, I cannot but think of what is happening today, described as agglomeration, and wondering what the similarities and difference were between what happened then, and what happens now, such as I go on about on numerous other threads, most recently yesterday on the Sydenham Town Forum with "build the homes London needs" - where?

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Posts: 557
Joined: May 2010

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Post: #2
09-07-2014 08:30 PM

It is so very there a limit to the number of special interest societies a chap can belong to I wonder.

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