Designing utopia — Norman Shaw & architecture in Bedford Park, 7.30pm 30, September 2021

This is the Bedford Park Society’s Betjeman Lecture, presented online by Nicholas Friend, MA, FRSA.  Buy tickets at £10 (plus booking fee) from TicketSource

The influential architect, Norman Shaw, was appointed Estate Architect of Bedford Park in 1877 early in the development of its unique character. His designs — houses, St Michael & All Angels Church and the Tabard Inn — set the tone for the estate, publicised as a utopia for those of modest means. The speaker will explore Bedford Park’s importance in the Victorian house design revolution, as its architects developed an aesthetic for the world’s first garden suburb.

Nicholas Friend was Founder-Director of the Cambridge University Art History Summer School for 25 years. Since 1986 he has also been Founder-Director of Inscape, the art history study tour society, which has taken its members into the active study of buildings and art galleries all over the world.

The talk including questions will last approximately one hour.


The History of the Great West Road, 7.30pm, 20 September 2021

For the start of our autumn programme, we offer an illustrated talk by James Marshall, Hounslow’s former Local Studies Librarian, who wrote the important 1995 book of the same title. This talk marks the centenary of the start of construction work on the road in 1921.

To book a place at this Zoom talk, please email

Your details will be added to the list of participants and the Zoom link will be emailed to you a day before the event. We have 100 places available, so if your plans change and you won’t be attending, please let us know beforehand. Then, if we have a waiting list, we can re-allocate your place.

Gunnersbury Park: the Place and the People, 6.30-7.30pm, 16 September 2021

This online talk is promoted jointly by Gunnersbury Park Museum and the Friends of Gunnersbury Park & Museum.

Val Bott and James Wisdom will present the story of the estate, which they recounted in their book of the same title, issued by Scala Publications in 2018 for the re-opening of the Museum after refurbishment. Their research revealed beautiful prints, drawings and photos from the Museum’s own collection, from the Rothschild Archive in London, from museums and galleries and from private collections and these will be shared in the talk.

Tickets cost £10 per person and should be booked in advance through the Museum website
Copies of the Scala book are available on the Society’s bookshop page and from the Museum at £6.95

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