Fascinating evolution of London’s West End explored in online talk – now available to watch

On the evening of Monday March 1st, the Streatham Society hosted a very interesting online talk by Professor Rohan McWilliams entitled “London’s West End: Creating the Pleasure District, 1800-1914” 

Detailing the evolution of the area as a shopping and entertainment destination, there were a number of fascinating changes which the area went through in the nineteenth century to become an early version of what we still recognise today as the West End.

I was surprised to hear that one of the most important developments were the provision of ladies’ lavatories. Something that the West End theatres could certainly still do with a lot more of, over a century later!

We also learned where the colonnades which originally lined Regent Street were removed to – and why they had to be removed in the first place!

Fascinating glimpses of an evolution which embraced panoramas, music halls, and so much more, this was an enlightening way to spend an hour.

You can enjoy a recording of the talk which is now available here  

Thanks to the Streatham Society for yet another interesting talk.


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