The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Vilnius Parliament Building, Photo © Cela Selley 2018

C20 Events in 2018

In 2018 the C20 events programme comprised 51 events.  This was five more than last year, but just one elusive event short of an event for each week in the year.  Let’s see what we can do in 2019!

As always, we started the year with our Members’ Travels and C20 Events ‘slide shows’. Our Spring lecture series then began a theme of collaborations in 2018.  With the Ocean Liner exhibition at the V&A and “Rhythm and Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain” at 2 Temple Place we decided that “Polishing up the Jazz Age” was fitting.  Amongst other excellent lectures we were fortunate to have Ghislaine Wood, curator of the V&A exhibition, talk on how that exhibition was put together.  Our Autumn lecture series has concentrated on C21 authors on C20 architects, with lectures by the authors of a number of our series of monographs.

To continue the theme, we worked with Art & Christianity on two lectures in April, looking at women church artists and letter carving. We are continuing to work with them and on 30th April 2019 there will be a conference to explore the work of embroiderer Beryl Dean. C20 covers both architecture and design, and exploring important 20th century textiles and the issues regarding their conservation is relevant to our remit. In 2018 we also had a successful event working in conjunction with the London Society with a tour of town halls by Routemaster bus. A Routemaster also took us on a tour of London’s Top Borough – Enfield.

Coaches took us to Compton Verney and Warwick University to view exhibitions of works by Piper and Ravilious, and around superstructures in East Anglia – both days expertly led by Alan Powers. And smaller coaches took 40 people around Thamesmead. This was led by Thaddeus Zupancic, who had fortuitously joined C20 just when we were investigating the possibility of a tour to Ljubljana. Thaddeus led that tour, which was the first of our two fully-booked European tours in 2018.  The second was to Vilnius & Kaunas, led by Joyce Glasser. Both were excellent trips to lesser known European cities and gave C20 members an insight not just into their C20 architecture but also their history.

Thanks go to C20’s regional groups for putting together weekend trips around Leeds, Newquay, a day visiting Jodrell Bank and an unlisted church in Crewe by Maguire & Murray (Building of the Month December 2018), and a walk around the Smithsons’ Bath. In addition, there were many other local events organised by our Regional Groups.

There were walks around various parts of London and two tours by bike, a repeat of PoMo on Pedals by Elain Harwood, and a Span tour by new tour leader Jack Head. Jack will be guiding us – on foot – around Span Blackheath in 2019. Thanks also to John Goodier for his expertly researched tours of lesser known London suburbs: 2018 saw us in Chingford, and 2019 promises Merton and Morden.

In 2018 we welcomed many new event leaders to the programme. Not including lecturers, nine of our event leaders this year were new volunteers. I’m assured that all enjoyed the experience and, after a short rest, are happy to organise more C20 events.  Perhaps you also have the germ of an event in mind? If so please get in touch. We can advise and find volunteers to help either with research or admin.

I would like to thank all those event leaders I haven’t mentioned and also those who write up the events, either for the magazine or the website. This adds to the C20 archive which can be used for research for future events, and often allows those unable to attend to repeat the event for themselves.

Again, I’d like to emphasize that the events programme is run by members, for members.  Without the commitment and enthusiasm of fellow C20 members we wouldn’t be able to put together such a varied, exciting and informative programme and could not continue to fund our casework or to campaign to protect buildings of the 20th and, going forward, the 21st century.  Our events programme aims to be wide-ranging and diverse, to appeal to new members just beginning to explore an interest in c20 architecture and design, as well as providing something new for longstanding c20 ‘eventeers’.  If you haven’t yet been on a C20 event please join us in 2019.

Cela Selley
C20 Trustee and Honorary Events Secretary


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