Gimme Shelter

6.30pm Thursday March 31st 2016
Westminster Arts Library
35 St Martins Street
London WC1

Admission: £6 / £8.50 IN ADVANCE

Each ticket includes the 'social benefit' of Hendricks Gin Punch

From the Peabody flat to the Trellick Tower, affordable public accommodation has been a fundamental feature of London’s topography and architecture. 

It seemed one of the great social advances of the last century, but in these febrile days of privatisation, desperate demand, dizzying property prices and high-rise rents, what does Social Housing mean? Who deserves it? Can it survive?  

BBC journalist BRIAN WHEELER and social historian JOHN BOUGHTON investigate.

A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.

In 2013, John Boughton created the online archive Municipal Dreams to celebrate the efforts and achievements of London's municipal reformers. Since then he has curated an extraordianry series of illustrated articles recording the capital’s social housing. John will join us to provide a chronological history of London council housing from the 1890s to the 1970s, seeking to celebrate its achievements and understand its failures. 

From Lloyd George's promise of "homes fit for heroes" to Margaret Thatcher's dream of a property-owning democracy, housing has been at the centre of British politics for more than a century. But Labour voters lived in council houses, Tories owned their own homes.  BBC political journalist Brian Wheeler charts the revolution initiated by the "right to buy” scheme begun in the early 1970s, its explosion in the 1980s and the subsequent property booms, credit crunches and social changes which have seen London property prices, rents and demand massively escalate whilst its social housing stock has been decimated.

John Boughton is a social historian and author of the blog Municipal Dreams – a celebration of the pioneering reforms of local government with a particular focus on social housing. He has given many talks on the topic to a range of audiences including two contributions to the South Bank’s Changing Britain festival in April 2015.  His book on the social and political history of council housing will be published next year.

Brian Wheeler is a senior political and broadcast journalist at the BBC

SALON FOR THE CITY is an ANTIQUE BEAT production in association with HENDRICKS GIN