In his last Unfinished London video, Jay Foreman looked at why London has so many airports. In Unfinished London - Episode 3 (Part 2) above, he looks at what the future may hold for London's airports given the crazy situation we find ourselves in.
Heathrow expansion, Boris island (which could cost more than £100k) and the frankenstein of Heathwick are all given a look. However, at the end of the day we may not know what the right solution should have been for another 30 years or even if we needed to do anything at all.
What do you think we should do? Or do we need to do anything at all?
The Empire Windrush arrived in the "mother country" 66 years ago today
The really important historical trends that shape our lives, such as technological, economic and social change, usually happen at such a gradual pace that we tend not to notice them on a daily basis. Yet in the long run, they often have a more profound impact than any singular event.
Nevertheless, humans seem to have a need to point to an event and say, "That's when everything changed." This despite the fact that the event in question may not have seemed all that important at the time.
Take for example the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush to Tillbury on June 22nd, 1948. The boat carried 492 people from the West Indies who were actively encouraged by the British Government of the time, to come to the "mother country" to help fill labour shortages that existed after World War 2.
It is now widely seen as the the event that symbolizes the beginning of mass, non-white immigration to the UK.
However, at the time - as the British Pathé clip below shows - it was seen as less important than the arrival of Ingrid Bergman and Alfred Hitchcock at Heathrow to film the now largely forgotten Under Capricorn.
Skip to 0:47 for the arrival of the Windrush
The video mentions a few interesting things, such as: the fact that the arrivals are mostly ex-servicemen, that they know England (aka the "mother country") well, and that the Colonial office had to be prodded into giving them a cordial reception.
Yet, the true highlight is the king of calypso, Lord Kitchener singing: "London is the place for me ... I'm glad to know my mother country." Ultimately, Lord Kitchener would return to Trinidad in 1962, but the majority of those who came on the Windrush stayed in Britain.
Today over 1/3rd of Londoners were born outside the UK and over 40% classify themselves as non-White. This makes London one of the world's most multicultural cities and is arguably it's greatest strength. You can't call yourself a global city if you don't have a significant number of representatives from all over the globe living in it.
Yet, the road from there to here has not always been a smooth one. The 1958 Notting Hill and 1981 Brixton Riots are but two examples of the racial tensions that to some extent still exist in London today.
These tensions were in evidence right from the moment the first workers from the Windrush set down on British soil. While they were invited to come to work in the UK with promises of being part of the British colonial family - they faced discrimination from a local population that was often hostile to their arrival.
London Underground and British Rail are often held up as two of the model employers in the story of immigration to the UK, because they provided many of the first jobs to the new arrivals from the West Indies. Yet, here again the story is a little more complex.
While it's undeniable that both organisations did provide employment, it was not always a smooth process. Blacks were mostly given the least desirable jobs and that was if they could get them.
This 1956 clip from the BBC's Panorama shows just how much of an up hill struggle most new immigrants faced in London.
Given the treatment they received, I find it amazing that they decided to stay at all. Fortunately, they and waves of immigrants from all over the world since have. London would be a much worse place if they hadn't.
While the Jubilee line may be the youngest, even it has its fair share of secrets. Geoff Marshall shares just a few of the line's secrets such as the Tube's most pointless waiting room, where to find a Beatles themed coffee shop, the secret platforms at Charing Cross, the hidden entrance to the Houses of Parliament, and the cinema inside a tube station.
And if you enjoyed that one there's even more videos:
After a 3 year hiatus, Jay Foreman's back with his 3rd Unfinished London video. In his latest installment he explains why London has more airports than any other city in the world. Why does London have 6 international airports? New York and Tokyo, which are much bigger than London, seem to manage just fine with only 2 each.
Well it all comes down to money, forward planning, not forward enough planning and semantics as to what actually counts as a "London" airport. Watch the entertaining and informative video above to learn all about how these forces created the crazy airport landscape we see in London today.
And in case you can't name London's 6 international from memory here they are in order of how many passengers they carry each year (numbers from 2013):
The video above animates London's amazing growth over the last 2,000 years. See what sites from each of the city's most important periods are now listed or in some other way protected. For example, did you know that there are more listed buildings from the Georgian period than any other before or since?
Officially titled The London Evolution Animation it was:
The London Evolution Animation (LEA) shows the historical development of London from Roman times to today, using georeferenced road network data brought together for the first time. The animation also visualizes (as enlarging yellow points) the position and number of statutorily protected buildings and structures built during each period.
Do you have a favourite period in London's history? If so let me know below:
I suspect most regular readers of this blog have ridden on the new S-stock trains that have debuted on the Metropolitan, Circle, Hammersmith & City & District lines over the past 8 months.
Former Conservative Party politician and unashamedly passionate rail aficionado Michael Portillo explains a few of the key benefits of the upgrade using his distinctive style in the video below: Continue Reading →
While, I normally try to keep this blog focused on things related to London, every so often I like to feature stories that are just a little bit random and/or a little bit crazy. For example, watch the Longest Way Below: Continue Reading →
The video above shows what Dalston and Hackney looked liked in the late 70s and early 80s before gentrification came. I found the video from reddit user PalestraPilgrim who commented that:
As you can tell from the video, the area was really deprived but at the same time I think people were also a lot more united and organised in their communities. It was a place that celebrated diversity as something to defend and be proud of. This attracted a lot of the left-wing radicals that eventually settled and formed communities in Hackney as well, such as the crusties, anarchists, activists, socialists, squatters, etc.