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TALK: Mark Gorman: 'Down With the Fences!'

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Popular Protest and Open Space Preservation in Victorian London.

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The extraordinary growth of London in the Victorian age swallowed up huge areas of green space. Fields, commons and woods – the leisure spaces for ordinary Londoners – were built over at an unprecedented rate. Across east London, much loved and heavily used open spaces like Epping Forest and Hackney Downs were under threat, and local campaigns were started to save 'the people's playgrounds'. The story of these struggles usually concentrates on the actions of middle class 'respectable' campaigners, while the key role played by ordinary Londoners has been forgotten. This is their story.

Mark Gorman lives and works in east London, on the edge of Epping Forest, where he has been able to foster his twin passions for local history and the environment. Living close to Wanstead Flats, his interest in this subject was spurred by his researches into how the space was saved from development by the organised protest of local people.

In 2018 Mark was awarded a PhD for his study of popular protest and open space in Victorian London. This talk is based on his research, which he has since developed as a book, "Saving the People's Forest", to be published this spring.

The event will take place on YouTube. If you register (it's free), we'll send you a link a couple of days before the event. Whilst you do not need to log-in to YouTube (with a Google Account) to view the talk, if you wish to use the online chat facility to type questions on the night, you will need to be logged-in to YouTube with a Google account. Alternatively, if you have a question ahead of the event, please email us at events@hackneysociety.org.


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