You might think that ‘party season’ is a relatively modern idea, and that before, say, 1988, everyone just sat indoors or the pub smoking fags, listening to the radio and slowly becoming more right-wing. NOT SO. A talk on December 9 at the Bishopsgate Institute looks at a century and a half of Londoners preparing, enjoying and emerging from big nights out.
Back in the eighteenth century, London’s notorious pleasure gardens along the Thames were permanent locations for vice, boozing and raving (possibly literally). But it was really in the nineteenth century that urban entertainment events really took off – dances, balls, subscription dinners, ‘gentlemen’s excuse mes’ (a kind of speed-dating) and other stuff.
In ‘A Big Night Out in London (1880s-1960s)’, social historian Dr Michelle Johansen, a specialist in modern London, will look through the evolving identity of going out in the city, since the dawn of photography. Here are a few images from her presentation.
‘A Big Night Out in London (1880s-1960s)’, Bishopsgate Institute. Dec 9, 7pm. £18, £13 concs.