Home » Christian Wolmar
TICKETS AVAILABLE ON THE DOOR
This talk illustrated with over 50 images will focus on celebrating the fantastic achievement of the Underground’s pioneers who created a transport system that was not only unique in the world but also was vital in creating the London we know today. The development of the Tube was a great engineering achievement, but also responsible for stimulating the development of London as a city. The Tube allowed people to traverse the city in a way which would be impossible by any form of surface transport, and became a global icon of the city, in terms of its roundel ‘logo’, map design, station architecture, and also for its transport model, which in the 1930s became envied and studied around the world. After the war, London Transport changed the demography of the capital by recruiting directly in the Caribbean and Africa for cheap labour to run the Tube and buses at a time of full employment among the native population. Taken together, it is no exaggeration to say that the Underground helped build the London we know today.
Londoners seem to have a love-hate relationship with the tube - it is able to infuriate and enchant them in equal measure. To visitors it is both iconic and perplexing. Currently it is undergoing massive change with a hugely ambitious investment and renewal programme. At the same time it faces significant challenges – a burgeoning London population, rising demand and prices, combative industrial relations and the small matter of the 2012 Olympics. Will the renewal succeed and will the challenges be overcome? Is the tube going to get better or worse over the next decade? Will it still be of importance to London’s future, or should we all start getting on our bikes now?
Christian Wolmar (Speaker)
Christian is a writer and broadcaster specialising in transport matters. He has worked as a journalist for most of his career and now writes for a variety of national and specialist publications. He is the author of a series of railway history books including The Subterranean Railway, which is a history of the London Underground and most recently, Engines of War, about how wars were won and lost on the railways. He speaks regularly at conferences and appears frequently on TV and radio as a pundit.
Theresa Villiers MP (Minister of State for Transport)
Mrs Villiers grew up in North London. She studied Law at the University of Bristol and later at Jesus College, Oxford. After graduating she worked as a barrister and a lecturer in law at King’s College, London. From 1999 to 2005 she served as an MEP for the London region, before being elected as MP for Chipping Barnet in 2005. Mrs Villiers was appointed as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury and subsequently as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport. In May 2010 Mrs Villiers was re-elected to Parliament and appointed as Minister of State at the Department for Transport.
Follow Christian on Twitter @christianwolmar