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Ladybird Books and Constructing the Future Past of Modern Britain

In this lovingly illustrated evening, a gaggle of architects and historians talk us through the dreams and the reality portrayed in Ladybird books over the decades.

Never mind the fairy stories, the much loved Ladybird Books of the 1950s to 1980s reflect much about post war aspirations and reality in new architecture, urban planning, social attitudes and the world of work.

In this lovingly illustrated evening, social and architectural historian and lover of postwar modernism John Grindrod (author of Concretopia) talks us through the dreams and the reality portrayed in the books over the decades. Social and cultural historian Helen Day documents the changing attitudes to gender race and class and Tim Dunn, transport historian, enthusiast and model village expert will discuss the social and design history revealed in the books From People At Work and Our Land In the Making and How It Works…to the changing reality around Peter and Jane.

In the age of the garden bridge, HS1 and 2 and Crossrail and the growth of nostalgia spoofs like The Hipster what do the Ladybird Books reveal about who we are, how we dream and how we live?

Chaired by broadcaster Samira Ahmed, presenter of Radio 4’s Front Row.


Samira Ahmed | talks | www
John Grindrod | talks | www
Helen Day | talks | www
Tim Dunn | talks | www


Date and Time:

10 October 2016 at 7:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Conway Hall
Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square
0207 242 8034

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£5 - £10

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