chapter  7
12 Pages

Looking after modern classics

Tastes, academic and nostalgic, added to circumstances such as the 1930s orgy of destruction of Georgian London, wartime losses, and the failures of the new architecture were all influential. Sir John Summerson helped to found the Georgian Group and the precursor of the National Monuments Record; Sir John Betje-man virtually invented Metroland and was a great Victorian Society activist; Sir Hugh Casson lent his name to many preservation campaigns. Hundreds of millions of pounds are in the process of being spent on the revitalization of London's docklands and a nearly comparable amount on the revival of the predominantly Victorian city of Glasgow. At the end of the twentieth century anything that is genuinely handmade with natural materials is at a premium. But antiquarian prejudice can lead to far more bizarre decisions than our choice of expensive stone-ground brown bread in preference to the white loaves our ancestors regarded as the privilege of the rich.