Context 162 - November 2019

58 C O N T E X T 1 6 2 : N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 9 papers selected from conferences held by the Norwich Historic Churches Trust in 2014 and 2015. It addresses the various issues around how historic churches – many no longer used for worship – are preserved, maintained and used. Community involvement with volunteer action is vital, and it is encouraging to see good examples of renewal with a forceful community focus. Lambeth Architecture: a brave new world, 1945–65 Edmund Bird and Fiona Price, photographer: John East, London Borough of Lambeth and Lambeth Local History Forum, 2014, 172 pages, colour illustrations, softback, £10 from Lambeth suffered extensive bomb damage during the second world war, and was a focus for reconstruction in the post-war period. The birth of the welfare state heralded the age of modernist architecture, manifested above all in a huge public housing programme planned in the face of an unparalleled housing crisis. In 1951 the Festival of Britain brought international attention to Lambeth, and introduced a simple and joyful architecture that spoke of better opportunities for the borough’s citizens. The legacy of this ‘brave new world’ is the subject of the third book in a series written by Fiona Price and IHBC member Edmund Bird on the architecture of Lambeth in the 20th century. Following an introduction that outlines the social history of the 20-year post-war period, the book acts as a gazetteer, structured under building types. Housing forms the bulk of the entries, but there are significant sections on education, public and institutional buildings, ecclesiastical and public art, and sculpture. Each building is illustrated by fine photographs by John East which, with the informed text, are an incentive to explore this lesser-known area of London. Big Saves: heroic transformations of great landmarks Marcus Binney, SAVE Britain’s Heritage, 2016, 175 pages, colour illustrations, softback, ISBN 978 0 905978 74 1, £25 (£20 for members) + £2.50 postage This book by Marcus Binney, founder member of SAVE, looks back over 40 years of successful conservation projects, many of which have brought buildings back from the edge of ruin. Many are well known – Borough Market, St George’s Hospital on Hyde Park Corner, Bankside Power Station, Dean Clough Mills in Halifax – but others, sometimes small-scale and decidedly unheroic, are not. With its large format and lavish photographs, the book is a pleasure to flick through. But Binney has a more serious purpose, which is to illuminate the ingenious ways in which buildings can be rescued given the will and determination of those involved. Coventry: the making of a modern city, 1939–73 Jeremy and Caroline Gould, Historic England, 2016, 156 pages, 128 colour and black-and-white illustrations, softback, ISBN 878 1 848022 45 4, £14.99 The Coventry blitz on 14 November 1940 largely destroyed the medieval city on a single night. For the city architect, Donald Gibson, who was already engaged in planning for change, it offered an opportunity to invent the modern city.With the backing of a progressive and socially-minded council, the redevelopment by Gibson and his successors resulted in an intensely urban and civilised centre, which in turn influenced the rebuilding of other shattered city centres and the post-war new town movement. In spite of later changes, both the original vision and the architecture remain substantially intact, even if their value is not always understood. The Goulds’ sensitive analysis of the city within this exemplary book aims to inform the public and decision makers of Coventry’s significance, so that the best of its remarkable post-war heritage can survive. Applied Digital Documentation in the Historic Environment LynWilson, Alastair Rawlinson, Vanessa Gonzalez and Ewan Hyslop, eds, principal author Adam Frost, Historic Environment Scotland, 2018, 84 pages, 87 colour and black-and-white illustrations, softback; downloadable version www.engineshed. org/publications This short guide provides a valuable overview of differing data capture