“How Chatsworth’s Victorian genius Joseph Paxton put the world under glass” by Simon Seligman

Date(s) - 07/03/2024
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Leicester Bowling Club

Spring lecture preceded by a short AGM

There is no better introduction to Joseph Paxton than the quote below, which I came across by chance.

“Paxton had none of the training of the professional engineer.  He had no tables of expansion and contraction at his elbow, no graphs of breaking loads.  But he had two great gifts, from his training as a gardener.  He had an eye for beauty of form and line and proportion.  And he had the instinct that only survives today among the older craftsmen and sailors, the instinct of knowing by the look of a thing whether it was going to work or not. Paxton knew by observation the weight of rainfall; he knew by observation the expansion of an iron girder. He designed his great glass house by rule of thumb.  It was a compound of experience and taste and sound judgement, it owed nothing to theories or books.”

Christopher Hobhouse, 1851 and the Crystal Palace (1937)

Simon Seligman, our speaker, comes highly recommended and is a cultural lecturer, who has developed a close relationship with Chatsworth, having worked there for 19 years, ending up as their Communications Officer. His lecture, ‘O Paxton!’-How Chatsworth’s Victorian genius Joseph Paxton put the world under glass, celebrates the achievements of Joseph Paxton, which have profoundly influenced architecture ever since. Starting work as a gardener at Chatsworth and staying more than 30 years, he enhanced it with innovative buildings and garden designs. His vision found its greatest expression in his radical design for the Crystal Palace built for the Great Exhibition of 1851.

The lecture will be followed by the usual tea/coffee and cake. Please let Elizabeth (0116 2705711) know if you can bake a cake for this meeting.

Guests welcome £3.00

Annual General Meeting

Before the talk we will have a short AGM. This year it will consist of the Chairman’s report followed by any questions resulting from the various reports that can be downloaded below.

1.    Apologies
2.    Chairman’s Report
3.    Treasurer’s and Membership Report
4.    Education Report
5.    Events’ Secretary’s Report
6.    Research Group Report
7.    Election of Officers
8.    Any Other Business: