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School of Geography

The history of the People’s Palace


Head of School of Geography Professor Alastair Owens was interviewed on BBC Radio London’s Robert Elms show today about the history of the People’s Palace and the place and role of the East End in the geography of London.

People's Palace
People's Palace

“There’s a little bit of a return to what the original People’s Palace tried to do in terms of reaching out to local communities and providing a resource that local people can enjoy and make use of,” said Professor Owens.

“I think what’s remarkable about this University is that we are of course global, and we have a global reach in terms of our students who come from over 160 countries around the word, but we are very much rooted in our local community. Nearly half our students at Queen Mary actually live in London and many of those are in the East End so we are about providing opportunities for local people and we reach out and work with our local community,” he added.

There is also a podcast available with Professor Owens and Dr Nadia Valman from the School of English and Drama, in which they talk about the fascinating history of the People's Palace which opened in 1887 to bring education and culture to the local community, and it's evolution into Queen Mary University of London. The podcast was part of Queen Mary’s anniversary celebrations in 2017 to mark 130 years since its journey began in Mile End.

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