The Society, the oldest amenity group in Westminster, was formed in 1948 to help save war-damaged Nash Terraces in Regent's Park. It continues to campaign to protect the architectural heritage and character of St Marylebone while acknowledging and helping to manage the pressures on an increasingly popular part of London. Westminster City Council is required to consult the Society on planning and licensing issues. The Society's planning committee meets monthly to provide expert recommendations on applications affecting its area of jurisdiction, which lies north of Marylebone Road. The Society also comments on matters affecting the whole of the old Borough of St Marylebone and represents the views of residents to government bodies and the police. In addition to its representative role the Society organises a variety of cultural, educational and social events that enable members to meet like-minded people. Valority is a registered charity run by volunteers from within its membership.
Illustrated newsletters with information on local affairs and the Society's cultural, educational and social events.
Throughout the year the society organises guided visits to places of interest, not always open to the publict, throughout London. The visits also provide an opportunity for members to meet. A nominal charge is made and some visits are restricted to members.
Recent and planned events include:
Speaker's House at the House of Commons.
Foundling Museum, Bloomsbury, London's first home for abandoned babies established in 1739.
Christ Church Spitalfields, Hawksmoor's recently restored masterpiece.
Westminster's Civic Plate at City Hall, Victoria followed by tea with the Lord Mayor.
Annual General Meeting with a social event afterwards
Annual gardening competition. Residents of the old Borough of St Marylebone compete in several categories for silver trophies and gift vouchers presented by a distinguished member of the community
The St Marylebone Society's intention to promote awareness of the charm and history of the area is realised, in part, through its publications. These make use of the Society's local knowledge, contacts and original research. Three titles are currently available.
DISCOVERING ST MARYLEBONE: This glossy illustrated pocket-sized booklet, now in its second edition, contains four self-guided walks. Each has a historical introduction and a coloured map highlighting points of interest referred to in the text. It was written, edited and designed by society members and has been produced with the help of generous sponsorship from many of the area's leading businesses and institutions.
DIARY OF WILLIAM TAYLER: This was compiled in 1837 by a footman working for a wealthy widow living in a house near MarbleArch. It is a fascinating account of life below stairs and the many illustrations include some of William Tayler's paintings. The book was produced in collaboration with Westminster City Archives and edited by society member Dorothy Wise.
ST MARYLEBONE WORKHOUSE: A detailed account of life in the workhouse and institution which existed in various qforms from 1730 to 1965 on the site now occupied by the University of Westminster. The book charts the effects of changing legislation and attitudes, from the Poor Law, through the harsh regimes of the early 19th century, the development of a more humanitarian approach and on to the emergence of the Welfare State. It was first published by the society in 1967 but a revised edition was launched in 2003 in conjunction with the University of Westminster and Westminster City Archives.