Glen O’Hara talk on ‘The Fight against Seaborne, Oil and Beach Pollution in Post-War Britain’, 19th May

Glen O’Hara, author of Britain and the Sea since 1600 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), is coming to Greenwich on talk about ‘The Fight against Seaborne, Oil and Beach Pollution in Post-War Britain’.

Date: Thursday 19 May 2016 at 6.00 pm.

Venue: University of Greenwich, Room QA 075 (Edinburgh Room), Queen Anne Court Old Royal Naval College, Park Row, London SE10 9LS.

The talk is free – you can register at Eventbrite or just turn up.

‘The Fight against Seaborne, Oil and Beach Pollution in Post-War Britain:

Pollution was not a high priority in the first years after the Second World War. Britain’s coastline and estuaries were often littered with wartime detritus: many inshore and inland waters were highly polluted or indeed toxic and lifeless. Biodiversity and levels of marine life had both fallen rapidly in many areas. A mix of austerity and localism meant that concerted action was almost impossible. But the damage done by the east coast floods of 1953, pressure exerted by increasingly-popular pressure groups pushing for better access to safer amenities, and the shock of oil disasters such as the wreck of the Torrey Canyon in 1967, helped created a new, integrated and urgent sense of ‘the environment’. This involved both accounting for and addressing the manifold dangers of Britain’s polluted seas, and began the long centrally-directed cleanup that continues into the twenty-first century.

 

OilShells

Photo: Oil covered shells,  International Maritime Organization ©. Reproduced from Flickr under a Creative Commons Licence .

Glen O’Hara is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Oxford Brookes University. He is the author of Britain and the Sea since 1600 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). For further information about Glen, please go to http://www.social-sciences.brookes.ac.uk/People/Academic/prof.asp?ID=600. Follow him on Twitter @gsoh31

This talk is part of the History & Environment series presented by the Raphael Samuel History Centre in conjunction with the University of Greenwich, Dept of History, Politics and Social Sciences. This year’s series theme is Britain and the Sea. To find out more about the RSHC History and Environment Seminars in general, please contact George Yerby george.yerby@googlemail.com. For more information on these Greenwich RHSC seminars, please contact: Vanessa Taylor V.J.Taylor@greenwich.ac.uk

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