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The Mercenary River

17 September 2022, 12.00pm

'The Mercenary River' book cover
'The Mercenary River' book cover
'The Mercenary River' book cover
17 September 2022, 12.00pm

The Mercenary River

Today, Londoners take water for granted. Nick Higham will demonstrate that this luxury is the product of a centuries-long struggle.
 £10.00 (Concessions £8.00)
 Buy the book with your ticket and save £2.00

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Ticket deal

 Book three or more events and save 20%.

 Tickets must be purchased in the same transaction.

 The offer does not apply to any tickets which include a book + ticket discount.

The event

For centuries, London struggled to supply its citizens with reliable, clean water, despite being one of the richest cities in the world.

Join Nick Higham as he explores the remarkable technological, scientific, and organisational breakthroughs that have helped London develop a reliable water supply.

Discover how, from the Middle Ages to the present day, this struggle for water has also been marred by greed and complacency.

Uncover the extraordinary story of how one Victorian water company deliberately cut off 2,000 households, knowing they had no alternative source of supply. And hear about the financial scandal which nearly brought two water companies to their knees in the 1870s.

The speaker

Nick Higham hails from London and is a journalist who has spent 30 years at the BBC – 15 as their arts and media correspondent and as host of Meet the Author on the BBC News Channel.

His interest in London’s water began with the New River, which originally ran to New River Head on the borders of Islington and Clerkenwell, within sight of the building that houses the London Metropolitan Archives, where much of his book was researched.

Venue information

 Check our Venues page to find out where we are, how to get here and what facilities are available on site.


17 September 2022
12.00pm - 1.00pm
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National Army Museum (Foyle 1)
Royal Hospital Road
London, SW3 4HT United Kingdom