Put Money in thy Purse! Shillings and Shakespeare

Today, 23rd April, is a significant date for Shakespeare, and scholars and lovers thereof. Not only was it the day he died, but also the day he was christened. So, Happy Shakespeare Day everyone! 23rd April is also a significant day for the English as it marks the feast day of St. George, our patron…

London’s Secret Museums: The Grant Museum of Zoology

I really love the word ‘Zoology.’ It has all the best bits of the alphabet in it; all the letters that just make words fun, and somehow, it manages to have both too few and too many vowels at the same time. Have a go saying it… it is just fun isn’t it? You can…

London’s Secret Museums: The Petrie Museum

“Dearer to me than all the rest of my curios are my Egyptian antiquities: and of these… I have enough to stock a modest little museum,” declares the staircase as it leads you up to the reception. But to whom are these numerous curiosities precious to? Well, that would be Amelia Edwards, the founder of…

London’s Secret Museums: Musical Museum

I was expecting jazz hands. I was expecting feather boas. I was expecting a chorus line. What I actually got was a look and listen around one of the world’s foremost collections of automatic musical instruments. So, yea, it is a museum-that-is-musical rather than a museum-of-musicals. I suppose the logo rather gives that away if…

London’s Secret Museums: Kew Bridge Steam Museum

Kew is an area of London most often associated with fragrant flowers, blooming blossoms and all things horticultural. I dread to think how the big botanical gardens cope during a hosepipe ban, what with all those plants to water. Actually, how would they get the water into the hoses to begin with… well, today’s Secret…

London’s Secret Museums: Florence Nightingale Museum

Birdsong trills from hidden speakers, welcoming visitors to the museum dedicated to the world’s most famous nurse who shares a name with a songbird. You almost forget that the museum is on a main road by Westminster Bridge. Almost, that is, but the slickness of the set up really does scream THIS IS A SLICK…

London’s Secret Museums: Alexander Fleming Museum

It was in a small, cramped laboratory in St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington that a discovery was made that quite literally changed the world. In September 1928, when Alexander Fleming returned from his summer holiday he found a surprise in his Petri dish of bacteria, “That’s funny!” he said, because it had been contaminated with a…

Strollin’ Along the Pier

It’s traditional on a British Bank Holiday to travel to the seaside, to play in the sand and to enjoy the attractions and distractions that the beach has to offer. It’s also traditional that a British Bank Holiday is a grey, cold, water-logged affair. Today was no exception, and to the seaside I travelled, regardless…

The Not-So-Secret Nuclear Bunker.

When we left the house armed with a satellite navigation device and some paper maps in case the worst happened, it was a nice day. As we approached our destination the sky darkened. Iron grey clouds rolled in and the landscape became more desolate. By the time the car crunched to a stop on the…

Titanic: An Exhibition to Remember

“But I thought the old lady dropped it into the ocean at the end?” asked a certain pop-star. “Well baby,” came the astronaut’s* reply, “I went down and got it for you.” Although it’s never mentioned we know exactly what object the old lady dropped into the ocean, mainly because the whole world (probably) has…