Who’s the best Holmes? Who’s the best Watson?

By sarah madden, blog editor on 19 Jan 2015

Many actors have taken on the iconic roles of Holmes and Watson, but who did it best? This January and February, we’re inviting Sherlockians to join in the debate and state their case. So, who’s your favourite?

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The Silvertown Disaster of 1917

By sarah madden, blog editor on 12 Jan 2015
A landscape after the Silvertown explosion, 25 January 1917 Silver gelatin print John Henry Avery,

A landscape after the Silvertown explosion by
John Henry Avery

It’s the biggest single explosion to have ever taken place on London soil, but the story of 1917’s Silvertown disaster is relatively unknown. Here Museum of London Docklands Curator, Georgina Young, uses maps and images from the Port of London Authority Archive to delve a little deeper into the unfortunate event, which claimed the lives of 73 local people and injured over 400. Read the full postRead the full post

The Journey of the Magi… from Cologne to London

By jackie keily on 29 Dec 2014
Detail from pilgrim badge depicting the three kings.

Detail from pilgrim badge depicting the three kings.

The 6th of January is the feast of the Epiphany, celebrating the visit of the Three Magi, Kings or Wise Men to the infant Jesus in Bethlehem, bearing their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In medieval times this was a very important feast day, as it marked the twelfth day after Christmas and the official end of the Christmas period. This idea lives on in the tradition of taking down Christmas decorations by the 6th. Read the full postRead the full post

A very merry Victorian Christmas

By dominika erazmus on 24 Dec 2014

Sailortown_Grotto

Christmas time with its festive atmosphere, long-kept traditions and joyful merrymaking is such an essential part of our calendar that it’s difficult to imagine things have not always been this way. However, before Queen Victoria’s rule, Christmas was hardly celebrated in Britain. Read the full postRead the full post

Christmas in the Sainsbury Archive

By laura outterside on 23 Dec 2014

Christmas poultry and game display at 14 Cranbrook Road, Ilford  [190-1920s] (SA/BR/22/I/1/1/5)

Christmas poultry and game display at 14 Cranbrook Road, Ilford [190-1920s] (SA/BR/22/I/1/1/5)

Christmas is a time for indulgence in festive foods, with turkeys and puddings, party foods and mince pies. The Sainsbury Archive at Museum of London Docklands demonstrates how one family business turned supermarket giant supplied the nation with food at Christmas time. So much has changed since the company’s beginnings in London in 1869, but, as the archive shows, the traditions and tastes of Christmas remain the same. Read the full postRead the full post

The origins of Christmas pudding

By sarah madden, blog editor on 22 Dec 2014
© Simone Walsh via Flickr

© Simone Walsh via Flickr

Christmas pudding has long been a staple of Londoners’ festive tables. Traditionally incorporating dried fruits, spices, sugar and alcohol this festal favourite is a representation of extensive British trade – and of the exotic bounty brought through London’s docks at the peak of Empire. Read the full postRead the full post

Celebrating Saturnalia

By meriel jeater on 12 Dec 2014

Roman motto beaker of black colour-coated ware

The Roman mid-winter festival of Saturnalia started on 17 December each year and lasted for seven days. In many ways the Roman festivities were similar to our modern Christmas traditions, featuring drinking, eating, decorating houses, present giving, singing and playing games. I wondered whether it would be possible to celebrate Saturnalia using objects from our Roman collections. I had a little hunt and here’s what I found… Read the full postRead the full post