Sounds of the City, Kids in Museums Takeover event

By spetty on 20 Nov 2015

This weekend the Museum of London will be celebrating another children’s Takeover event, organised in partnership with the Kids in Museums charity. This national event offers children and young people brilliant opportunities to get actively involved in organisations, take on museum roles and have their thoughts and opinions heard by cultural organisations across the country.

Young people using iPads to create their soundscapes.

Young people using iPads to create their soundscapes.

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Anchors Aweigh! Family rave

By spetty on 11 Nov 2015

At the start of this year, the legendary club Plastic People shut its doors on Curtain Road in Shoreditch for good. It came among an ongoing wave of club and venue closures, and it was one of the smaller venues in London – fitting just 200 dancers – but it provoked a huge wave of nostalgia. This wasn’t just a sense of loss though: notable in all the tributes that were paid to the venue were an enormous sense of pride in the values of the club and how it represented all that is best about London and its people.

Flyer for a rave at the Hippodrome featuring a smiley face

Flyer for a rave at the Hippodrome , 1991 © Museum of London

 

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Instagram street photography winners announced

By ellen stuart on 29 Oct 2015

Embankment by _london_i

Christina Broom captured thousands of images of London at the start of the 20th century. This summer, in celebration of the first major exhibition of works by Christina Broom at the Museum of London Docklands, we invited you to follow in her footsteps with a competition to use Instagram to create images of some of the locations Broom photographed. The winners are in!

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Kibbo Kift Unkovered

By guest on 16 Oct 2015
John Hargrave addressing  the Althing (annual camp), 1923John Hargrave addressing  the Althing (annual camp), 1923

Kibbo Kift Leader John Hargrave addresses the Althing (annual camp), 1923

Who were the Kibbo Kift?

Were they the pacifist and feminist version of the Boy Scouts? Were they banker-bashing radicals or performance artists? Were they, as some accused, secretly fascists, communists, or connected to the Ku Klux Klan? Now, for the first time in decades, this extraordinary and visionary social movement of the 1920s and 30s is back in the London spotlight.

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Sartorial dissections: clothes in the photographs of Christina Broom

By beatrice behlen on 12 Oct 2015
Journalists at The Pageant of Women's Trades and Professions, 27 April 1909

Journalists at The Pageant of Women’s Trades and Professions, 27 April 1909 (detail)

My ideal job would give me licence to stare at people all day. Maybe I should have become a photographer, but while I get the depth of field thing (I think), I never really felt totally at one with a camera. Instead I have become the next best thing for a people-starer: a dress historian. My profession (no sniggering at the back!) provides me with a legitimate reason – or so I am telling myself – for gazing at others and for dissecting their appearance. I’m not too bothered whether someone is fashionably dressed or looks – or pretends to look – as if they don’t particularly care about their clothes. And when I say dissect I don’t mean judge. Whether the clothes are beautiful, ugly, boring or unremarkable (in my eyes or by general consent) is neither here nor there. I want to know why that particular person chose to wear that particular thing in combination with the other things they’ve put on. (Naturally my curiosity extends to accessories, jewellery, hair and make-up as well.)

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The Crime Museum Uncovered Reception

By blogadmin on 9 Oct 2015

On Thursday 8 October we welcomed guests to the private view of The Crime Museum Uncovered. The evening was opened by author and journalist Tony Parsons with speeches given by Sharon Ament, Director of The Museum of London, Clive Bannister, Chairman of The Museum of London and Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Metropolitan Police Commissioner and Helen Bailey, COO of MOPAC.

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Wild Beasts of Prehistoric London

By james read, guest blog author on 24 Sep 2015
3,000 year-old wolf skull from Shepperton in Surrey

3,000 year-old wolf skull from Shepperton in Surrey

While the most ferocious animal you’re likely to find within the M25 nowadays is probably an urban fox or a territorial chihuahua, London was once home to an abundance of enormous creatures – from wolves to hippos and rhinos to mammoths. The Museum of London has a selection of ancient animal remains from all around the capital.

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From fish market to red carpet: The evolution of London’s Docklands

By james read, guest blog author on 18 Sep 2015
An electric trolley carrying tobacco, 1925

A man with an electric trolley carrying tobacco, 1925

London’s Docklands have gone through huge change in the last 70 years – from being one of England’s primary ports, to falling into disuse as cargo ships outgrew the Thames. It has seen vast industries come and go – the same warehouse that once stored tonnes of tobacco is now a dance floor, and what was once a 900 year-old fish market now hosts film premieres.

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Rum, hospitals and insurance: London’s hidden slavery souvenirs

By james read, guest blog author on 11 Sep 2015
Pair of domestic sugar loaf cutters

Pair of domestic sugar loaf cutters used to break up sugar at home

The 1700s were a shameful time in London’s history. Although slavery was something that happened far away, on American cotton farms and West Indian sugar plantations, England had many critical, if slightly murkier, parts to play. From MPs owning Caribbean plantations to a newly-discovered British appetite for sugar, England was implicit in human slavery. This uncomfortable past touched much of British life, and was hidden in a great many everyday objects and institutions.

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Forgotten Thames Champions by Caitlin Davies

By jen kavanagh, senior curator of contemporary history on 9 Sep 2015

Three years ago, when I started researching Downstream: a history and celebration of swimming the River Thames, I thought it would be quite a short book. After all, how many people would want to swim in the Thames?

Margaret White – training in Leigh swimming pool, 1961 (Courtesy of Margaret White-Wrixon)

But I soon realised that bathing in London’s great waterway used to be the norm, that river racing reached its peak in Victorian times and that now, with the Thames the cleanest in living memory, there has been a real resurgence in ‘wild swimming’.

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