Ahead of tomorrow’s Pleasure Garden Ball, one of the musical acts for the evening take us on a stroll through the history of pleasure gardens and their musical links… Imagine a place where the beautiful people gather to hear the latest songs performed by the most fashionable musicians on outdoor stages, where fancy dress events end in disorder and debauchery, there is dancing all night, and the ordinary folk don their finest to indulge in a bit of celebrity-spotting…. You may be forgiven for thinking that I am talking about Glastonbury, with Shirley Bassey and her diamante-encrusted wellingtons, or Kate […]
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The story of London Tweed
So this is how the story goes. In 1826 a London merchant decides to buy some cloth from a weaver in Hawick, a town in the Scottish borders famous for its cloth production. Very happy with his order, he decides to get some more but – crucially – misreads the weaver’s dashed handwriting. Instead of ‘twill’ this Londoner reads ‘tweed’, and assumes this new cloth must take after the River Tweed which runs fast and clear through the textile areas of lower Scotland. ‘Tweed’ and not ’twill’ has been the term used ever since.
Looking after London’s ghosts…
When I first started working at the Museum of London’s Archaeological Archive I was told there was a ghost in our metal store. More Casper than Blair Witch, the ghost allegedly helped you find objects that had been ‘misplaced’. Sadly, I’ve never seen this ghost, but with 200,000 boxes containing millions of fragments of London’s history, I think it fair to say the ghosts of London’s past sit on our shelves.
London Street Views 1840
New to London? Here for business or perhaps a little shopping? Looking for a specific building? These days we might use the internet or our smartphones to find the right places and navigate around the city, technology of which the Victorian visitor to London could only dream.