On a bright Sunday morning seventy-five years ago today the East End became a battlefield in the continental struggle between Fascism and democracy that would engulf the world three years later. The Battle of Cable Street (external link) now rightly enjoys legendary status. Looking at the grainy images of the day’s events is a powerful reminder of a time when so much was at stake and how an East London conflict could have global resonance. On October 4th 1936 Oswald Mosley intended to commemorate the fourth founding anniversary of his British Union of Fascists by marching around 3000 ‘Blackshirts’ into the heart […]
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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.
The case of the missing Sherlock Holmes film
Sherlock Holmes, the most famous fictional Londoner of all time, is also one of the most portrayed characters in film and television history. He has appeared onscreen for over a century, with the role assumed by countless actors – from William Gillette to Benedict Cumberbatch. As the Museum of London prepares for the largest temporary exhibition on the super sleuth for over sixty years, there remains a mystery unsolved regarding one such film.