Today, London covers over 1500 square kilometres, stretching from Hillingdon in the west to Havering in the east, Croydon in the south to Barnet in the north. This spring the museum’s Archaeological Archive will be focussing on Barnet as part of our Arts Council funded ‘Unearthing’ programme, using artefacts found locally to tell the story of London’s outer boroughs. Read the full post
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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.
Christina Broom: A pioneering photographer
It is almost a year now since I first laid eyes on an extraordinary private collection of photographs by Christina Broom.