Curator of Social and Working History, Jim Gledhill, discovers a hidden world under Holborn. Listen very carefully, he shall say this only once… One of my favourite gags in the Indiana Jones franchise is the scene in The Last Crusade when Jones says to the villain clutching a stolen artefact, “This belongs in a museum!” to which the bad guy replies, “So do you!” Sadly the life of a museum curator is not quite as adventurous as that of the fictional archaeologist, but every now and again we do get out and about to visit some unusual places. As a […]
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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.
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.
A few weeks ago I found myself surrounded by fascists. I was on my way to the West End when at Tower Hill station a large group of French-speaking men with assorted girlfriends and wives (I presume) entered my tube carriage.