Preparations begin for October’s Dickens Book Club novel, A Tale of Two Cities with our Marketing Officer, Anne McMeekin. October’s Dickens Book Club has already kicked off in my household, descending as I have into Dickens’ murky world of the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy five in A Tale of Two Cities. Despite having studied English Literature at university my Dickens readometer is a little stunted (blame the tutors). Great Expectations (favourite all-time novel) and Oliver Twist (precious few show tunes) are the only two books I have made it to the end of. Even my dad’s fervent […]
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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.
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.