Dickens Book Club November – The Mystery of Edwin Drood revisited

By john joyce on 30 Nov 2011

Now that our reading of The Mystery of Edwin Drood has come to an end Records Manager, Sarah Demb, shares her final thoughts and experiences on completing this unfinished work. In truth, I find Dickens a difficult read, although I’m a voracious reader of maximalist fiction and devoted to fictional London, which informs my immigrant experience of the city almost as much as my daily life. But I had to force myself through this short novel (I highly recommend Dan Simmons’ ‘Drood’- his fictionalisation vision of events that could have inspired the writing of the book as Dickens and his friend, author […]

Cards are not just for Christmas…

By other museum staff on 17 Nov 2011

In our latest blog from our team bringing our collections online, we hear again from Ellie and her continuing work with our printed ephemera collection… Our collection of business cards, invoices, brochures and receipts, provides a snapshot of London’s working life. The collection will be made available online for the first time next Spring, giving researchers the chance to access the objects from the comfort of their own homes. I imagine this resource will be well-used by family historians as well as academic researchers, who will be able to search the online information for specific names and trades. Each of […]

Latest update from our gladiators in training

By john joyce on 6 Jun 2011

As we gear up for our Gladiator Games next month, we have the latest update from our gladiators in training to share with you. Britannia (our gladiator re-enactors) recently attended a training session at the Lunt in Coventry (a reconstructed wooden Roman fort). The event was captured by professional photographer Pete Webb and will feature in the June issue of the science and technology magazine, Flipside (external link). The Lunt is a great site and has the advantage of a sand filled wooden Gyrus (circular Roman cavalry training area). Gladiators are starting to wear the full equipment as you can see […]

An 'author-ity' on our upcoming Gladiator Games

By john joyce on 24 May 2011

In advance of our Gladiator Games this July and with the kind permisssion of the publisher, The History Press, we are able to share with you extracts from the book “The World of the Gladiator” by author Susanna Shadrake. Who is also an historical adviser for our gladiator reinactors Britannia who are competing at our games. Susanna’s book provides us with insight and context for both the preparations and the nature of the combat you can experience over the two days of our games taking place on the site of London’s original Roman amphitheatre, now the Guildhall Yard. The First Amphitheatres Amphitheatres had […]

A chance for some extra training and a marathon effort!

By john joyce on 12 May 2011

In advance of our Gladiator Games in July, and following on from our last post detailing the filming of our upcoming Streetmuseum Londinium app (click here to read), we have the latest news from our gladiators in training as they took the opportunity for a little extra practice and helped out a friend who wanted to run the London Marathon dressed as a Roman Legionnaire! On the weekend of the royal wedding the gladiators from Britannia were performing at Flag Fen Bronze Age Centre in Peterborough. Following their scheduled Roman shows, and after the public had left the site, they took the […]

Gladiator's ready!

By john joyce on 26 Apr 2011

As we prepare for our spectacular Gladiator Games in July, thanks to our friends at Britannia, we can share with you this insight as our warriors train for combat: “We have undertaken our second major training session of the year as we prepare for the Guildhall show and we’re certainly moving things along. At our training ground, we were able to mock up an area with ropes and spikes that should match the dimensions of the Guildhall arena. We’ve also started to stream gladiators into categories, recognising where people’s strengths and skills best match the weapons and equipment to be […]

The spirit of discovery: a word of welcome from the psychogeographical travel agency by Sebastian Groes

By star guest on 8 Apr 2011

Sebastian Groes c. Andrew Porter Ahead of his event with Will Self, at the Museum of London, on the 12th of April, Sebastian Groes talks psychogeography… In July 1992, my father went to Los Angeles for business, and took me with him. I was seventeen and, as a boy from a Dutch hamlet, knee-deep in polder mud and accustomed only to endless fields of tulips beneath a light blue skyscape. Soon I was bored of the endless visits to overheated warehouses and air-conditioned offices, and my father decided to drop me at Venice Beach. It was a working day, and […]

Walking through the grey soul of London, looking up at the stars by Robert Kingham

By star guest on 16 Mar 2011

I have caught strange glimpses of a walk through Finsbury out of the corner of my eye since reading Peter Ackroyd’s Biography of London. For him, its streets were an archetype: not ‘grand or imposing’, nor ‘squalid or desolate’, but instead seeming ‘to contain the grey soul of London, that slightly smoky and dingy quality which has hovered over the city for many hundreds of years’. Furthermore, he wrote of the fascination its streets held for Arthur Machen (1863-1947), a writer whose stories often combined a love for London with a deep fear of it, intermingled with a common theme […]

Tis the changing of the seasons – part 2

By visitor services on 27 Jan 2011

Continuing our monthly update from the 2012 Olympic Park at Stratford in advance of our upcoming visitor host led exhibition “Your 2012″. August We are posting this update on a cold February morning, and in the grip of a harsh winter it is worth sparing a thought for those with more unusual jobs. As you can see from the picture below there is a man in the canal. In case you are wondering what he is doing, he is actually measuring the depth of the canal at various points to help out with knowing what parts of the canal need to be […]

The last of Oscar's diary entries make their way to our website

By john joyce on 8 Jun 2010

Today we added the last of Oscar Kirk, our 15 year old Messenger Boy from 1919, diary entries to our website, timed to be go “live” on the corresponding day his diary relates to this year. The last of Oscar’s diary extracts is timed for 29 June, and over the last six months the team in Communications has got to know Oscar very well. Oscar had a very sweet tooth and included in his diary lists of the treats he had bought that day not only for himself but for members of his family such as his sister Marjorie: Saturday 22 February 1919 […]