Puddles are littered all over the floor and feathers float through the air. One toddler is cautiously playing with the toy boats in the paddling pool in front of him while a slightly younger child is trying to immerse herself in the water, head first. Small groups of toddlers are testing out the trays of water which are scattered around the room, each with an array of materials which can be experimented with in the water. It is Monday at the Museum of London Docklands, and one of our weekly ‘Little Mudlarks’ sessions for under 5s and their carers is in full swing. 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.
From saintly to saucy: the medieval badge that wasn’t as innocent as it seemed
Cataloguing the Museum’s collection of medieval pilgrim badges for Collections Online has been a great opportunity for me to look really closely at our objects and sometimes to find out that items are not at all what they appear to be. A great example recently has been a tiny little badge in the shape of a comb.
A starring role for the Suffragette collection
As curator of the museum’s wonderful Suffragette collection I often welcome ‘important’ visitors to the archive, captivated by the story of the women who endured imprisonment, hunger-strike and even force-feeding in their battle to win the vote.